Full Show Audio: Marcus King & Billy Strings Present ‘King & Strings’ Set At Rooster Walk

By Scott Bernstein May 28, 2018 12:31 pm PDT

One of the most anticipated sets coming into this past weekend’s Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival at Pop’s Farm in Martinsville, Virginia was King & Strings. The Friday night performance featured the debut collaboration between guitarists Marcus King and Billy Strings. A crispy soundboard matrix of the King & Strings set has surfaced and can be streamed below.

King and Strings were joined by drummer Jeff Sipe of Aquarium Rescue Unit fame as well as Billy’s band featuring bassist Royal Masat, banjo player Billy Failing and mandolinist Jarrod Walker. Billy and Marcus met for the first time earlier in the day, yet pulled off a phenomenal performance for Rooster Walk festivalgoers. Strings swapped between his familiar acoustic guitar and electric over the course of the set.

The set started with a take on King’s “Guitar In My Hands” off The Marcus King Band’s self-titled 2016 studio album. Billy then led his own “Dust In A Baggie” before Marcus stepped into the spotlight to sing a bluesy rendition of Merle Haggard’s “Swinging Doors.” From there, King & Strings worked in covers of The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See,” Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” and blues standard “It Hurts Me Too.”

Friday’s performance continued with King belting out “Compared To What” before the group uncorked a medley of rock standard “Hey Joe,” Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” and Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times.” The 20-minute medley was followed by Marcus handling lead vocals on his own “Dyin'” and Billy showing his ability to sing the blues on Johnny Winter’s “I’m Yours & I’m Hers.” King & Strings’ debut set came to a close with takes on Willie Dixon’s “Spoonful,” Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf” and Felice & Boudleaux Bryant’s “Rocky Top.” The ensemble returned at the urging of the crowd for an encore of Rick Derringer’s “Rock & Roll, Hoochie Koo.”

Listen a soundboard matrix recording taped and shared by Dale Glenn:


Set: Guitar In My Hands, Dust In A Baggie, Swinging Doors, Can’t You See, Johnny B. Goode, It Hurts Me Too, Compared To What, Hey Joe > A Change Is Gonna Come > Born To Be Wild, Good Times Bad Times, Dyin’ > I’m Yours & I’m Hers, Spoonful, Sweet Leaf, Rocky Top

Encore: Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo

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