Strings & Sol 2019 Concludes With ‘Will The Circle Be Unbroken’ Finale

By Scott Bernstein Dec 16, 2019 11:18 am PST

Greensky Bluegrass closed out the 2019 Strings & Sol destination event in Puerto Morelos, Mexico on Sunday night by welcoming members of the other acts on the lineup to perform the traditional “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.” Members of Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, The Infamous Stringdusters, the Del McCoury Band, Leftover Salmon, The Travelin’ McCourys, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, The Sweet Lillies and special guests Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman loaded the stage to bring the collaboration-heavy four-day festival to its conclusion.

The action started on Thursday night after a welcome toast with a Greensky set on the Beach Stage that began with a fitting cover of Eddie Money’s “Two Tickets To Paradise.” YMSB took the Beach Stage next and brought up Stringdusters guitarist Andy Falco, Jason Carter of The McCourys on fiddle and GSBG dobro player Anders Beck for “On The Run.”

Greensky played a poolside set on Friday that began with their first rendition of “On The Road Again” since March 9, 2017. The cover-heavy performance also saw the quintet work The Beatles’ “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” into Traffic’s “Light Up Or Leave Me Alone,” included a reprise of “Two Tickets To Paradise” and GSBG’s first cover of John Prine’s “Please Don’t Bury Me” in nearly a year. Later, The Infamous Stringdusters delivered a career-spanning set that featured a take on ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man,” while Leftover Salmon debuted two new originals, teamed with Del McCoury and Ronnie McCoury for “I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome” and “Midnight Blues” before ending the set augmented by Hartswick and Cressman on “Here Comes The Night,” “Better” and “Gulf Of Mexico.” Jennifer and Natalie returned to the stage as part of RRE’s Friday night set. Hartswick and Cressman added to a debut cover of The Skatalites’ “Rock Fort Rock” and the new original “It’s So Good.” Railroad Earth closed out the performance with their first-ever rendition of Hunter/Garcia’s “Till The Morning Comes.”

Yonder Mountain String Band presented a poolside set on Saturday and then Leftover Salmon kept the collaborations coming all through their set. First up was a “Boatman’s Dance” featuring Ronnie McCoury, GSBG’s Paul Hoffman and YMSB’s Adam Aijala and Dave Johnston. Other highlights included a jam with most of the event’s bassists within “Get No Better” and a cover of Bob Marley’s “Soul Shakedown Party” featuring The Sweet Lillies that contained “Hot Corn, Cold Corn” in its midst. Hartswick and Cressman came back to guest with The Infamous Stringdusters on “Fire” and “Walking On The Moon” as part of a set that included covers of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” and The String Cheese Incident’s “Bollymunster.”

Railroad Earth kicked off the main stage action on Sunday. The band welcomed YMSB mandolinist for a version of “Head” that saw both Jolliff and John Skehan undo their buns and let their hair fly. The penultimate main stage set came from Yonder, who had many guest spots in store. Ronnie McCoury added to a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Brown-Eyed Women,” while Ronnie, Drew Emmitt, Paul Hoffman and John Skehan helped YMSB turn “Kentucky Mandolin” into a mando showcase. Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman then emerged for the rest of a set that included RRE drummer Carey Harmon on covers of War’s “Low Rider,” The Violent Femmes’ “Blister In The Sun,” the 1980’s classic “Walking On Sunshine” and more.

Natalie and Jennifer were frequent presences throughout the event and augmented Greensky for portions of the final main stage set of Strings & Sol. Cressman provided lead vocals on the GSBG debut of “1977,” an Ana Tijoux cover Natalie often sings with the Trey Anastasio Band. The pair also helped out on “You Can Call Me Al,” “What You Need” and “Leap Year” later in the set. Meanwhile, Ronnie McCoury added to “Peace Of Mind” and as mentioned the set and festival concluded with “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” featuring many of the event’s performers.

Watch fan-shot video captured by David Sussman of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and more below:

Will The Circle Be Unbroken

Kentucky Mandolin

Mandolinbun Jam

On The Run

Here’s more videos from Strings & Sol 2019:

Walking On The Moon Captured by Strings & Sol

Sharp Dressed Man Captured by Strings & Sol

Bass Jam Captured by FestiGoNuts


Thursday, December 12

Greensky Bluegrass (via PT GSBG)

Set: Two Tickets to Paradise, Broke Mountain Breakdown > Wings for Wheels > Broke Mountain Breakdown Reprise, Through the Trees, Send Me Your Address from Heaven, Grow Bananas, A Letter to Seymour, Last Winter in the Copper Country, Fixin To Ruin, Jaywalking > Courage for the Road, Past My Prime, Exuberance > Kerosene > War Pigs > Kerosene

Yonder Mountain String Band (via

Set: Troubled Mind > 20 Eyes > Troubled Mind, Keep On Going > Two Hits And The Joint Turned Brown > Keep On Going, I’ve Always Been Crazy, Black Sheep, Black Truck, On The Run [1], Left Me In A Hole, Misty Mountain Top > Bored Again, Hey Day, White Rabbit > Fade To Black

[1] – w/ Andy Falco on guitar, Jason Carter on fiddle and Anders Beck on dobro

Friday, December 13

Greensky Bluegrass (via PT GSBG)

Set: On the Road Again, Small Axe, Light Up or Leave Me Alone > Why Don’t We Do It in the Road? > Light Up or Leave Me Alone, I’m Working on a Building, Wheel Hoss, Road to Nowhere, One Way Out, Please Don’t Bury Me, Don’t Lie > Feels Like the First Time > Don’t Lie, Dancing in the Dark > Two Tickets to Paradise > Dancing in the Dark

The Infamous Stringdusters

Set: Carry Me Away, Another One Like You > Sentenced To Life, Planets > Place Called Home, Gentle On My Mind, Those Who’ve Gone On, Long Time Goin’ > HC Funk, Sharp Dressed Man, If You’re Gonna Love Someone > Crystal Bay, Thunder, Sunny Side Of The Mountain, For What It’s Worth > Well Well

Leftover Salmon

Set: HooDoo Bash, Sing Up The The Moon, Valley Of The Full Moon, Evermore, Waterfront [1], Voodoo Queen Marie, The Snake, Breakin’ Thru, Unpromised Land, Run Red Fox Run [1], Playing In The Band > Dead Flowers, Midnight Blues [2], Blue & Lonesome [2], Here Comes The Night [3], Better [3], Gulf Of Mexico [3]

  • [1] – First Time Played
  • [2] – w/ Del & Ronnie McCoury
  • [3] – w/ Jennifer Hartswick & Natalie Cressman

Railroad Earth (via RRE FB)

Set: Bird In A House > Chasin’ A Rainbow > Rock Fort Rock >^ El Cumbanchero, It’s So Good”, Just So You Know, The Good Life, Potter’s Field > Lonecroft Farewell, Any Road, Captain Nowhere > Mission Man, Like A Buddha > Till The Morning Comes*

  • ^First time played, by The Skatalites, featuring Natalie Cressman and Jennifer Hartswick on horns
  • “First time played, written by Todd Sheaffer, featuring Natalie Cressman and Jennifer Hartswick on horns
  • *First time played, written by Robert Hunter

Notes: This show featured Matt Slocum on keys and Mike Robinson on pedal steel, guitar, and banjo

Saturday, December 14

Yonder Mountain String Band (via

Set: Part 1 > Sometimes I’ve Won, Corona, Don’t Worry Happy Birthday, Bound To Ride, Town, Another Day, Son Of A Preacher Man, High On A Hilltop, Annalee, On Your Dime, Chasing My Tail, Bananas And Blow, River, Redbird, Son Of A Gun, Idaho, Traffic Jam

Leftover Salmon

Set: Boatman’s Dance [1], Liza, Places, 420 Song, Lovely Day [2], All Night Ride, Brand New Good Old Days [2], Bird Call [3], Get No Better [4], Ain’t Gonna Work [5], Wheel Hoss [5], Don’t Owe You A Thing, Better Day, Soul Shakedown Party [6] > Hot Corn Cold Corn [6] > Soul Shakedown Party [6]

  • [1] – w/ Ronnie McCoury, Paul Hoffman, Adam Aijala and Dave Johnston
  • [2] First Time Played
  • [3] – w/ Silas Herman
  • [4] – w/ Mike Devol, Ben Kaufmann & Andrew Altman
  • [5] – w/ Jason Carter & Bromley
  • [6] – w/ The Sweet Lillies

The Infamous Stringdusters (via Infamous Stringdusters Setlist FB)

Notes: “Jessica” cut, “It’ll Be Alright” as the encore instead

Sunday, December 15

Railroad Earth (via RRE FB)

Set: Lordy, Lordy > Hard Livin’ > Mighty River, Happy Song, Came Up Smilin’, Bread and Water > The Forecast, Game Band Strut > Head*, The Great Divide, Where Songs Begin > Fisherman’s Blues, Seven Story Mountain

Encore: Catfish John

*Featuring mandolinbun jam with Jacob Jolliff

Notes: This show featured Matt Slocum on keys and Mike Robinson on pedal steel, guitar, and banjo

Yonder Mountain String Band

Set: Little Lover, Casualty, Jet Airliner, Travelin’ Prayer, Nowhere Next, Insult, Brown-Eyed Women [1], Kentucky Mandolin [2], Holland 1945 [3], Hadn’t Been For Love [3], Low Rider [4], Blister In The Sun [4], Walking On Sunshine [5], Mexicali Blues [5], Satisfied [5]

  • [1] – w/ Ronnie McCoury
  • [2] – w/ Ronnie McCoury, Drew Emmitt, Paul Hoffman & John Skehan
  • [3] – w/ Natalie Cressman & Jennifer Hartswick
  • [4] – w/ Natalie Cressman, Jennifer Hartswick & Carey Harmon
  • [5] – w/ Natalie Cressman, Jennifer Hartswick, Drew Emmitt & Carey Harmon
  • Greensky Bluegrass (via PT GSBG)

    Set: Windshield, Living Over, 1977 [1,2], You Can Call Me Al [2], Like Reflections, Run or Die, In Control, All for Money, Old Barns, Murder of Crows, What You Need [2], Peace of Mind [3], Leap Year [2]

    Encore: Will the Circle Be Unbroken [4]

  • [1] – First time played
  • [2] – w/ Natalie Cressman (trombone, vocals), Jennifer Hartswick (trumpet, vocals)
  • [3] – w/ Ronnie McCoury (mando)
  • [4] – w/ all Strings & Sol performers
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