Billy Strings Reflects on the ‘First Banjo’ He Ever Heard in Heartfelt Post

by Emily Morgan

Billy Strings never ceases to amaze us with his gut-punching, mind-blowing bluegrass. From his lyrics to his personal anecdotes, he constantly amazes us with his take on life. Even when he’s silent, he lets his pickin’ speak for him, connecting himself to his fans all without saying a word.

We’re always more than grateful whenever Strings gives us a glimpse into his life. In a recent Instagram post, he shared how he first came to hear the strumming of a banjo as well as a sentimental tribute to his uncle.

“The first banjo I ever heard was Brad Lasco’s, down at Barkus Park,” the Michigan native began about hearing the instrument while camping with his Uncle Brad.

“Those early memories along the banks of Stoney Creek will stay with me forever. I can still hear that ol’ mastertone ringin’ through the woods.. and feel the sting of the campfire smoke in my eyes,” Strings penned. 

In addition, the 26-year-old pickin’ prodigy shared some sentimental snaps of his fondest childhood memories with his family. He posted a string of pics, including his late uncle, who was one of the first to introduce Stings to the world of grass— something that would later become his calling. 

Billy Strings honors uncle with sentimental post, says playing with him ‘Made me who I am’

He continued: “We used to play bluegrass music until the sun came up. It was beautiful. I’ll miss Brad and I’m sad we’ll never get to pick again, but I’m grateful for all of the good memories and music we made.”

He concluded the heartfelt post by speaking directly to his late uncle: “It made me who I am today… I’ll meet you at the creek, whenever I get there, uncle Brad.” 

In addition, he posted a snap of a building with the words “Meet Me at the Creek” scrawled across it. The phrase is also one of Strings’ popular tunes from 2017. 

Well one thing I want to know, lord, is where we people go
When everything comes crashing to the ground
Meet me at the creek grab a beer and tap your feet
See that muddy water flowing down

Strings featured the song on his critically-acclaimed record, Turmoil and Tinfoil. If you haven’t given it a listen, I highly suggest you stop whatever it is you’re doing and stream it ASAP. 

If you’re newly initiated into the world of Billy Strings, you’ll soon learn that the 12-track record is nothing short of a masterpiece. 

His lyrics and playing are beautifully honest and forthright, even when it’s not pretty (see “Dealing Despair,” “While I’m Waitin’ Here.”) 

As a fourth-generation bluegrass player, he spent his formative years understanding the ins and outs of the genre thanks to his tight-knit family. They introduced him to legends of classical bluegrass, such as Doc Watson, Bill Monroe, and Earl Scruggs. 

Although he nailed technical skill at an astonishingly young age, he also learned that pickin’ meant fostering a sense of fellowship. He soon understood the value of jamming with his family, friends, and strangers as a way to form meaningful, lasting connections.