Billy Strings Feels London Calling, Rocking the House

by Lauren Boisvert
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(Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Americana Music Association)

Billy Strings recently brought the house down with what he called a “raucous” show in London on March 26. He played at Rough Trade East, an old brewery in London turned music venue. He posted a video on Instagram recently showing a clip from the show, highlighting the enthusiastic crowd.

“Thanks for a raucous time at @roughtradeeast !!!” he wrote in the caption. He’s playing his next two sold-out shows at Islington Assembly Hall, also in London. Billy Strings is on an epic tour right now, one that spans from North America to Europe and back again. He started in February 2022 in New York and announced a European tour for later this year. On March 26, he started his tour of London and is returning to the US for the North American leg of the tour. On November 29, he’s headed to Norway for his European tour through December.

Speaking of the Rough Trade show, Billy Strings tried out a new Beatles cover there, performing the classic “I’ve Just Seen a Face.” Strings is a huge Beatles fan and plays a cover at nearly every show. Apparently, the Beatles sound great in his signature bluegrass style.

Strings loves to perform tributes to his inspirations at his shows, and he has a well-rounded collection of muses. Everything from the Beatles to Cher, to Jimi Hendrix. “I never set out to be the best singer,” Strings has said. “My goal was just to master expressing myself through bluegrass music and so many of those players just sing how they talk. When I grew up, I learned that I liked Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin, so that influenced me too.”

Billy Strings Talks Influences on His Music

Billy Strings’ influences are wide and varied, and although he performs bluegrass now, he’s said that when he first started out he was in a metal band. It’s clear that this experience influenced his stage presence.

“I never learned how to perform in a bluegrass band,” Strings has said. “I learned how to perform in a metal band, I learned music by playing bluegrass when I was a little kid. But by the time I was doing it on stage, it was in a metal band. We were headbanging and running all over the place. I still can’t help but get into the music like that. I can’t just stand there and play.”

He also cites Pink Floyd as a huge influence. “The psychedelia of Pink Floyd was really interesting, you know. Like as a young kid with a very imaginative mind, listening to the album ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ was like watching a movie.”

Billy Strings is a prime example of inspiration coming from everywhere. Strings is a well-rounded artist with influences from all over, and he gratefully allows his varied interests to shape how he performs. It definitely makes for a fun show.

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