Billy Strings Shows Off Influences With Covers of The Beatles, Grateful Dead

by Jonathan Howard
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(Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Americana Music Association)

In case you thought you knew what influences Billy Strings, check out these covers he performed recently in Cleveland, Ohio. While he exudes country and bluegrass sounds, there is more behind the pickers’ music than just those genres. Like most artists, he pulls inspiration from a wide array of sounds.

Fans that were in attendance at the KeyBank State Theatre had a great exhibition of those influences. He played everything from The Beatles to Cher, Grateful Dead, and more. Fans got a treat of Ralph and Carter Stanley’s Sharecropper’s Son. If you have been to a Billy Strings concert, then you know these covers aren’t out of the ordinary.

Even if he makes it a regular thing, these are still impressive covers for an artist that can sometimes be cast aside as one-dimensional by those that don’t pay attention. While he sticks to that banjo and guitar Bluegrass sound in his own music a lot of times, he can expand and perform just about anything.

One of Billy Strings’ best covers has to be his take on Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix. Last year, he played a show on the late rocker’s birthday and wowed the crowd with his ability to bring the intensity on guitar and vocals. Right now, the artist is traveling all over and gearing up for a huge summer tour. He even has a Red Rocks show scheduled that is going to be a hard and expensive ticket to come by, I imagine.

Even if his summer tour isn’t starting for a while, he is still playing shows all over. He was able to perform with Bob Weir, former member of Grateful Dead, and also with Les Claypool of Primus. Performances like that are big for the singer-songwriter.

Billy Strings Finishes Show with 7-Song Encore Including Covers

It was just last week when Billy Strings was up on stage in Madison, Wisconsin playing some Grateful Dead covers and more. He had just started a three-night stay in Madison and he had to start with a bang. That included a 7-song encore full of original songs and covers.

When you go to a Strings concert, you know that you are going to get the best from the performer. He puts it all out there on the stage every night it seems. He can’t take nights off, his mind or body just won’t let him. With quick-paced bluegrass songs thrown in with some sad country ballads, and not to mention some unique cover songs… how can you go wrong?

If you want to catch one of these covers live, you gotta get a ticket to a Billy Strings show. He has a lot of tour dates coming up, but tickets have started to sell out already for some dates and venues. The Grammy-nominated artist is set to have a huge year in 2022.

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