Billy Strings fans, it’s time to get excited. He just announced a brand new studio album that will be packed to the brim with traditional bluegrass. To make things even better, Billy’s dad Terry Barber joined him for the album. The aptly titled ME/AND/DAD will hit shelves and streaming services on November 18 via Rounder Records.
This isn’t just going to be a great album for fans of Strings or bluegrass lovers. It’s a big deal for Billy Strings and his dad as well. Terry isn’t Billy’s biological father, but he raised him like his own son. More relevant to the conversation at hand though, is the fact that Terry taught Billy how to play guitar. That’s right, we have Terry Barber to thank for all of the great music Strings has released over the years.
Terry Barber was an accomplished bluegrass musician and singer before he married String’s mom. By the time Billy Strings was four years old, Terry put a guitar in his hands and started teaching him the basics. Before long, the young boy was playing with musicians four decades his senior and holding his own.
“As long as I can remember, I wanted to make a record with my dad,” Billy Strings said. “I’ve been burning up and down the highways the last 12 years and as time slips away, you start thinking ‘I need to make time.’ It’s been a bucket list thing for me, something I’ve been afraid I wouldn’t find the time to do. That scared me. Not doing this record scared me.”
Watch the video for “Long Journey Home” below. You can almost feel the joy coming off of both Strings and Barber in waves as they pick, grin, and sing the hell out of this traditional tune.
Billy Strings and Terry Barber Enlisted an All-Star Band
Billy Strings and Terry Barber are a powerhouse duo. So, they had to assemble a killer backing band. According to Jambase, they brought in Ronnie McCoury (mandolin), Rob McCoury (banjo), and Jason Carter (fiddle) from the Travelin’ McCourys. Additionally, Strings and Barber enlisted award-winning bluegrass bassist Mike Bub to hold down the low end. In the past, Bub played with the Travelin’ McCourys, Tony Rice, Vince Gill, and plenty more. Dobro player Jerry Douglas and fiddler Michael Cleveland will also be on the record. Check out their cover of George Jones’ “Life to Go” below.
That’s one hell of a band. However, maybe the most exciting person to be featured on the record is Debra Barber, Billy Strings’ mother. She’ll join her husband and son on the album’s closing track, “Heard My Mother Weeping.”
If you’re itching to hear Billy and his dad perform together check out Family Strings below. It features Barber and Strings playing together in Traverse City, Michigan and it’ll bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eye.
- Long Journey Home (traditional)
- Life to Go (George Jones)
- Way Downtown (Doc Watson)
- Little Blossom (Hank Thompson)
- Peartree (Watson, Gaither Carlton)
- Stone Walls and Steel Bars (Ray Pennington, Roy Eugene Marcum)
- Little White Church (Eugene Wellman)
- Dig a Little Deeper in the Well (Jody Emerson, Roger Bowling)
- Wandering Boy (A.P. Carter)
- John Deere Tractor (Lawrence Hammond)
- Frosty Morn (traditional)
- I Haven’t Seen Mary in Years (Damon Black)
- Little Cabin Home on the Hill (Lester Flatt, Bill Monroe)
- Heard My Mother Weeping feature Debra Barber (Carl Story, Lowell Blanchard)