If you’ve been listening to Billy Strings for a while, you know his repertoire is deep. When you look at his first releases with mandolinist Don Julin, browse videos of him playing on YouTube, or check out a live show, you’ll see that Strings has a massive songbook in his mind. Outside of his stack of original songs, Billy has been known to pick countless traditional tunes and has turned out covers of artists like Doc Watson, The Grateful Dead, George Jones, and countless others. This internal songbook ensures that he has the perfect song for just about any occasion.
Friday night, Billy Strings and his band took the stage at Zilker Park for the Austin City Limits Music Festival. They kicked off their set with a ripping cover of “Hello City Limits” from The Kentuckians. It didn’t take long to see that Strings once again had the perfect song for the occasion. Check out a fan-recorded video of the band shredding “Hello City Limits” and the IBMA Song of the Year “Red Daisy” below.
“Hello city limits, I see your sign / Left all my worries way behind. / Left all my troubles and heartaches there, too. / Hello city limits, I’m startin’ out brand new,” he sings in the opening verse, setting the tone for his set and the rest of the festival.
Johnny Elgin and Benny Martin co-penned “Hello City Limits” and The Kentuckians released it in 1965. Listen to their version of the track in the video below.
Billy Strings Readies Father-Son Album
For the past two years, Billy Strings has been burning up the highway and leaving an indelible mark on the bluegrass world. His guitar skills and songwriting have brought him more attention than he ever could have imagined. However, he wouldn’t be the guitar-slaying star we all know and love without the help of his dad, Terry Barber. Strings would be the first to tell you that he has Barber to thank for his chops.
Terry Barber married Billy Strings’ mother when Billy was very young. By the time he was six, Terry was teaching him to play guitar. Over the years, the two bonded over their shared love of playing music. Now, Strings is commemorating that with a new album titled ME/AND/DAD.
The father-son collaboration will be out in November. However, they’ve already released two songs from the upcoming record. They covered the traditional song “Long Journey Home” and George Jones’ “Life to Go.”
2021’s Renewal saw Billy Strings and his band experimenting with some new sounds. However, it seems that ME/AND/DAD will be a traditional-leaning bluegrass album. Check out the official video of their rendition of “Long Journey Home” below to see what’s in store.