Billy Strings debuted a pair of geographically appropriate covers during his Wednesday concert at The Riverside Theater in Milwaukee. The show featured takes on Jerry Lee Lewis’ “What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me)” and “Follow Me Down To The Riverside” from Jeff Austin’s time in Yonder Mountain String Band.
Strings, bassist Royal Masat, banjoist Billy Failing and mandolinist Jarrod Walker opened with their first “What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me).” Glenn Sutton wrote the song that Jerry Lee Lewis originally released in 1968. Fan favorite “Dust In A Baggie” came next before covers of Chris Henry’s “West Dakota Rose” and The Dillards’ “There Is A Time.” A pair of red songs followed in original “Red Daisy” and the traditional “Red Rocking Chair.”
Last night’s first set continued with Failing’s “So Many Miles” and a quick romp through Gordon Lightfoot’s “Ten Degrees & Getting Colder,” a song featuring a reference to Milwaukee last played by the quartet on September 11, 2020. Strings and his bandmates capped the frame with an expansive “Turmoil & Tinfoil” that included “Follow Me Down To The Riverside” within.
The four-piece worked “Fire Line” from Strings’ recently released Renewal album into the traditional “Reuben’s Train” to get Wednesday’s second set underway. It was then back to Renewal for “Running The Route” and “Hellbender.” Covers of Jeff Austin’s “Run Down” and the traditional “Shady Grove” followed. Renewal’s “Show Me The Door” and “Hide & Seek” bookended the final segment of the set, which also featured takes on Bill Emerson’s “Home Of The Red Fox,” Flatt & Scruggs’ “Bringin’ In The Georgia Mail” and Elizabeth Cotten’s “Oh Babe, It Ain’t No Lie.”
Billy Strings ended the night with Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue” as the encore. The guitarist brings his band to St. Paul, Minnesota for a two-night stand that starts tonight. Watch fan-shot video from last night, including the beginning of “Turmoil & Tinfoil” along with the “Follow Me Down To Riverside” premiere, below:
Setlist (via Billy Strings Set List Page)
Set One: What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me) (1), Dust in a Baggie, West Dakota Rose, There is a Time, Red Daisy, Red Rocking Chair, So Many Miles, 10 Degrees and Getting Colder > Turmoil & Tinfoil > Follow Me Down to the Riverside (2) > Turmoil & Tinfoil
Set Two: Fire Line > Reuben’s Train > Running the Route, Hellbender, Rundown, Shady Grove, Show Me the Door, Home of the Red Fox > Bringing in the Georgia Mail, Oh Babe, It Ain’t No Lie, Hide & Seek (3)
Encore: Tangled Up in Blue
- (1) Debut – Glenn Sutton/Jerry Lee Lewis
- (2) Debut – Jeff Austin/Yonder Mountain String Band
- (3) Riverside tease