Billy Strings stopped by The Factory in Deep Ellum in Dallas on Saturday. The guitarist and his band welcomed Texas singer-songwriter Paul Cauthen for covers from the Grateful Dead and Merle Haggard to wrap up their three-night swing through Texas.
Strings and company — mandolinist Jarrod Walker, bassist Royal Masat and banjo player Billy Failing — kicked off the show with “Red Daisy’ from their Grammy-nominated 2021 album Renewal. The first set continued with a paring of “Taking Water” and Renewal’s “Ice Bridges.”
The first frame also contained Renewal tracks “In The Morning Light” and “Hellbender” along with covers from bluegrass greats including Bill Monroe’s “Southern Flavor,” Ralph Stanley’s ”Robin Built a Nest On Daddy’s Grave,” John Hartford’s “Today” and Bill Emerson’s “Home Of The Red Fox.” The latter coupled with the traditional “John Hardy” stretched to nearly 17 minutes. After “Wargasm,” Billy closed out the first set with the Johnny Cash-popularized “Cocaine Blues.”
Strings got the second set underway with the staple cover “Slow Train” before embarking on an expansive section beginning with “While I’m Waiting Here.” “Pyramind Country” then encompassed a cover of JJ Cale’s “Ride Me High” on the eve of Cale’s birthday. “Show Me The Door” capped off the seamless section. Following “Must Be Seven,” Billy welcomed Tyler, Texas native Paul Cauthen for a cover of the Grateful Dead-covered, Merle Haggard classic “Mama Tried.” Paul would stick around for one of the Grateful Dead’s own classics, “Friend of the Devil.” Cauthen sang lead on “FOTD” with Billy adding high harmonies.
“Hollow Heart” then led into “Remington Ride” by Texas Playboys steel guitar great Herb Remington. The second set came to a close with Renewal’s “Hide And Seek.” Billy and his band returned for an encore beginning with the debut of the Father of Country Music Jimmie Rodgers’ “Blue Yodel No 1 (T For Texas)” for the Lone Star State audience ahead of “Long Gone” to close out the evening.
Watch video of “Long Gone” and listen to the entire show via HealthCov Chris below:
Setlist (via Billy Strings Setlist Page)
Set One: Red Daisy, Taking Water > Ice Bridges, In The Morning Light, Southern Flavor, Hellbender , Robin Built a Nest on Daddy’s Grave, Home of the Red Rox > John Hardy, Today, Wargasm, Cocaine Blues
Set Two: Slow Train, While I’m Waiting Here > Pyramid Country > Ride Me High > Pyramid Country > Show Me The Door, Must Be Seven, Mama Tried (1), Friend Of The Devil (1), Hollow Heart > Remington Ride, Hide & Seek
Encore: Blue Yodel No 1 (T For Texas) (2), Long Gone
(1) with Paul Cauthen
(2) FTP – Jimmie Rodgers