Photo by Jesse Faatz

On Friday night, Billy Strings kicked off his three-night stand at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The first night of Strings’ Music City stand saw a monstrous 16-song first set that ended with a five-tune guitar-heavy sit-in with Bryan Sutton. Strings kept the heat on blast Saturday night when Bobby Weir joined for the second set of the show. The duo delivered 12 Grateful Dead standards, including Strings’ first-ever take on “Wake Up Little Susie.” (Weir had not covered The Everly Brothers classic since a June 2, 2012 show with Chris Robinson and Jackie Greene.)

Night one began with Strings’ third ever cover of Dick Burnett’s classic folk tune “Man of Constant Sorrows,” followed by an “Everything’s the Same” get down. Next, the band slowed things down with a sweet take on “While I’m Waiting Here,” which segued into a complete showcase of talent on “Pyramid Country.” Then, Strings played his way into Greensky Bluegrass’ “A Letter to Seymour.” 

The first set continued with a tender “Nothing’s Working” off 2021’s Renewal, ahead of “Red Daisy” and 2019’s “Love Like Me.” Next, Strings covered New Grass Revival’s “Whisper My Name” and continued with a take on J.J. Cale’s “Ride Me High” into a soulful “Away From the Mire.” 

For Strings’ cover of the traditional number “Beaumont Rag,” he welcomed Sutton on stage to lend assistance on the fast-paced ditty. Next, the acoustic guitar prodigy stuck around for a cover of Bill Monroe’s “I’m Coming Back But I Don’t Know When,” followed by Strings’ Turmoil & Tinfoil tune, “Salty Sheep.” The sit-in continued with Grayson & Whitter’s bluegrass epic “Tom Dooley” and concluded with a take on Doc Watson’s “Way Downtown.”

Set two pick up with “Wargasm” followed by a cover of Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys’ “Southern Flavor,” which segued into “Dealing Despair.” Next up, Strings and the band performed a pretty take on “Show Me the Door” and continued with another tune off Renewal, “Secrets.” Then, the traditional tune “Red Rocking Chair” was performed ahead of “Slow Train” and The Dillards’ “Ernest T. Grass.” Finally, Strings took on Johnny Horton’s “Ole Slew-Foot” for the set’s last song. The band performed the title track off 2017’s Turmoil & Tinfoil for their encore. 

The second night of Strings’ three-night Ryman Auditorium stand picked up with a segued trio of tunes, which began with “Fire on My Tongue” into “Must Be Seven” and a take on Jerry Reed’s “The Likes of Me.” Next, the band covered Monroe’s classic “A Good Woman’s Love” ahead of “Thirst Mutilator,” which flowed into “Dust in a Baggie.”

Then, Strings and the band played a song off Renewal, “Fire Line,” which segued into the traditional number, “Reuben’s Train.” “In the Morning Light” came next before breaking into “Know It All.” Finally, they played “Meet Me at the River” for the last song of the first set. 

The second set opened with a surprise sit-in by Weir, who joined Strings for a take on The Everly Brothers turned Dead favorite, “Wake Up Little Susie.” The duo then performed “Dire Wolf,” before the band took the stage and joined in on “Cassidy.” Next up, Strings and his guest played the ballad “China Doll” ahead of a classic pairing of “Help on the Way” into “Slipknot!” 

Just as it seemed the set couldn’t get any better, they kicked it into high gear for a lively take on “Franklin’s Tower” before slowing things down with a heartfelt “Wharf Rat.” Then, Weir led the band through a cover of Jerry Garcia’s “Bird Song” before breaking into the Robert Hunter penned “To Lay Me Down.” For the last song of the second set, the ensemble performed a fitting “Tennessee Jed” before taking on “Brokedown Palace” as the night’s encore. 

Before sitting in with Strings, Weir had already had a busy weekend in Tennessee. The Grateful Dead cofounder joined Aaron Raitiere on two songs during his debut at the Grand Ole Opry on Friday, including a take on “Cold Soup,” which also featured the Oak Ridge Boys on backing vocals. Weir appears on Raitiere’s new album, Single Wide Dreamer, which was coproduced by Anderson East, who also joined the musician throughout his Opry set. (Since the Opry used to be recorded at The Ryman, Weir managed to play two venues closely associated with the popular country program in the span of a day.)

Tonight, Strings will perform the third and final stand at the Ryman Auditorium for this leg of his tour. Tickets are is available and can be purchased here

Livestream options for tonight’s show are available and can be purchased via

Billy Strings 

Ryman Auditorium– Nashville

May 6, 2022 

Set I: Man of Constant Sorrows, Everything’s the Same, While I’m Waiting Here > Pyramid Country > A Letter to Seymour, Nothing’s Working, Red Daisy, Love Like Me, Whisper My Name, Ride Me High > Away From the Mire, Beaumont Rag*, I’m Coming Back But I Don’t Know When*, Salty Sheep*, Tom Dooley*, Way Downtown* 

Set II: Wargasm, Southern Flavor > Dealing Despair, Show Me the Door, Secrets, Slow Train, Ernst T. Grass > Ole Slew-Foot

Enc: Turmoil & Tinfoil


* Bryan Sutton on guitar

Billy Strings 

Ryman Auditorium– Nashville

May 7, 2022 

Set I: Fire on My Tongue > Must Be Seven > The Like of Me, A Good Woman’s Love, Thirst Mutilator > Dust in a Baggie, Fire Line > Reuben’s Train, In the Morning Light, Know It All, Meet Me at the Creek

Set II: Wake Up Little Susie, Dire Wolf, Cassidy, China Doll, Help on the Way > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower, Wharf Rat > Bird Song, To Lay Me Down, Tennessee Jed 

Enc.: Brokedown Palace


*  Weir and Strings duo

+ with Weir, full band