Photo by Jesse Faatz

Last night, Billy Strings closed out his three-night stint at the Iroquois Amphitheater in Louisville, Ky. During the set, the bluegrass golden boy fit in a collection of tracks by one of his most revered influences, the state’s very own “Father of Bluegrass” Blue Monroe – including a few debuts.

Strings and his band–comprised of Strings, Royal Masat (bass), Jarrod Walker (mandolin), Billy Failing (banjo) and Alex Hargreaves (fiddle)–kicked off the closing show with “Taking Water” off Strings’ 2019 Grammy Award-winning LP Home. He continued with more recent inspired material, “Ice Bridges” and “Secrets,” both off 2021’s Renewal. Next, the ensemble moved into their first homage to Monroe and debut of the evening, “Older Dangerfield,” before moving back into original material with “Love & Regret.” The set continued with the second cover of the evening, “With a Vamp in the Middle,” which had only been placed once before by Strings–back in 2019 during his String The Halls Two holiday concert in Nashville, Tenn. The Hartford flavorings open the floodgates for Monroe’s Southern Flavor” before Strings and company moved through “Red Daisy,” “Nothing’s Working,” and “This Old World.” The final track flowed into “Black Mountain Rag” before they closed the first set with their hit song “Turmoil & Tinfoil.”

The second set launched with a debut of “Molly & Tenbrooks,” a traditional Monroe and his band released in 1949, also known as “The Racehorse Song.” The second and final Monroe debut cover was followed by a pairing of “Thirst Mutilator” into “Running,” then “Watch It Fall.” Following the latter two tracks, which both appeared on Home, the ensemble dished out a pair of covers: Chris Henry’s “West Dakota Rose” and Flatt & Scruggs’ “Doin’ My Time,” which melded into “On The Line.” They continued with a few other cuts from Home, including “Love Like Me,” “Longforgotten Dream,” and the project’s title track.

The quartet then moved into a handful of Monroe covers, including “Uncle Pen” and “Dusty Miller,” which was followed by their first rendition of Jimmie Davis’ “Shackles & Chains” since May 26, 2019. The five-piece closed their show and said farewell to Louisville with on final cover, Danny Barnes Pretty Daughter.”

Billy Strings
Iroquois Amphitheater – Louisville, Ky.
July 25, 2022

Set I: Taking Water > Ice Bridges, Secrets, Old Dangerfield [1], Love & Regret, With A Vamp In The Middle > Southern Flavor, Red Daisy, Nothing’s Working, This Old World > Black Mountain Rag, Turmoil & Tinfoil

Set II: Molly And Tenbrooks [1], Thirst Mutilator > Running, Watch It Fall, West Dakota Rose, Doin’ My Time > On The Line, Love Like Me, Long Forgotten Dream, Home, Uncle Pen, Dusty Miller, Shackles & Chains, Pretty Daughter

[1] – First Time Played