Photo Credit: Ismael Quintanilla III (left), Alyssa Leicht (right)

On Thursday, headliner Billy Strings and folk singer-songwriter Sierra Ferrell swapped sit-ins during their independently billed sets at the Hinterland Music Festival in Saint Charles, Iowa. Jambase initially reported that the two musicians previously collaborated on Ferrell’s 2021 track “Bells of Every Chapel,” which appeared on her debut album, Long Time Coming

Before Strings’ evening set, the bluegrass golden boy surprised concert-goers at Ferrell’s show, which took place at the Avenue of the Saints Amphitheatre, the new location of the Hinterland Music Festival. Strings lent his skills on guitar during a take on Foggy Mountain Boys, Flatt & Scruggs’ seminal number, “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down.” 

Later in the night, Ferrell reciprocated the favor by joining Strings during his set, offering her refined and boisterous vocals to a take on “One Loaf of Bread.” Then, the West Virginia native uttered the lyrics to The Stanely Brothers’ “I Don’t Want Your Ramblin’ Letters,” which marked Strings’ fifth take on the beloved number. 

Strings’ set also included a three-song solo, where the musician’s band left the stage, giving the him an opportunity to flex an independent take on a couple of tunes that occurred in the place of what would have been his set break. Strings’ unaccompanied selection of songs began with a rendition of “Cocaine Blues” before moving into a cover of “Little Sadie.” Then for his final solo number, Strings debuted a cover of the traditional “Nobody’s Business.”

Watch a clip from Strings and Ferrell’s sit-ins, and view images from the performances below.

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Billy Strings 

Hinterland Music Festival – Saint Charles, Iowa 

Aug. 4, 2022 

Set: The Tall Tall Grass*, The Fire on My Tongue > Must Be Seven > The Likes of Me^, Pyramid Country > Little Maggie&, Heartbeat of America, John Deere Tractor+, Fire Line, The Old Mountaineer$, Dust in a Baggie, Cocaine Blues=, Little Sadie=, Nobody’s Business?=, Know It All, One Loaf of Bread!, I Don’t Want Your Ramblin’ Letters!


* John Hartford cover 

^ Jerry Reed cover 

& Traditional 

+ Larry Sparks cover 

$ Hector Varela cover 

@ The Dillards cover 

! With Sierra Ferrell 

? Debut

= Strings solo