Last night, Billy Strings once again shined during his tenure as one of the artists on the road with Willie Nelson’s Outlaw Music Festival tour, this time at the Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater in Bridgeport, Conn. During the penultimate song of the legendary outlaw country artist’s set, Nelson welcomed Strings and his bandmates for a pair of songs.
The performance took place following sets by Brittney Spencer, Larkin Poe, Particle Kid and Strings. Like the sit-in during their stop at the Ameris Bank Amphitheatre in Alpharetta, Ga., the bluegrass golden boy emerged for a paring of “I’ll Fly Away” and “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?” This time around, Strings’ bandmates and friends banjoist Billy Failing, mandolinist Jarrod Walker, bassist Royal Masat and fiddler Alex Hargreaves assisted by adding backing vocals. A highlight of the set was Shotgun Willie shouting, “Play it, Billy!” before Strings broke into the first of his two solos during the set.
Earlier in the day, Strings shared a 14-song set, with an opening pairing of “Slow Train” and “This Old World,” before they moved from The Dillards’ “Ernest T. Grass” into the traditional “Little Maggie.” Strings and company then jammed into “Nothing’s Working” off 2021’s Renewal and a cover of New Grass Revival’s “Whisper My Name.” The set continued with takes-off Home, covers and a set-closing run, which featured John Hartford’s “With A Vamp In The Middle,” “Dust In A Baggie,” and “Wargasm.”
Strings will join the Outlaw Music Festival tour for two more shows. First in Mansfield, Mass. on Friday, Sept. 16, before a performance in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Sunday, Sept. 18.
Watch a fan-captured video of Strings, Nelson and company below.