Billy Strings in Washington, DC [Photos/Videos/Audio]

Over the weekend, Billy Strings paid a visit to his constituents in Washington, DC with a two-night term the anthem. The Strings’ return to the arena in our country’s capital saw two consecutive debuts on the second night.

A night one, Strings and his bandmates Billy fails (Banjo), Jarrod Walker (Mandolin), Royal Masat (bass) and Alex Hargreaves (Fiddle) threw in some references to the lawmakers next door and arrived with a fiery “wargasm” in the first set. Between covers of Bill Emerson, Ralph Stanley, Gordon Lightfoot, and more, Strings included an apt run through the traditional “white house blues” in set two. Strings only performed the cover once more a little over a year ago at the same venue on November 13, 2021. “White House Blues” led to a final rebuke from the political ruling class with a transition to the Robert Jaeger-from the pen “Thunder”.

Billy Strings – Fire On My Tongue > Secrets [Pro-Shot] – 18.11.22

Later that evening, Strings dedicated an encore of five songs to his father. Terry Barberwith which he released an album that day, I/and/fatheras well as his mother Deb Apostol, which is also represented in the cover collection. The encore consisted entirely of covers of the album, including “Long Journey Home”, “Stone Walls & Steel Bars”, “John Deere Tractor”, “Peartree” and “Dig A Little Deeper In The Well”, closing the show with one healthy, family-friendly touch.

Also See: Billy Strings Joins Dopapod For Tour Closer In DC With Members Of PPPP&P-Funk [Videos]

Strings and company returned on the second night, ready to wrap up their fall tour dates. After delivering a cover-heavy first set of 14 songs, Billy took the stage solo to kick off the second with two new compositions. First was an instrumental titled “Mackinac Rag” which takes on a traditional style similar to the other “rags” (“Black Mountain Rag”, “Beaumont Rag”, etc.). Next was “Catch & Release,” which Billy released as a standalone single last month. Another stylistic experiment, this autobiographical number takes on a talking blues format found in American folk music.

Billy Strings – “Dust In A Baggie”, “A Robin Built A Nest On Daddy’s Grave” (Earl Sykes) [Pro-Shot] – 19.11.22

Billy Strings – “Mackinac Rag”, “Catch & Release”, “Freeborn Man” (Keith Allison, Mark Lindsay) – 11/19/22

[Video: Derek Gobble]

When Billy finally returned for the encore, he again took a stripped down approach, being joined only by Jarrod for the traditional “Feast Here Tonight (Rabbit In A Log)”. Huddled around a single mic, the two were eventually joined for “Freedom” and finally joined by the rest of the band Doyle Neikirk and Jimmy Martin‘s “Tennessee”.

After Saturday night’s show, Billy Strings made his way to the nearby area Union stage to sit with dopapod on the group’s closing tour encore, “Eight Years Ended.” Here you will find videos, photos and a complete overview of this show.

Check out a gallery of DC images courtesy of the photographer sunbeam/Josh Hitchens. The two-night run marked String’s last US shows until his New Year’s Eve run in New Orleans. In the meantime, he and his bandmates will be traversing Europe and the UK. Tickets and a full list of tour dates can be found on his website.

Setlist: Billy Strings | The Anthem | Washington, D.C. | 11/18/22

Set One: The Fire On My Tongue > Secrets, West Dakota Rose (Chris Henry), Fire Line, Reuben’s Train (Traditional), Gone A Long Time, Slipstream (Béla Fleck) [1]Hellbender, Wargasm, Home Of The Red Fox (Bill Emerson) > Ridin’ That Midnight Train (Ralph Stanley)

Set Two: Know It All, Heartbeat Of America, Cold On The Shoulder (Gordon Lightfoot), Ernest T. Grass (Ronnie Bowman, Dan Tyminski) > White House Blues (Traditional) [2] > Thunder (Robert Hunter), Show Me The Door, The Old Mountaineer (Bill Monroe), Ain’t Nothing To Me (Leon Payne), Highway Hypnosis

Encore: Long Journey Home (Traditional) [3]Stone Walls & Steel Bars (Roy Marcum, Ray Pennington), John Deere Tractor (Lawrence Hammond), Peartree (Doc Watson, Gaither Carlton), Dig A Little Deeper In The Well (Roger Bowling, Jody Emerson)

[1] Uncle John’s choice

[2] LTP 11/13/21 (118 shows) at The Anthem

[3] Billy dedicated the encore to his father Terry Barber (and mother Deb Apostol) in honor of their album release today

Setlist: Billy Strings | The Anthem | Washington, D.C. | 19.11.22

Set 1: Dust In A Baggie, A Robin Built A Nest On Daddy’s Grave (Earl Sykes), On The Line > Train 45 (Traditional), While I’m Waiting Here, Long Forgotten Dream, I’m Still Here (John Hartford ) > Everything is the same, nothing works, New Races in Camptown (Frank Wakefield) > Unwanted Love (Reno & Smiley and the Gang), Old Train (Nikki Pedersen, Herb Pedersen), Riot & Tinfoil, Uncle Pen (Bill Monroe & His bluegrass boys)

Set 2: Mackinac Rag [1] [2]catch and release [1] [2]Freeborn Man (Keith Allison, Mark Lindsay), Taking Water > Ice Bridges, Love Like Me, Whisper My Name (Ebo Walker), Hide & Seek, My Alice, Blue Mule (Peter Rowan), This Old World, Bronzeback, Psycho ( Eddie Payne), Away from the Swamp

Encore: Feast Here Tonight (Rabbit In A Log) [3] (Traditional), freedom [4]Tennessee [4] (Doyle Neikirk, Jimmy Martin)

[1] FTP William Apostol
[2] Billy Strings solo
[3] Billy Strings and Jarrod Walker Duo, single mic
[4] Single Microphone


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