Billy Strings On The His “No Plan B” Mentality: “There’s No Option But To Succeed… If I Don’t, I’m F*cked”

Billy Strings country music
Jesse Faatz

Just about every aspiring country music artist has the dream of playing the mother church of country music, the Ryman Auditorium.

How could they not? Every massive name in the country music industry has played that stage in front of thousands and thousands of fans inside the stained glass venue.

However, the thought never came across the mind of one artist in particular, and it’s no other than Billy Strings.

Of course, it’s not because he didn’t want to, but because he thought the dream was way too big coming from his tiny town of Muir, Michigan.

He said in an interview with the Tennessean:

“I never thought (a venue like the Ryman) would be anything that was obtainable.

When I was growing up, playing, I was sittin’ around the house with my dad and these guys, the people I hang out with nowadays and stuff, were huge stars to us. They were like gods. Del McCoury, David Grisman, whoever.

I never thought I’d be able to play in those places. I knew it was a legendary spot because back when I was first learning about bluegrass I’d hear people like Jimmy Martin talking about his experience seeing Bill Monroe there for the first time.”

Except now the dream is a reality, as his unique spin on bluegrass and electric shows have produced a rabid fanbase, and landed him multiple sold out shows this Friday-Sunday at the Ryman.

Of course, he was headlining a sold out concert there in 2020, but was forced to livestream the event in front of an empty building due to the wake of COVID-19.

But for Billy, the thing that’s kept him going is having no “Plan B,” so to speak. In fact, “there’s no Plan B” is kind of a motto here at Whiskey Riff.

And whether you’re a business owner, an entertainer, or just anyone trying to make it in your respective field, that mentality can light a fire in you, keep you pushing forward and outworking the competition.

It’s served Billy well:

“It’s a necessity to keep this thing going. That’s why I’ve been gone for the last 10 years. I’m running from poverty. There’s no option but to succeed. If I don’t succeed, I’m fucked.

I don’t know what else I would do if I didn’t have music… this is all I got, man.” 

If music’s all he’s got, it sounds like he’s gonna be just fine.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock