Why a surprise? Because the current king of bluegrass himself, Billy Strings, has officially announced today that he has a new album in the works, titled Me/And/Dad, and it’s dropping on November 18th.
He shared via Twitter:
“Me/And/Dad: the next album, out November 18th Listen to the first 2 tracks and preorder merch now: billystrings.com”
A collaborative album with his stepfather, Terry Barber, Me/And/Dad was produced by Strings and Gary Paczosa and recorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studio.
“As long as I can remember, I wanted to make a record with my dad. I’ve been burning up and down the highways the last 12 years, and as time slips away, you start thinking, ‘I need to make time.’
It’s been a bucket list thing for me, something I’ve been afraid I wouldn’t find the time to do. And that scared me; not doing this record scared me.”
In addition to Strings and Barber on guitar, the album features bassist Mike Bub, mandolinist Ron McCoury, banjo player Rob McCoury and fiddler Michael Cleveland as well as special guest appearances by Jerry Douglas, Jason Carter and even Strings’ mother, Debra Barber, who sings on the final track, “I Heard My Mother Weeping.”
The tracklist is comprised of a number of classic country and bluegrass tunes that he grew up playing with his stepfather.
1. Long Journey Home (bluegrass traditional)
2. Life To Go (written by George Jones)
3. Way Downtown (written by Doc Watson)
4. Little Blossom (written by Hank Thompson)
5. Peartree (written by Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson, Gaither Carlton)
6. Stone Walls and Steel Bars (written by Ray Pennington, Roy Eugene Marcum)
7. Little White Church (written by Eugene Wellman)
8. Dig A Little Deeper (In The Well) (written by Jody Emerson, Roger Bowling)
9. Wandering Boy (written by A.P. Carter)
10. John Deere Tractor (written by Lawrence Hammond)
11. Frosty Morn (bluegrass traditional)
12. I Haven’t Seen Mary In Years (written by Damon Black)
13. Little Cabin Home On The Hill (written by Lester Flatt, Bill Monroe)
14. Heard My Mother Weeping (written by Carl Story, Lowell Blanchard)
The two songs he released today are “Long Journey Home,” a bluegrass traditional first recorded by The Monroe Brothers, and “Life To Go,” written by the great George Jones.