The press around Billy Strings is not slowing down.
With his recent announcement of his album, Me/And/Dad, Billy Strings has had some great time in the press. Most recently, an interview for CBS Sunday Morning.
Conor Knighton sat down to talk to Strings more about his childhood, growing up in the music, and how he is shaping the future of bluegrass.
Knighton notes as he opens the interview:
“The speed at which Billy Strings files his fingers across the strings of his guitar is stupifying.”
They sit down and discuss how Strings knew since kindergarten that he wanted to be a bluegrass player.
Growing up in Michigan, born William Apostol, he quickly got the name Billy Strings for playing guitars nearly as big as he was with other great musicians. His stepfather, Terry Barber, played a massive role in Strings’ musical development.
He taught Strings’ how to play and often sat in on the parties his dad would play at in the trailer park he grew up in.
As the parties never seemed to end, Strings was exposed to the dark reality of drug addiction in the community, including his parents.
After seeing this, he moved out of the house at 13 to avoid falling into addiction.
Once he moved out of the house, Strings started playing with metal bands. Although a short stint, it was fundamental in curating his version of bluegrass.
“I learned how to play music by playing bluegrass…but I learned how to perform in a metal band.”
He brings this energy into his way of performing, breaking the traditional stoic stance that generations of bluegrass players used.
His now cult-like following not only appreciated the light he sheds on this traditional sound but live for the high energy and jam-band style performances.
You never know what you will get at a Strings show, which is exciting.
The album that is dropping next month with his father not only celebrates and highlights great bluegrass covers but also shows the power of music in a relationship.
Now sober, Terry Barber shares a great relationship with Strings and sits in on some shows with him.
The two singles for the album that dropped, “Long Journey Home” and “Life To Go,” are phenomenal, and I am thrilled to hear the rest of the tunes when it drops.