Billy Strings Shares Backstory Of Iconic “Dust In A Baggie” Basement Video

Billy Strings country music
This Past Weekend Podcast

This video is how millions of people, myself included, became familiar with Billy Strings.

The man more responsible for the recent resurgence of bluegrass than any other stopped by Theo Von’s podcast recently and gave a stream of consciousness and stories that is truly a wild ride. From his Grammys experience to all sorts of drugs to playing guitar for 48 straight hours after smoking meth, this conversation has a little bit of everything and I still haven’t quite gotten to the end yet, so who knows what else is in store.

But one thing I was hoping they’d get around to was the now iconic video of young Billy playing his most popular song “Dust In A Baggy” in what looks like a shabby basement that’s racked up over 29 million views.

If you don’t know it or just want to listen to perfection once more, let’s roll the tape.

Pure bluegrass beauty.

Fortunately for us, that video does get brought up and Billy sets the table for what was happening in that moment.

Theo and he were talking about methheads panning for gold in a river (because of course they were) when Theo asks if he ever wrote a song about the topic, to which Billy says:

“No, not about panning for Gold but I wrote one called “Dust In A Baggie,” that’s about Brad Lasco man. He just passed away a couple years ago too man. That ‘Me And Dad’ record, we dedicated it to Brad.”

At this point, the producer brings up the iconic video and Theo asks if this is the video for the song and if the guy in the background that people have come to love is Brad, to which Billy responds:

“No, that’s a video for it. I wouldn’t play it… But no that’s a famous video now because of that guy in the background, Barefoot Ben. We were all on mushrooms that night, we were sitting in my friend Gina’s basement and were all picking songs.

And there’s a big party upstairs, everybody was drunk but we were all tripping so we wanted to go downstairs and be quiet and get away from all the drunks. So we were sitting down there in that basement pickin’ tunes. 

And yeah, Barefoot Ben there, he was like the only hippie in like Ionia, you know what I mean? I mean I guess there was a couple like skater kids but he was like barefoot at every party wearing tie-dye. People called him Barefoot Ben or Hippie… He was like the only hippie around. 

But he was at every party, he was at every party, and it was like “How did you get here? Like who do you know here?” Just every party he was there and this video, we’re tripping and I’m just playing these songs, and he’s smoking an unlit cigarette and he keeps hitting it like it’s lit and I don’t think he knows it. 

If you look at the comments on that, it’s hilarious. They’re talking about Ben like “This dude looks like he’s standing there giving out side quests.”  

Shoutout Ben! Hope you’re doing good buddy!”

The scene for that video is kind of exactly what I assumed it would be. Can you imagine tripping on mushrooms, walking downstairs, and Billy freaking Strings is tearing up the guitar? Talk about an ethereal experience…

I go back to this video so often and I’m glad to know the backstory of Barefoot Ben. Big shoutout to all the hippies that just show up at parties out there. You guys are the backbone of this great nation.

He talks about this at the 1:01:01 mark of the podcast.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock