Billy Cordes and his band returned to Moody Theater at ACL Live on Friday evening for a culmination of jamgrass of iconic proportions. The last time the band was in Austin, they put on a recording and performance at the legendary Lone Star, the capital. Live ACL, but what else would you expect from Grammy-winning musicians for “Best Bluegrass Album”?
Tastes of the reigning king almost a hundred years old Earl scruggs influences from heavy metal icons Black sabbath, the seasoned quartet has lapped into the âLive Music Capital of the Worldâ in the name of unwavering âmusic magicâ.
Guillaume Apostol (guitar / voice / banjo), Billy’s failure (banjo / voice / piano), Jarrod walker (mandolin / voice / guitar), and Masat royal (bass / vocals) graced the stage to create another mind-blowing night of limit-pushing strings. Masat ran production from the start, holding the bottom line steady to chart the heartbeat for the evening. The group catapulted the night into the stratosphere with a traditional “Beaumont Rag”, popularized by Doctor Watson. Showcasing their time-tested Bluegrass roots, Strings casually greeted the raving crowd as the band cascaded into “The Fire on My Tongue,” a direct 2021 issue. Renewal.
Billy Strings – “Fire on My Tongue” (partial) – 12/3/21
[Video: Sydney Paschall]
With a hanging rain of LED light sticks supporting the quartet throughout the show, the group quickly established an unprecedented but easily welcome bar for the evening’s direction. The thirsty crowd soaked up every last drop of the Strings sponge like a wild ride presented Brother Stanley‘s “How Mountain Girls Can Love”. Billy Failing reminded the scene why some eagerly view him as comparable to people like Bela Fleck and Earl scruggs. The pure chemistry between the four musicians shone in the all-new “Nothing’s Working”, a willful plea exhilarating the sheer beauty in the bleak uncertain roller coaster that leads a seemingly authentic life in the earthly realms.
Straight from the Grammy winner Home, “Highway Hypnosis” then magnified the audible realms, fusing a deeply held love for classic flat-picking into a truly incendiary and psychedelic journey on the unapologetic road in pursuit of the undeniable energy of live music. An intoxicating breakdown of force in motion, an impossible-to-ignore chaos that sucks listeners into the eye of the moment, a place where only the remarkable happens. Either you are chewed up and spat out, or thrown into the unpredictable wave of sinful pleasure.
Related: Billy Strings Comes Home To Donate 200 Guitars To His Former Elementary School [Video]
The thing with these four players is that they can go from feeling the joy of the crowd dissipated in space to the feeling of solidification in their bodies with a song dedicated by Apostol to his momâLarry spark‘s “John Deere Tractor”. From the essential “Likes Of Me” to a David Bruzza-wrote “A Letter to Seymour” to country-folk-rock “There is a Time” by The Dillards To Chris HenriâWest Dakota Rose,â the group performed on the graciously received crowd.
Jarrod Walker continued to wow everyone in attendance with passionate and progressive mandolin strokes, drawing inspiration from the greats who came before him, Bill monroe and David Grisman. The band delivered an absolutely record-breaking version of “Turmoil & Tinfoil”, a groundbreaking track from the 2017 album of the same name. It’s no wonder the song’s acronym is “TNT,” because this song wonderfully messy and rectifying showed the prowess of Strings on the six strings.
After a thirty minute break, the group returned to complete what they had started, starting the second set with Tony rice‘s Front “Tipper” Torment and foil‘s “Manage Despair”. Billy was quick to announce he was going to “sing a love song” before going on to become the Florida country star. Hank locklin‘s “The love of a good woman”. A simple story about a dream and a good love.
Billy Strings – “Tipper” (Tony Rice) – 12/03/21
[Video: Sydney Paschall]
Quenching the musical cravings of the crowd yet again, âThirst Mutilatorâ sailed straight into the original Failing âSo Many Milesâ. The entire sea of ââhuman conduits erupted in praise for the finely curated tune, before Apostol declared he would do “anything to get the Doc Watson version of the next song.” The wait screamed when the band broke into the country classic “If You Ever Change Your Mind.” Emerging from a supposedly hidden corner of a rural candle classroom, the quartet projected the spirit into “Dust in a Baggie”.
After the theater cooled from rips and roars, Strings and the ensemble bowed out in “Pretty Daughter” before dedicating “She Makes My Love Come Rolling Down” to the magnificent largemouth bass that Strings provided the fishing earlier in the day. As if the venue needed an extra ounce of jubilation, the band rocketed into what String fanatics could possibly call one of the best renditions of ‘Meet Me at the Creek’ in recent live archives. of the group.
Billy Strings – “Prett Daughter” (Danny Barnes) – 12/3/21
[Video: Blind Ivan]
Billy Strings and his band flew straight from Houston on December 2 and earlier, two nights in New Orleans, to perform in Austin, TX with an unplugged version of Home‘s “Freedom” on December 3. Catch the famous pickers in Dallas’ The Deep Ellum factory tonight, December 4, followed by a large influx of tour dates primarily in the Midwest and East Coast.
Head to the group website for ticket and tour information and scroll down for a detailed list of last night’s performance. Plus, watch a full video of the first series below.
Billy Strings – Moody Theater at ACL Live – Set One [Fan-Shot] – 12/03/21
[Video: Blind Ivan]
Setlist: Billy Cordes | Moody Theater at ACL Live | Austin, Texas | 12/3/21
First series: Beaumont Rag (traditional), The Fire On My Tongue> How Mountain Girls Can Love, Nothing’s Working, Highway Hypnosis, John Deere Tractor (Larry Sparks), The Likes of Me (Jerry Reed)> A letter to Seymour (Greensky Bluegrass), There Is A Time (The Dillards), West Dakota Rose (Chris Henry), Turmoil & Tinfoil 
Second Series: Tipper (Tony Rice)> Dealing Despair, A Good Woman’s Love (Hank Locklin), Thirst Mutilator> So Many Miles, In Case You Change Your Mind (Bill Anderson), Dust In A Baggie, Pretty Daughter (Danny Barnes)), She Makes My Love (Doc & Merle Watson), Meet Me At The Creek 
 Cluck old hen tease
 Teasing with southern flavors /