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Coloring Club Plus — 11/23/19

Nov 23

One of my friends’ daughters is into traveling where the live music takes her. She often takes her mom with her (mom looks like she’s about 20 and fits right in with their crowd.) Last year mother and daughter to Bluegrass Underground in the caverns of Pelham, Tennessee, as mentioned in the information below, and they saw Billy Strings and the Steel Canyon Riders, among others. My friend has been bugging me to listen to both bands (I posted on Steel Canyon Riders with Steve Martin and Edie Brickell awhile back.) I listened to Billy today and was knocked over by this young man’s talent. And he was born and raised just a few hours from here!

Per wikipedia:
Billy Strings (born William Apostol, October 3, 1992 in Lansing, Michigan) is an American guitarist and bluegrass musician. His stepfather, Terry Barber, was a picker in the Michigan bluegrass scene, although he never played professionally. Barber was a heavy influence on his son, introducing him to traditional bluegrass at a young age. Bill’s stepfather introduced him to the music of Doc Watson, Del McCoury, David Grisman, Bill Monroe, John Hartford, Ralph Stanley, Earl Scruggs, and Larry Sparks. He was also a rock and metal fan, influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter, and Black Sabbath, and played in hard rock and indie rock bands in his teens. Apostol got his moniker, Billy Strings, from his aunt, who saw his ability on multiple traditional bluegrass instruments.

Early in 2012, Don Julin, a well known mandolin player from Traverse City, MI, and author of the “Dummies Guide to Mandolin,” heard about this new guitar player in town and went to Brew, the café/pub, to hear him. He invited Apostol to his home to jam and then asked him to join him on a paying gig. The partnership lasted for the next 4 years.

Rolling Stone named Strings one of the Top Ten New Country Artists to Know in 2017. On February 12, 2018, Rolling Stone published an article entitled “Bluegrass Prodigy Billy Strings Plots 2018 Spring Tour,” saying, “Billy Strings doesn’t have any trouble living up to his name. [He is] one of the latest breakneck guitar pickers to emerge in the bluegrass world.”

The International Bluegrass Music Association awarded him with the 2016 Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the year Bluegrass Situation named him a scene tastemaker in 2016.

In February 2017, Billy was named one of the six new rising stars of bluegrass by Acoustic Guitar. In March 2018, PBS announced that Billy was to be the inaugural performer at the new cave for the renowned series Bluegrass Underground in the caverns of Pelham, Tennessee. In January 2019, Rolling Stone wrote an article entitled “Why Guitarist Billy Strings Is the Bluegrass Star You Don’t Want to Miss.”

His touring band consists of Billy Failing (Banjo), Royal Masat (Bass), and Jarrod Walker (Mandolin).

Today will be a double feature of Billy String’s music. The first selection is from Turmoil and Tinfoil.

Turmoil and Tinfoil is Billy’s 3rd album, released on September 22, 2017 by Apostol Recording Company. Steve W at amazon.com gave the following comment on it:

This album is a fantastic introduction of Billy Strings and his band to those who like the fusion of bluegrass with the “newgrass” genre. On display is Billy’s flat picking guitar, wonderful voice and catchy song writing This album is preceded by two earlier albums cut with Don Julin (author of Mandolin for Dummies), both of which are equally excellent and worthy of purchase. As an up and coming entertainer, Bill Strings is spreading his version of bluegrass/newgrass across the USA. He and his band give audiences such a great show where everyone, young and old alike, leaves exhausted and in awe of Billy’s lightning fast and precise flat picking, versatile voice and energetic performance. This album is an excellent introduction.

Lisa Snedeker of HuffPost proclaimed Turmoil and Tinfoil as one the best albums of 2017, writing, “in September it charted at No. 3 on the Billboard Bluegrass charts. ‘Nuff said.“. In March, 2018, Rolling Stone released Strings’ debut music video Dealing Despair.

 

Well the folks around here don’t get along anymore
Everybody’s dealing despair
Few are the flowers to stop and smell
Exasperation lingers in the air

[Verse 2]
Well it must be something in the water, my darling
And I’m wakin’ on the wrong side of the bed
I long for existence in tune with the others
I turn to the hatred within

[Chorus]
Come, go surrender to the evil
Do your part to feed the burning flame
You know I don’t want your opinion
I just wanna blow out your brains

[Instrumental]

[Verse 3]
Well the dreams that I had, now are all dead and buried
The bleakness and misery succeed
Run with the hurt, take part of the malice
Swim through the hatred and greed

[Chorus]
Come, go surrender to the evil
Do your part to feed the burning flame
You know I don’t want your opinion
I just wanna blow out your brains

[Instrumental]

[Chorus]
Come, go surrender to the evil
Do your part to feed the burning flame
You know I don’t want your opinion
I just wanna blow out your brains
Yes I just wanna blow out your brains

The second selection is “Dust in a Baggie” from an EP.

 

[Verse 1]
I ain’t slept in seven days, haven’t ate in three
Methamphetamine has got a damn good hold of me
My tweaker friends have got me to the point of no return
I just took the lighter to the bulb and watched it burn

[Chorus]
This life of sin has got me in
Well it’s got me back in prison once again
I used my only phone call to contact my daddy
I got twenty long years for some dust in a baggie

[Verse 2]
Well if I would have listened to what Mom and Papa said
I wouldn’t be locked up in prison, troubled in the head
I took that little pop and sucked until my mind was spun
I got twenty years to sit and think of what I’ve done

[Chorus]
This life of sin has got me in
Well it’s got me back in prison once again
I used my only phone call to contact my daddy
I got twenty long years for some dust in a baggie

[Verse 3]
Sometimes I sit and wonder where my little life went wrong
These old jailhouse blues have got me singing this old song
My life is a disaster, Lord and I feel so ashamed
In here where they call by a number, not a name

[Chorus]
This life of sin has got me in
Well it’s got me back in prison once again
I used my only phone call to contact my daddy
I got twenty long years for some dust in a baggie
I used my only phone call to contact my daddy
I got twenty long years for some dust in a baggie

 

12 thoughts on “Coloring Club Plus — 11/23/19

    1. Not sure if you saw in the post it was his aunt who gave him that nickname. I had a Billy Strings playlist on youtube going last night while I was coloring. He is versatile and has a great voice. Glad you like the music, Jim. I’ll go look for that GMS post. I think I read it as Scruggs is ringing a bell…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Love the Dealing Despair song and the video…I’m so glad to get reacquainted with this style of music. Ever since you featured Sarah Jane And The Iron Mountain Baby I have been listening to Bluegrass quite a bit.
    Dust in a Baggie the same way. The music just makes you happy…Thanks Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

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