Billy Strings is one of the most successful bluegrass artists of all time. He’s also one of our favorites at PineCone.
Before Billy was winning Grammy Awards and selling out multiple nights at huge venues he played the StreetFest at the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival in Raleigh. After those first appearances at IBMA in Raleigh he came back to play PineCone’s Down Home Concert Series and the Midtown Bluegrass Series in North Hills. He played once as a duo with Don Julin and later with a band featuring Billy Failing on banjo, Asheville’s Drew Matulich on mandolin and Brad Tucker on bass.
“You know I almost got arrested in Raleigh one time. But ‘almost‘ is the key word there. Skin of my teeth really. But I’m still here! Isn’t it groovy?” Billy asked a 2017 PineCone audience. “(This is) a groovy place to hang out… the great state of North Carolina, where Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson come from. There’s something in the water down here in North Carolina. I’m glad to be here on stage, and not in jail.” Billy laughed and then launched into “I’m Still Here.”
Billy has since performed on the Grammy Awards, won the Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album, played the late night TV shows, sold out Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary two nights in a row and in 2022 was nominated for his second straight IBMA Entertainer of the Year Award. “You know I don’t do this for the awards, but it is nice to be recognized by your peers,” said Billy on Instagram after hearing he won the 2022 Artist of the Year Award from the Americana Music Association. “I’m just going to keep my head down, keep playing and keep doing the damn thing.”
Billy Strings was raised in Michigan and says his two biggest musical influences are his dad and Doc Watson. In 2022 he released “ME/AND/DAD,” an album recorded with his father Terry Barber.
“Holly s**t, wow! Thank you so much Mom and Dad,” said Billy after hearing his record “Home” won the 2021 Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album. “…and last but not least to all the fans who come out to the shows and see us play. Thank you so much.”