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2015 Billy Strings & Don Julin

Sunday, September 20, 2015 @ 5:00 pm
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Billy Strings & Don Julin lit up the City Plaza Stage in Raleigh during the 2014 World of Bluegrass, and this fiery duo returns to Raleigh for this year’s Midtown Bluegrass Series this fall! Their new album, Fiddle Tune X, taps into the vein of the earliest bluegrass music from back when bluegrass was a rough-and-tumble art form pouring out of the Appalachian mountains, made with great virtuosity and huge attitude. With just two instruments (guitar and mandolin) and one voice, this duo has been tearing up stages across America and generating huge buzz based on their intense live shows. Drenched in sweat, grimacing like a banshee, howling like a bluegrass berserker, and picking with such ferocity that he’s been known to break three strings in one song, 22 year old guitarist and singer Billy Strings could have tumbled out of coal country in the old mountains, tattoos and all, but actually hails from Michigan, where he met mandolinist Don Julin. Older in years and experience, Strings’ musical partner Julin has carved out a lengthy career at the forefront of acoustic mandolin music, known for his versatility, powerful picking technique, and remarkable creativity on this humble instrument. On stage, the two egg each other on to more and more intense riffs and improvised breaks, pushing harder and harder on their own abilities to try to break through to new levels of musicianship. There’s a reason that they were called “the unholy child of Pantera and Tony Rice” by The Bluegrass Situation, and you don’t want to miss seeing them live and in person!

Kicking off the afternoon will be Fiddlestix, a trio of young musicians who play bluegrass and old time music. The band members are: Kainan Gadson, 14, on fiddle, Gabrielle Moavenzadeh, 13, also on fiddle, and Nia Gadson, 11, who plays banjo and sings. Fiddlestix has been performing for about two years, and all three young musicians have learned from Justin Robinson, who used to play with the Carolina Chocolate Drops. All three band members were made by their parents to start playing fiddle when they were young, around 5 years old. Gabrielle and Kainan love their fiddles and have been playing ever since. Nia, however, did not like playing the fiddle. She was inspired to play the banjo when she went to a Carolina Chocolate Drops concert when she was 7. At that point, banjos were too big for her, so she played the ukulele until she was 9, and then started playing banjo and has been playing that since. The trio plays at various gigs in Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh.


Sunday, September 20, 2015
5:00 pm
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Coastal Credit Union Midtown Park
4011 Cardinal at North Hills
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