Michigan bluegrass guitar hero Billy Strings and his band made a stop in Grand Rapids on their way back to Nashville on Monday, electrifying a small audience at River City Studios. Video, photo gallery.
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A lot has been written about Michigan-bred bluegrass guitarist Billy Strings, aka William Apostol, especially since his rise to national prominence and all that touring, crisscrossing the country with his eye-popping musicianship and top-drawer bandmates.
But one thing that doesn’t always come across in print is the down-to-earth humility and gratitude that this engaging guitar-picker expresses about his upbringing and his influences — and his appreciation for fellow musicians.
In the cozy confines of Grand Rapids’ River City Studios on Monday, with only about a dozen friends, fans and spectators on hand, Billy didn’t hesitate for a second when asked which star – of the many he’s jammed with – he most treasures having shared moments on stage.
“Any time I get to invite my dad up on stage,” he said of his guitar-playing dad, Terry Barber. “He taught me everything I know. He was my inspiration and he’s the only reason I picked the guitar up, so that’s really special.”
Billy was just as complimentary about his Nashville bandmates – banjo player Billy Failing, bassist Royal Masat and mandolinist Jarrod Walker – who joined him this week for the latest edition of HopCat presents Local Spins Live at River City Studios.
After playing Hoxeyville Music Festival in northern Michigan and spending time with family and his “Michigan friends” over the weekend, the band made a stop in Grand Rapids enroute to Nashville, regaling a small audience in Studio A for a scintillating performance that was live-streamed on the Local Spins, River City Studios and HopCat Facebook pages.
And it’s clear Billy’s star is rising: By midnight Monday, that video had already been viewed more than 9,000 times.
Watch the video here and browse photos from the River City session by Anthony Norkus and Anna Sink below.
VIDEO: HopCat presents Local Spins Live at River City Studios with Billy Strings
PHOTO GALLERY: Photos by Anthony Norkus and Anna Sink
Copyright 2018, Spins on Music LLC