With Michigan bluegrass guitar hero Billy Strings and band playing two straight ‘homecoming’ shows at The Intersection this weekend, Local Spins revisits August’s rousing performance at River City Studios.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Billy Strings and his band play Friday and Saturday at The Intersection over the holiday weekend, a homecoming for the Michigan-bred bluegrass star. Tickets are $15 advance, $20 day of show, $25 for a two-day pass and available online at sectionlive.com. To preview the shows, Local Spins Rewind revisits the band’s fiery Aug. 20 performance as part of the intimate HopCat presents Local Spins Live at River City Studios series. The live-streamed session generated a big buzz and the video has been viewed more than 15,000 times. Watch it below.
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 Aug. 20, 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” in mid-August, the band made a stop in Grand Rapids en route 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: In less than 24 hours that video had been viewed more than 9,000 times (and is currently at 15,000-plus and counting).
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
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