The countdown of Local Spins’ most-read stories of 2022 begins today with our coverage of Michigan-bred bluegrass hero Billy Strings at No. 12. And see what stories came in just behind that.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Today, we begin our countdown of the top Local Spins stories of 2022 based on the reader traffic that these features and reports generated. Starting at No. 12 (and related to No. 13, for that matter), it’s all about Michigan-bred bluegrass hero Billy Strings, who continues to generate excitement as he soars to fame internationally. Today, we revisit the No. 12 story of the year published earlier this month spotlighting his latest chart-topping album — just ahead of No. 13, which happened to be our coverage of his sold-out homecoming concert in Kalamazoo in early November. Scroll down for a photo gallery and to listen to tracks from Billy Strings’ latest album.
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TOP STORIES OF 2022: No. 12
It took an international bluegrass powerhouse to knock gypsy swing’s Djangophonique off of its lofty perch.
Bluegrass guitar virtuoso Billy Strings’ latest album, “Me/And/Dad,” has quickly accrued an incredible record of chart success.
His latest studio release featuring duets with his dad, Terry Barber, jumped to No. 1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums Chart as well as the Luminate Bluegrass Albums Chart.
But that’s not all: The album soared to No. 2 on Billboard’s Americana/Folk Albums Chart, No. 5 on the Top Album Sales Chart, No. 7 on the Top Country Albums Chart and No. 37 on the Billboard Top 200, a roster usually dominated by pop and hip-hop artists.
On Facebook, Billy Strings called it “unreal.”
Regionally, that “unreal” phenomenon included snagging the No. 1 spot on the Local Spins Hot Top 5 Chart for November, representing the album by a local or regional artist that earned the most radio airplay at Grand Rapids’ WYCE (88.1 FM).
The rootsy, traditional bluegrass collection from the musician raised in Ionia County toppled Ann Arbor guitarist Andrew Brown’s Djangophonique from the top slot for the first time since August when the jazz manouche outfit started its three-month domination of the Hot Top 5 Chart with “Introducing Djangophonique.”
Collectively, the tracks on “Me/And/Dad” already have now racked up more than 3 million listens on Spotify. Read the Local Spins review of “Me/And/Dad” here.
Billy Strings and band recently played sold-out shows overseas in Europe, with upcoming year-ending concerts in New Orleans.
His wasn’t the only album to make its Hot Top 5 debut in November.
Grand Rapids surf-rock band The Concussions’ new anniversary compilation, “Exxorcising Our Demons,” came in at No. 3, followed by Lowell singer-songwriter RyneShyne’s self-titled recording and Grand Rapids tunesmith Cole Hansen’s latest album, “Vote for Love” (which stood at No. 3 in October).
Listen to tracks from all of the releases below.
The chart-topping success for Billy Strings came less than a month after he wowed homestate fans in concerts stages at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo and Dow Event Center in Saginaw.
Our review and photo gallery from that show came in at No. 13 on our Top Stories of 2022 Countdown. Check out the concert review and photo gallery here: Billy Strings heats up scorching, rock-fueled bluegrass for Michigan homecoming
BONUS: Interested in what came in at No. 14, 15 and 16? Check them out here. And as a bonus, we even reveal our top story of all-time, dating back to early 2012.
PHOTO GALLERY: Billy Strings at Wings Event Center (11/3/22)
Photos by Derek Ketchum
THE LOCAL SPINS HOT TOP 5 ON SPOTIFY: November 2022
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