Billy Strings 6/23-25, 2022 Cary NC

The Billy Strings band setup camp for a three night run at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary NC and they came to play! Many folks, including myself, attended all three nights knowing that there wouldn't be any repeats and a few surprises along the way. And we did get some, including debuts of some new covers. The first song of the first set was just that. Blue Ridge Mountain Blues was played for the first time. Written by Cliff Hess - but Billy probably picked it up from Bill Monroe or Doc Watson. Doc got another nod shortly after with Black Mountain Rag. On the second night they debuted Sadie, a Watson performed song written by T. Michael Coleman.  On the third night they'd also play Doc's version of Ernest T Grass. The band was showing their appreciation for the great state of North Carolina, home of many of their influencers.

We also got a wide range of covers and teases: Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Widespread Panic, Pink Floyd, Tony Rice, Black Sabbath, Little Feat, Blackfoot, The Beatles, & Pearl Jam to name a few. Plus plenty of originals.  The band cranked through at least twenty songs each night. Some getting extended jam treatment. The Turmoil & Tinfoil on night three sticks out as one of the great jam vehicles of this run. The group is touring with top notch production as well (sound, lights, & video), enhancing every aspect of the performance.

My daughter, and aspiring guitar player, attended night three and experienced this group for the first time.  Afterwards I asked her what she thought about it.  She simply replied "Mind blown!".

So if you're still new to Billy Strings, simply go to a show. Or even better, a run of shows, and prepare to have your mind blown. This group is the most exciting jamgrass act touring right now.

Check out the setlists below. We've added a few links of some songs you can watch on YouTube.

June 23, 2022

Set 1

1. Blue Ridge Mountain Blues 1, 2 (click for video)

2. This Old World >

3. Black Mountain Rag

4. While I'm Waiting Here 3, 4 >

5. Ole Slewfoot

6. Show Me The Door

7. Fire Line >

8. End Of The Rainbow >

9. Ice Bridges

10. Thunder

11. Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor

Set 2

1. Heartbeat Of America

2. In The Morning Light

3. All Time Low 5 >

4. Raleigh & Spencer

5. Thirst Mutilator 6 >

6. Hollow Heart

7. Enough To Leave

8. Tipper

9. Meet Me At The Creek

10. Shady Grove


1. First Time Played
2. Billy Strings on harmonica and guitar
3. Pyramid Country intro tease
4. Hell in a Bucket tease
5. All Apologies tease
6. Brain Damage tease

June 24, 2022

Set 1

1. The Fire On My Tongue >

2. Bronzeback

3. Hellbender

4. Sadie 1 (click for video)

5. Everything's The Same 2

6. Away From The Mire

7. Long Forgotten Dream

8. Rank Stranger

9. Doin' Things Right

10. Southern Flavor 3 >

11. Dealing Despair

12. Home

Set 2

1. Tom Dooley

2. On The Line >

3. Train 45

4. Nothing's Working

5. Streamline Cannonball

6. Taking Water

7. Running

8. Train, Train 4

9. Watch It Fall

10. West Dakota Rose

11. Secrets

12. Planet Caravan >

13. Wargasm


1. And Am I Born To Die?

2. Run Down

3. Willin'

4. Don't Let Your Deal Go Down


1. FTP- T. Michael Coleman and Byron Hill/Doc Watson
2. Cary lyric change
3. Circus Fanfare tease
4. Shout out for Kristen's 100th show

June 25, 2022

Set 1

1. Likes Of Me >

2. Pyramid Country >

3. Know It All

4. In Case You Ever Change Your Mind

5. Slow Train

6. Love & Regret

7. Rocky Raccoon

8. I'm Still Here >

9. Dust In A Baggie

10. Gone A Long Time 1

11. Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town

12. Running The Route

13. Red Daisy

14. June Apple

15. Pretty Daughter

Set 2

1. Highway Hypnosis

2. Love Like Me

3. Ernest T. Grass 2 >

4. Drifter's Escape

5. Old Train

6. Turmoil & Tinfoil

7. Rosa Lee McFall

8. Doin' My Time

9. Leaders

10. Red Rocking Chair 3

11. Must Be Seven

12. Hide & Seek


1. Katy Daley


1. "Three Nights in Carolina" lyric change
2. Third Stone from the Sun tease
3. Doc and Merle Watson arrangement

Setlists courtesy of BillyBase

Words by:  Lee Crumpton

Photos by:  Tim Hobert,  Jerry Friend