Billy Strings plays hard and he lives hard, picking so fast and intensely that he’s known to break multiple strings per song, and basing the songs he writes on the hard lives he grew up around in the abandoned rural communities of America. His new album, Turmoil & Tinfoil, taps into a deep vein of psychedelia in Americana, referencing everything from the Dead to Sturgill Simpson, but all underlaid by Billy’s undeniable virtuosity and his knowledge of the roots of American music.
It’s at about five minutes and thirty seconds into the second track (“Meet Me At the Creek”) on the debut LP, Turmoil & Tinfoil, from Nashville bluegrass iconoclast Billy Strings that you start to see his intense vision for American roots music. It’s right after a jagged, spiraling solo from Billy’s mandolinist Drew Matulich, when Billy’s guitar starts aggressively stacking power chords and suddenly leaps into a screaming acoustic guitar solo that twists its way through a dark-Cthulhu bluegrass jam.
Over the weekend on Friday night, two members of Greensky Bluegrass, Paul Hoffman and Anders Beck, teamed up with Billy Strings and Samson Grisman for night three of a four show run through Colorado as the Phoffman/Beck Quartet played to a sold-out show in Frisco, Colorado at the Barkley Ballroom.
Founding member, singer, songwriter and mandolin player for the award winning folk/americana outfit Greensky Bluegrass, this is the FB home for Paul Hoffman's solo musical adventures. Anders Beck plays the dobro... or the resophonic guitar as some call it... or the "drop steel" as he calls it. In his relatively short time playing the instrument, Anders has built a reputation for being a unique, creative player that fits into any musical situation with a sound that is strong yet sweet; dirty yet somehow clean.
After taking the scenic route in the old CJ-7 through the Blue Ridge Parkway, driving through yet another torrential downpour from the Purple Rain, and a glorious lightning storm the likes of which we have yet to see this year, we arrived at Pop’s Farm. Rooster Walk 8 had just begun. We arrive slightly damp yet super amped to be back with the Farm in the woods, jamming to the bluegrass vibrations in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.