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🌵 Sessions 2.0: Billy Strings – Renewal

January 30, 2023
Billy Strings – Renewal (2021)
Rounder Records

Billy Strings has done one of the most unlikely things: become a rock star playing bluegrass. I am late to the Billy Strings bandwagon, but I can see why he is a big deal: he is a virtuoso picker, has unique twang to his voice, is a solid songwriter and modernizes bluegrass without dishonoring it.

One of the attractions for me was the album was produced by Jonathan Wilson (Roger Waters, Father John Misty and the new Margo Price album). I love Wilson’s production of Father John Misty and Wilson’s solo work is outstanding. What I like about Wilson’s production is that it is invisible. He supports the artist’s vision and not his own. There is a time and place for a heavy handed producer (e.g, Daniel Lanois and Todd Rundgren), but usually a light touch is what is preferred.

I particularly like when Strings get a bit psychedelic and jammy like on “Hide And Seek.” At times there is a jazz/ragtime vibe (“Ice Bridges”).

Liked it enough to purchase the vinyl

This is a wonderful album and don’t be turned off by the bluegrass classification. Strings transcends the genre (much like David Grisman did). He makes Billy Strings’ music.


From → Music Reviews

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