On Friday night in Nashville, the two guitarists teamed up for a mini-duo concert.
On Friday at The Ryman Auditorium, guitarist Billy Strings and special guest guitarist Bryan Sutton performed a short duet concert. Strings’ three-night residency at the legendary Nashville venue began with this performance.
Strings and Sutton have collaborated on numerous occasions in recent years, with Strings describing Sutton as a “big inspiration” as a guitarist.
Strings’ bandmates, mandolinist Jarrod Walker, bassist Royal Masat, and banjoist Billy Failing, fled The Ryman stage during what would normally be a set break. The two guitarists kicked off the mini-set with a rendition of the traditional “Beaumont Rag.” Bill Monroe, whose monument stands outside The Ryman, performed “I’m Coming Back But I Don’t Know When.”
Strings’ 2017 CD, Turmoil & Tinfoil, featured the instrumental rare “Salty Sheep,” which Sutton and Strings composed from the traditional melodies “Salt Creek” and “Sheep In The Meadow.” The two then performed “Tom Dooley” before finishing with Doc Watson’s “Way Downtown.”
Strings and his band opened the evening’s performance with the rarely performed “Man Of Constant Sorrow” before Sutton arrived. “Everything’s The Same,” “While I’m Waiting Here,” “Pyramid Country,” “Nothing’s Working,” “Red Daisy,” and “Love Like Me” were among the first half’s originals, while Greensky Bluegrass’ “Letter To Seymour,” Newgrass Revival’s “Whisper My Name,” and J.J. Cale’s “Ride Me High” were among the covers.
Strings’ bandmates returned after Sutton’s departure and assisted him on “Wargasm.” The next song was Monroe’s “Southern Flavor,” which followed into “Dealing Despair.” “Show Me The Door” kicked off the concert, followed by “Secret,” Doc and Merle Watson’s rendition of “Red Rocking Chair,” and “Slow Train.” With the coupling of “Ernest T. Grass” and “Ole Slewfoot,” the set came to a close. The first of Strings’ three Ryman gigs ended with a “Turmoil & Tinfoil” encore.
The Ryman Auditorium welcomes Strings back tonight, Saturday, May 7, and tomorrow, Sunday, May 8.