Billy Strings — Me/And/Dad
One of the things I have always loved about bluegrass music as a genre is that it is up-front and direct. By that I mean the artists who perform it either live or in the studio and do it well, by definition, have to have a mastery of the instruments they play, have to be good storytellers, and have to be able to sing in a manner where their voices drive the song. These qualities are needed in other genres as well, for sure, but not in the sheer quantity needed for bluegrass. They are essential for the bluegrass form because there is no place to hide like there is in other genres once the banjos, mandolins, and fiddles start.
The latest album from rising bluegrass superstar Billy Strings, Me/And/Dad, a record that he does with his father Terry Barber, is not only a great example of these principles, but it is also certifiably an instant 21st-century classic of the genre.
Covering classic country and bluegrass tunes that the two have been playing together since Strings was a young boy, the record has them playing and singing with and off each other in a way that is both wondrous and masterful. Their obvious love for the music and for each other makes listening to this record one of the most enjoyable musical experiences of the year.
Particular high points in this superlative work include the numbers “Life To Go”, “Little White Church”, “Dig A Little Deeper,” “Wandering Boy,” and “I Heard My Mother Weeping” (which features Strings’ mother Debra Barber alongside his father as well).
Produced by Strings and Gary Paczosa and recorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studio, the album also features an all-star band including bassist Mike Bub, mandolinist Ron McCoury, banjo player Rob McCoury, fiddler Michael Cleveland as well as special guest appearances by Jerry Douglas and Jason Carter.
As Strings continues to prove himself as one of the most talented artists in any musical genre, Me/And /Dad serves as both an endearing and fantastic trip to his roots and musical beginnings and is now available on his website.
Enjoy our previous coverage, here: Show Review: Billy Strings at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, NC