Strings and Startling Things

Read our review of Billy Strings’ Turmoil & Tinfoil

 

By Rob Dickens

The Artist

Billy Strings

The Album

Turmoil & Tinfoil

The Cover

 

The Release Date

September 22 2017

The Label

Apostol Recording Company

The Introduction

Originally from Kentucky and then Michigan, Billy Strings had so much talent as a child, his fate was sealed.  A fourth-generation prodigy who was practically born into bluegrass, started to play with his father and uncle from the age of four.  In 2016 at the age of twenty-four he (real name Apostol)  was awarded the highly prestigious Instrumentalist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

The Background

Now a resident of hip East Nashville, Strings has provided us with a debut, full-length release.  Reportedly, his live show is something spectacular with a reputation on stage that is soaring.  The challenge in making the record was getting some of that excitement trapped in the studio.  Returning to Michigan, Strings enlisted acoustic roots wizard Glenn Brown (Greensky Bluegrass) as producer, and centered the music around his new band, featuring Drew Matulich on mandolin with banjo prodigy Billy Failing and Nashville bassist Brad Tucker.  Special guests of calibre were assembled – Miss Tess, Molly Tuttle, John Mailander, Shad Cobb (recently on tour with Robbie Fulks) and Peter Madcat Ruth.

The Quote

”a talented lyricist, telling honest, often painful tales about addiction, incarceration, racism, and remaining positive in the face of negativity and, of course, turmoil” – American Songwriter

The Clip

”Meet At The Creek” from Music City Roots:

 

 

The Track List

1. On The Line
2. Meet Me at the Creek
3. All of Tomorrow
4. While I’m Waiting Here
5. Living Like an Animal
6. Turmoil & Tinfoil
7. Salty Sheep
8. Spinning
9. Dealing Despair
10. Pyramid Country
11. Doin’ Things Right
12. These Memories of You
13. 107

 

The Verdict

It hits you part way through track 2 – ”Meet Me At The Creek” – over nine minutes of intense, frantic and sparkling playing.  If I’ve heard something this good and unsullied, well I don’t remember it.  Add to that a masterful duet between Strings and one of the great bluegrass guitarists of a generation Bryan Sutton (on the visceral “Salty Sheep”) that captures the bold craft, speed and accuracy of the finest and clearly original bluegrass music.  Throw in the hypnotic, almost Middle Eastern picking of the title track and you have your reward for the price of admission already.

Not only is there bluegrass lineage, but throw in the Grateful Dead and other psychedelic influences – take note of the other worldly, ‘multi-versal’ ”Spinning” and the courageous inclusion of a non-track, ”107”.  Plenty of hiss and hum as knobs are manipulated to provide a counterpoint and relief from the audacity of much of its length.  His vocals show a maturity, in timbre and content, way beyond his years.

Turmoil & Tinfoil is a find, one of best of the year, refreshing and mesmerising.  Billy Strings is as exciting an artist that has come onto any scene for a while.

 

via Hearth PR

 

Read our review of Billy Strings’ Turmoil & Tinfoil

 

Author: Rob Dickens

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4 Comments

  1. He touched our bluegrass roots, and grew a flower we had never seen nor smelled. A beautiful and enchanting flower, holding us spellbound with it’s colorful fragrance. Pure and honest.

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    • Beautifully said Susan!

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  2. Billy Strings for Life! The world needs to get ready for some Billy Strings, he has an amazing talent that is unmatched! The energy level at his live shows is intense, he can work the room, the energy permeates from the band onstage and from the crowd, it is a wonderful experience! Sooner than later, Billy Strings will be selling out large venues and playing for thousands of screaming fans a night! Do yourself a favor and go see him live and buy his cd!

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    • I hear you Kevin. Talk about his live performances is building. I was talking to a professional photographer in the pit at The Festy Experience, he claims Billy is best subject for taking shots EVER!!

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