Billy Strings - Home
2021 Grammy Award-Winner for Best Bluegrass Album!
Multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Billy Strings signed with Rounder Records for the release of his label debut and second album overall, Home. It's undoubtedly the Michigan-born, Nashville-based artist's boldest artistic statement thus far, imbuing the bluegrass aesthetic with elements of punk, country, folk rock, and genuine psychedelic exploration to fashion something altogether original and all his own. With producer Glenn Brown back at the helm, Strings and his crack band – including banjo player Billy Failing, bassist Royal Masat, and mandolin player Jarrod Walker – spent six days working at Nashville's legendary Blackbird Studios' Studio D followed by an additional week at Zac Brown's Southern Ground Nashville.
On the album, Strings infuses bluegrass with his own experiences and inspirations, adopting traditional sonic and lyrical idioms to confront contemporary social truths. "Enough To Leave" and "Away From The Mire" – the latter penned as a direct letter to two friends who died from heroin overdoses – reveal a songwriter uniquely capable of coloring in such dark matters as addiction, gun violence, mass incarceration, the battle against inequality, and the suicide epidemic with resonant imagery and heartfelt personal understanding. Songs like "Running" and "Highway Hypnosis" see Strings in forward motion once again, wedding guitar, banjo, bass, and mandolin with harmonium and eastern percussion, and a distinctive distortion Brown creates by running Strings' vocals through a 1950 Bell PA head.
Guests on the album include guitarist Molly Tuttle (lending vocals to "Must Be Seven"), fiddler John Mailander (Bruce Hornsby, Peter Rowan, Tony Trischka), Detroit-based tabla player John Churchville, and 14-time Grammy Award-winning dobro master Jerry Douglas. Home marks a landmark on this constantly moving artist's ongoing creative journey, its fearless songs and freewheeling approach recasting string-based American music in a new light.