Billy Strings plays hard and he lives hard, picking so fast and intensely that he’s known to break multiple strings per song, and basing the songs he writes on the hard lives he grew up around in the abandoned rural communities of America. His new album, Turmoil & Tinfoil, taps into a deep vein of psychedelia in Americana, referencing everything from the Dead to Sturgill Simpson, but all underlaid by Billy’s undeniable virtuosity and his knowledge of the roots of American music. He’s one of the most beloved young bluegrass guitarists today within the bluegrass community, and his front porch in East Nashville is constantly filled up with Nashville’s best roots musicians just picking up a storm.
The tricky part of making the new album, Turmoil & Tinfoil, was translating Billy Strings’ incendiary live show into the studio. Returning to his home state of Michigan, Billy 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 much-loved Nashville bassist Brad Tucker. Rich with special guests, Turmoil & Tinfoil shows off Billy’s East Nashville community of picking friends, among them Miss Tess, Molly Tuttle, John Mailander, Shad Cobb and Peter Madcat Ruth. Of special note is a virtuosic duet between Billy and bluegrass guitarist Bryan Sutton on “Salty Sheep” that shows the speed, precision, and creative craftsmanship of bluegrass when it’s done right.
Turmoil & Tinfoil debuted at #3 on the Billboard bluegrass charts, continues to have a seat on the bluegrass radio charts and has received much critical acclaim since its Fall 2017 release. Here are just a few quotes from some of our favorite publications….
“True Weird America… living, breathing thing with the scorching technicality of speed metal or jazz and the raw ferocity of punk rock.” – No Depression, by Corbie Hill
“… while this latest effort does boast chops and energy in spades, he’s also 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, by Brittney McKenna
“Bluegrass, just like all of music, must evolve to stay relevant to modern ears. Yet doing so within the discipline where the roots of the music remain in tact is the trick that takes an additional level of ingenuity and passion to accomplish. And this is what Billy Strings does with Turmoil & Tinfoil.” – Saving Country Music
Billy was also named one of Rolling Stone Country’s “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: August 2017”, received the IBMA 2016 Momentum Awards Instrumentalist of the Year (for guitar, banjo and mandolin) and was voted #1 in The Bluegrass Situation’s Top 16 of (20)16.