Billy Strings Prepares New Album ‘Renewal’ With Lead-In ‘Fire Line’

Photo by Jesse Faatz

Last winter, Billy Strings scooped up his first Grammy Award for Home, crowned Best Bluegrass Album—beating out Danny Barnes, Thomm Jutz, Steep Canyon Rangers, and a John Hartford fiddle project. Now, he readies the much-anticipated follow-up. Renewal, his second for Rounder Records, arrives September 24, and Strings anchors the release with lead single “Fire Line,” a barn-burner of a tune.

“A lot of people call us a bluegrass band and I don’t even know if that’s what we are anymore. You’ve got to let the song do its thing,” he says in a press statement. “So that’s what I try to do—write songs and let them come out however they do. I listen to it now and it’s emotional. I’ve always doubted myself, and I still do, but this album makes me think, ‘Hey, you’re doing all right, kid. You just need to keep going.’”

Renewal, produced by Jonathan Wilson (Conor Oberst, Father John Misty) and recorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studios, promises to blend a rich tapestry of styles, from classic rock to bluegrass and metal. The album’s players feature the usual suspects Billy Failing (banjo, piano), Royal Masat (bass), and Jarrod Walker (mandolin, guitar), but there are a few surprises in store with guest appearances from musicians Spencer Cullum (pedal steel), John Mailander (violin), and Grant Millikem (synth).

Billy Strings was recently nominated for Artist of the Year at the 2021 Americana Music Association Honors & Awards, taking place Wednesday (Sept. 22) at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

Renewal album cover

Check out the album tracklist below:

  1. “Know It All”
  2. “Secrets”
  3. “Love and Regret”
  4. “Heartbeat of America”
  5. “In The Morning Light”
  6. “This Old World”
  7. “Show Me The Door”
  8. “Hellbender”
  9. “Red Daisy”
  10. “The Fire On My Tongue”
  11. “Nothing’s Working”
  12. “Hide and Seek”
  13. “Ice Bridges”
  14. “Fire Line”
  15. “Running The Route”
  16. “Leaders”

Here are his confirmed upcoming tour dates:

July 30—Lafayette, NY—Apple Valley Park (SOLD OUT)
July 31—Gilford, NH—Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
August 1—Gilford, NH—Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
August 3—Essex Junction, VT—Ben & Jerry’s Concerts on the Midway Lawn
August 5—Asbury Park, NJ—Stone Pony Summer Stage (SOLD OUT)
August 6—New Haven, CT—Westville Music Bowl
August 7—New Haven, CT—Westville Music Bowl
August 8—Marshfield, MA—Levitate Music and Arts Festival
August 11—Pittsburgh, PA—Stage AE
August 13-14—Wellston, MI—Hoxeyville 2021
August 20—Chillicothe, IL—Summer Camp Music Festival
August 21—Indianapolis, IN—MacAllister Amphitheater at Garfield Park (SOLD OUT)
August 28—Lexington, KY—Railbird Music Festival
September 3—Las Vegas, NV—Event Lawn at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas
September 4—Las Vegas, NV—Event Lawn at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas
September 8—Los Angeles, CA—The Belasco (SOLD OUT)
September 9—Oakland, CA—Fox Theater
September 10—Oakland, CA—Fox Theater (SOLD OUT)
September 11—Stateline, NV—Montbleu Resort & Casino (SOLD OUT)
September 12—Stateline, NV—Montbleu Resort & Casino (SOLD OUT)
September 16—Spokane, WA—Spokane Pavilion at Riverfront
September 17—Portland, OR—McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheater (SOLD OUT)
September 18—Seattle, WA—King County’s Marymoor Park
September 19—Missoula, MT—KettleHouse Amphitheater (SOLD OUT)
September 22—Salt Lake City, UT—Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre (SOLD OUT)
September 28—Wichita, KS—Wave
September 29—Oklahoma City, OK—The Jones Assembly (SOLD OUT)
October 1—Memphis, TN—Mempho Music Fest
October 2—Bentonville, AR—Freshgrass Festival
October 14—Denver, CO—Mission Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
October 15—Denver, CO—Mission Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
October 16—Denver, CO—Mission Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
October 17—Denver, CO—Mission Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
October 29—Asheville, NC—ExploreAsheville.com Arena (SOLD OUT)
October 30—Asheville, NC—ExploreAsheville.com Arena (SOLD OUT)
October 31—Asheville, NC—ExploreAsheville.com Arena (SOLD OUT)
November 3—Milwaukee, WI—The Riverside Theater (SOLD OUT)
November 4—Minneapolis, MN—The Palace Theatre
November 5—Minneapolis, MN—The Palace Theatre (SOLD OUT)
November 6—Chicago, IL—Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
November 10—Philadelphia, PA—The Fillmore
November 11—Philadelphia, PA—The Fillmore
November 12—Richmond, VA—Virginia Credit Union Live
November 13—Washington, DC—The Anthem (SOLD OUT)
November 15—Portland, ME—State Theatre
November 16—Portland, ME—State Theatre
November 17—Boston, MA—Boch Center Wang Theatre
November 19—Wilkes-Barre, PA—Mohegan Sun Arena
November 20—Detroit, MI—The Fillmore
November 21—Detroit, MI—The Fillmore
November 30—New Orleans, LA—The Civic Theater (SOLD OUT)
December 1—New Orleans, LA—The Civic Theater (SOLD OUT)
December 2—Houston, TX—White Oak Music Hall (SOLD OUT)
December 3—Austin, TX—ACL Live at The Moody Theater (SOLD OUT)
December 4—Dallas, TX—The Factory in Deep Ellum (SOLD OUT)
December 9—Atlanta, GA—The Eastern
December 10—Atlanta, GA—The Eastern (SOLD OUT)
December 11—Atlanta, GA—The Eastern (SOLD OUT)
December 12—Atlanta, GA—The Eastern

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