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.
Born into a legacy of music, Cedric Burnside is the son of drummer Calvin Jackson and the grandson of R.L. Burnside. He was born in Memphis, TN but raised in the country hills of MS by R. L Burnside, also known as “Big Daddy,” and MS Hill Country Blues. Cedric began his music career at an early age, teaching himself to play drums and then touring with R.L Burnside at the age of 13. Throughout his teenage years, Cedric Burnside continued to perfect his skills on the drums. He learned to play several different styles of music playing with Kenny Brown, T-Model Ford, Paul Wine Jones, Robert Cage, JR Kimbrough, Robert Belford, Othar Turner, and Jessie Mae Hemphill. Through this experience, Cedric gained wisdom not only about music but about life beyond his years, and he developed his own unique style of playing music.