Whether sharing stages with acoustic music royalty, crisscrossing the nation playing as a solo artist, or performing high-energy, jaw-dropping sets at festivals, the reaction to Billy Strings tends to come in two varieties: “Who is this guy?” and “That kid can play!”
Raised in Michigan and based in Nashville, Strings—real name William Apostol—learned music from his father, who had learned it from his father, and his father before him. Maybe that’s why at 24, Strings’ songs, articulation, and entire approach sound so authentic and steeped in tradition. The next in line of an Americana thread, Strings’ profile as a guitarist and singer in the acoustic/bluegrass scene continues to grow, including invitations to play with Del McCoury, David Grisman, Larry Keel, Sam Bush, Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, and more. And the industry has taken notice: he won the IBMA 2016 Momentum Awards Instrumentalist of the Year for guitar, banjo, and mandolin and was voted #1 in Bluegrass Situation’s Top 16 of ’16.