High-energy multi-instrumentalist Billy Strings is returning to Hoxeyville Music Festival, Aug 18-20. But this time, the Michigan native is traveling from his new home in East Nashville.
His show is always a crowd favorite at the festival, and this year promises no different as the 24-year-old “picker” extraordinaire debuts original music from his new album, “Turmoil and Tinfoil,” a mix of bluegrass, jamgrass and old-timey ballads due out in September.
“While I love the magic of East Nashville, I miss Lake Michigan something fierce,” he said, noting he’s on tour at music festivals and in clubs about 200 days a year. “A musician like me can’t make a living at home. We play lots of gigs and tour and tour.
“We play anywhere, even in the van going down the road. Well, not the driver, he can only sing,” he joked.
“I love Hoxeyville. All my friends are there. Where else can you hang out in the woods until four in the morning playing music?”
Strings has opened for and played on stage with Greensky Bluegrass, the festival headliners, as well as Del McCoury, Grammy winner Sam Bush and Leftover Salmon, to name a few.
Strings, whose real name is William Apostol, received the IBMA 2016 Momentum Awards Instrumentalist of the Year for guitar, banjo and mandolin.
The move to Nashville has been a huge learning experience for the musician.
“I’m performing with guitar players who can play circles around me,” he said. “There’s an unbelievable community of musicians here. I mean, there are some ‘slick pickers.'”
In Nashville, he works with fellow bandmates, banjo player Billy Failing, mandolinist Drew Matulich and bassist Royal Masat, experimenting with new — and old — sounds.
The new album “sounds like the past and the future all at the same time,” he said. “It’s like riding through the cosmos.”