Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, performer and musician Billy Strings is nominated in two categories at the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards: Best Bluegrass Album (Renewal) and Best American Roots Performance (“Love and Regret”). The live awards ceremony will be broadcast Monday, January 31 at 8:00PM ET/7:00PM CT on CBS.
Out now via Rounder Records (stream/purchase here), Renewal was produced by Jonathan Wilson and solidifies Strings’ position as a singular artist—one who honors the history of the music that inspires him, while continually pushing it forward. With the record’s sixteen tracks, Strings shares a more personal and honest perspective through his songwriting, while incorporating his wide range of influences with elements of bluegrass, classic rock, metal, psychedelic music and more.
Critical acclaim for Renewal…
“writes pensive, philosophical songs and breezes through them with his virtuosic guitar…the core of the music is an acoustic string band—with fiddle and banjo, no drums—that happily takes an occasional psychedelic detour.”—The New York Times
“In addition to some dazzling picking from Strings and his bandmates, there’s a heaviness to the chord progressions and lyrics that speaks to his love of metal.”—Rolling Stone
“Strings’ high level of musicianship and lyrical sincerity are the kind that defies the boundaries of time and genre.”—Spin
“Calling Renewal a remarkable work doesn’t even begin to describe its full extent of prowess and sheer ability. In a word, Strings simply soars.”—American Songwriter
“Billy Strings is an unparalleled talent… continue to show the direction bluegrass can go, offering multiple paths full of promise, beauty, and explosive joy”—No Depression
“Billy Strings is, without question, one of the greatest musical talents of our lifetime, regardless of genre.”—Glide
“Renewal capitalizes on the confidence and artistic growth those experiences have delivered, with experimental new instrumentation, contemplative lyricism, and trademark picking.” —The Bluegrass Situation
“Renewal is Billy Strings’ Sistine Chapel; his grandest work to date that’s sure to cast a wide net of influence over bluegrass music for years to come”—Holler
“he’s truly firing on all cylinders”—Jambands
“Bluegrass man-of-the-moment”—Magnet Magazine
“showcases Strings’ lyrical prowess”—Live For Live Music
“the hottest thing going in Americana and bluegrass right now, both on stage and on record” —Cleveland.com
“Billy Strings adds mastery of words to his guitar prowess on Renewal”—Local Spins
“Strings is the confident ringleader, singing and playing guitar with bravado and ingenuity” —The Arts Fuse
“an all-killer, no-filler progressive ‘newgrass’ masterpiece that offers instrumental progression alongside deep, self-aware and wittily constructed lyricism that will see him continue to build new audiences for the genre.”—Main Street Nashville
“this album is top-notch from front to back”—Outsider
In celebration of the new music, Strings will continue his extensive headline tour through next year including upcoming stops at Port Chester’s The Capitol Theatre (four nights, all sold out), Augusta’s Bell Auditorium (two nights), Knoxville’s Civic Auditorium (two nights, both sold out), Madison’s The Sylvee (three nights, all sold out), Cleveland’s KeyBank State Theatre and Cincinnati’s Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center (two nights, both sold out) among many others. See below for complete itinerary. Reflecting on the record, Strings shares, “I listen to this album now and it’s emotional. I could sit there and tweak it forever, but there’s a point where it’s like building a house of cards. Yeah, I could add an extra tower on top, but it might collapse. 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.’”
In addition to Strings (vocals, guitar, mandolin, piano, synth, guitjo) and Wilson (celesta, percussion, harpsicord), the record features Strings’ band—Billy Failing (banjo, piano, background vocals), Royal Masat (bass, background vocals) and Jarrod Walker (mandolin, guitar, background vocals)—as well as special guest musicians Spencer Cullum (pedal steel), John Mailander (violin) and Grant Millikem (synth).
Renewal adds to an already triumphant career for Strings, who won Best Bluegrass Album at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards for his 2019 record, Home. Released to overwhelming acclaim, The Associated Press praised the album, asserting, “it is his creative musical storytelling, paired with solid vocals on Home that should seal the deal, pleasing fans of the genre and creating some new ones…the perfect blend of pure talent and pluck,” while The Wall Street Journal proclaimed, “Billy Strings has clearly emerged as a premier guitar flatpicker of this era” and Rolling Stone declared, “one of string music’s most dynamic young stars.” Strings and the record also topped Billboard’s 2020 year-end chart in both Bluegrass categories: Top Bluegrass Artists and Top Bluegrass Albums.
Raised in Michigan and now based in Nashville, Strings is known as one of music’s most compelling artists. Since his 2017 debut, he has been awarded Breakthrough Artist of the Pandemic at the 2021 Pollstar Awards, named Entertainer of the Year and Guitar Player of the Year at the 2021 International Bluegrass Music Awards and has performed on PBS’ “Bluegrass Underground.” A respected figure across all genres, Strings has also recently collaborated with a wide variety of artists including Bill Kreutzmann, Luke Combs, Del McCoury, Fences, RMR and many more.