On his 30th birthday, GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter and musician Billy Strings announced that Me/And/Dad, the first album he’s recorded with his father, Terry Barber, will be released November 18 via Rounder Records (pre-order here). The product of a longtime dream, the record features new versions of fourteen bluegrass and country classics that the two have been playing together since Strings was a young child.
In advance of the release, the pair’s new versions of bluegrass traditional “Long Journey Home” and George Jones’ “Life To Go” are debuting today. Watch the official video for “Long Journey Home,” directed by Roger Pistole and Scott Mele, HERE.
Reflecting on the project, Strings shares, “As long as I can remember, I wanted to make a record with my dad. I’ve been burning up and down the highways the last 12 years, and as time slips away, you start thinking, ‘I need to make time.’ It’s been a bucket list thing for me, something I’ve been afraid I wouldn’t find the time to do. And that scared me; not doing this record scared me.”
Produced by Strings and Gary Paczosa and recorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studio, Me/And/Dad finds Strings and Barber playing with familiar ease, naturally trading off leads both vocally and on guitar. In addition to Strings and Barber, the album features an all-star band including bassist Mike Bub, mandolinist Ron McCoury, banjo player Rob McCoury and fiddler Michael Cleveland as well as special guest appearances by Jerry Douglas, Jason Carter and Strings’ mother, Debra Barber, who sings on the final track, “I Heard My Mother Weeping.”
The new record follows Strings’ widely acclaimed album, Renewal, which landed on several “Best of 2021” lists including The Bitter Southerner, No Depression, Glide, The Boot, Folk Alley and was one of the Top 50 Most Played Albums at Americana Radio last year. Produced by Jonathan Wilson, the record was released to overwhelming praise with The New York Times declaring, “a premier bluegrass mind for this post-everything era…he has zigged and zagged between the form’s antediluvian traditions and rapid-fire improvisations that hit like hard bop, all within songs with hooks so sharp that he seems poised for crossover stardom.”
And what kind of strings does Billy Strings use? D’Addario Phosphor Bronze Mediums (.013-.056) on his Signature Preston Thompson Guitars. D’Addario was the first to use Phosphor Bronze in acoustic guitar strings back in the early ’70s. Today, Phosphor Bronze is considered the pinnacle of acoustic string alloys, thanks to its beautiful sonic balance and tonal warmth, suitable for all musical genres.
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 Best Bluegrass Album at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards, Artist of the Year at the 2022 Americana Music Awards, Entertainer of the Year and Song of the Year at the 2022 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, Best New Headliner at the 2022 Pollstar Awards, Breakthrough Artist of the Pandemic at the 2021 Pollstar Awards, named Entertainer of the Year and Guitar Player of the Year at the IBMA Awards and has performed on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” PBS’ “Austin City Limits” and “Bluegrass Underground.”
A respected figure across all genres, Strings has also collaborated with a wide variety of artists including Bill Kreutzmann, Luke Combs, Del McCoury, Fences, RMR and many more.
ME/AND/DAD TRACK LIST
1. Long Journey Home (bluegrass traditional)
2. Life To Go (written by George Jones)
3. Way Downtown (written by Doc Watson)
4. Little Blossom (written by Hank Thompson)
5. Peartree (written by Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson, Gaither Carlton)
6. Stone Walls and Steel Bars (written by Ray Pennington, Roy Eugene Marcum)
7. Little White Church (written by Eugene Wellman)
8. Dig A Little Deeper (In The Well) (written by Jody Emerson, Roger Bowling)
9. Wandering Boy (written by A.P. Carter)
10. John Deere Tractor (written by Lawrence Hammond)
11. Frosty Morn (bluegrass traditional)
12. I Haven’t Seen Mary In Years (written by Damon Black)
13. Little Cabin Home On The Hill (written by Lester Flatt, Bill Monroe)
14. Heard My Mother Weeping (written by Carl Story, Lowell Blanchard