It’s New Year’s Eve, time for the Infamous Stringdusters to shine! The adopted Virginians head to The National in Richmond for a doubleheader in front of some of their most faithful fans. They have enlisted a couple of flatpicking phenoms as special guests, with Jon Stickley Trio on 12/30 and Billy Strings on 12/31. The Stringdusters are releasing their 7th album, Laws of Gravity, on January 13, so these shows should see at least the new single “Gravity” being played, if not some other sneak peaks from the record.
This is a homecoming celebration of sorts, as the ‘Dusters lived in nearby Charlottesville for a few crucial years, and have held their annual fall festival, The Festy Experience, in Nelson County for seven years and counting. Though they have been living in separate areas of the country lately, the Stringdusters have never let the foot off the pedal, and have always kept Virginia in their hearts. A couple of years ago, bassist Travis Book told C-Ville.com that it was the band’s “spiritual center,” and the boys always dial in a certain intesity and warmth in their self-proclaimed home state.
From Asheville, North Carolina, Jon Stickley has always pushed the boundaries of the acoustic guitar, now known as one of the most progressive flatpickers around. The Jon Stickley Trio have recently released a new EP, Triangular. The music is fluid, powerful and wildly descriptive, painting pictures without words as Stickley, violinist Lyndsay Pruett and drummer Patrick Armitage go to work as a body of one.
Billy Strings is heralded from coast-to-coast as the next big flatpicker coming up from the younger generation. The 24 year-old wonder plays as fast as lightning, having guested with just about every newgrass artist you can think of. Last Spring, The Poke Around asked Larry Keel, who was next on the flatpicking scene? And Larry couldn’t stop talking about this kid Billy Strings, who was “unbelievable.”
After these NYE shows, the Infamous Stringdusters will hit the road hard for a nationwide tour that takes them through the beginning of April.