Billy Strings Says It’s Eerie How His Grammy-Winning Album ‘Home’ ‘Almost Foreshadowed’ the COVID-19 Pandemic
Billy Strings became a first-time Grammy Awards winner on Sunday night (March 14), earning the Best Bluegrass Album honor for his breakthrough second studio project, 2019's Home. The project draws from some of Strings' earliest musical memories of learning to play guitar from his dad, and came by its roots-focused title honestly; after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020, however, Strings says he now associates the album with "home" on an even more literal level.
"There's even certain little things on the album that almost foreshadowed the whole thing," Strings reflected in the 2021 Grammys virtual press room after he claimed his trophy. "It's called Home, and a lot of us were stuck at home all year."
Strings also points to a couple of specific "lyrical details" on the album that have taken on extra significance looking at them in hindsight: "The song "Watch it Fall" is, to me, sort of eerie, because everything sort of fell. And I have this song "Away From the Mire," and there's this line, 'Spring lied to us this year.' And, you know, it was kind of that spring, last March, that all our plans fell through," he explains.
Despite all of the challenges that 2020 posed, Strings continues to work on new music. Most recently, he appeared alongside Luke Combs on "The Great Divide," a banjo-laden call for unity that the pair co-wrote with Wyatt Durrette. In the Grammys press room, Strings revealed that he and Combs co-wrote another track that he hopes will see the light of day soon.
"We wrote one other song that I really liked. I hope that he, or we, or I, put [it out] -- that somebody records it," the singer adds. "It's kind of a tearjerker, you know?"
Aside from the writing he's been doing with Combs, Strings says he's hard at work on his own next project. But in the wake of Home -- and especially because of how prophetic it turned out to be about the pandemic that lay ahead -- he's being careful about what kind of energy he puts into the project.
"I hope the next album will be called Renewal or something!" Strings comments. "As far as not being stuck at home. Let's get back to being happy and having fun."
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