NEPA Scene Staff

Grammy-winning bluegrass phenom Billy Strings is back in Wilkes-Barre at Mohegan Sun Arena on Dec. 15

Grammy-winning bluegrass phenom Billy Strings is back in Wilkes-Barre at Mohegan Sun Arena on Dec. 15
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From a press release:

Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and progressive bluegrass musician Billy Strings will continue his extensive headlining tour through the fall, including newly confirmed shows at Portland’s Moda Center (two nights), Seattle’s WAMU Theater, Stanford’s Frost Amphitheater (two nights), Grand Rapids’ Van Andel Arena, Pittsburgh’s Petersen Events Center (two nights), Baltimore’s CFG Bank Arena (two nights), and Syracuse’s The Oncenter, as well as dates in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.

This run includes a stop at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza (255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre Twp.) on Friday, Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets, which start at $54, go on sale to the general public this Friday, April 28 at 10 a.m. at A pre-sale begins on Wednesday, April 26 at 10 a.m.

Billy Strings made an impression on Northeastern Pennsylvania early in his fast-rising career, performing in the nearby F.M. Kirby Center’s “Live from the Chandelier Lobby” series in 2017 and 2018, as well as the 2017 Susquehanna Breakdown and 2019 Peach Music Festival at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton. His national Meet Me at the Drive-In Tour spent three consecutive nights in the Mohegan Sun Arena parking lot in 2020, bringing thousands of people together, many from states as far away as Kentucky and Maine, to safely enjoy live music outdoors next to their vehicles; his Saturday performance that weekend sold out.

He returned to play another successful show inside Mohegan Sun Arena in 2021, followed by a headlining slot at the 2022 Peach Music Festival.

“When we started the lobby series at the Kirby Center several years ago, what excited me most was believing that one day an artist would graduate from lobby to arena within the market. Well, today is that day!” said Will Beekman, the general manager of Mohegan Sun Arena and former executive director of the Kirby Center, said when that show was announced.

“Tickets won’t last long. Thrilled and thankful.”

The fall dates are just the latest added to Strings’ extensive 2023 run, which also includes upcoming shows at Morrison’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre (two nights, both sold out), Denver’s Mission Ballroom, Phoenix’s Arizona Financial Center (sold out), Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre (sold out), Las Vegas’ Brooklyn Bowl (sold out), Austin’s Moody Center, Indianapolis’ TCU Amphitheater (two nights, both sold out), and Boston’s Leader Bank Pavilion (two nights), among many others.

These add to yet another landmark year for the 30-year-old musician, who released “Me/And/Dad,” the first album he recorded with his father, Terry Barber, this past fall via Rounder Records. The product of a longtime dream, the record features new versions of 14 bluegrass and country classics that the two have been playing together since Strings was a young child. Released to overwhelming acclaim in 2022, NPR Music praised it as “exuberant interplay … a match made tender by the familiar harmonies of these two lifelong picking partners,” while the Wall Street Journal declared, “’Me/And/Dad’ works beautifully … The guitars from the principals along with mandolin, banjo, fiddle and bass are expertly played with joy and verve.” Billboard proclaimed it as “top-notch, wooly bluegrass picking wraps around distinct, family harmonies throughout.” In celebration of the release, Strings and Barber were featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” speaking with host Ailsa Chang, while Strings was also featured on “CBS Sunday Morning” speaking with correspondent Conor Knighton.

The new record follows Strings’ 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 on Americana Radio last year. Produced by Jonathan Wilson, the record was released in 2021 to overwhelming praise, with the New York Times declaring him “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.”

Raised in Michigan and now based in Nashville, Strings is known as one of modern music’s most compelling artists. Since his 2017 debut, he has earned 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 Awards (the organization also named him Entertainer of the Year and Guitar Player of the Year in 2021), Best New Headliner at the 2022 Pollstar Awards, and Breakthrough Artist of the Pandemic at the 2021 Pollstar Awards. He has performed on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” PBS’ “Austin City Limits,” and “Bluegrass Underground.” As a respected figure across all genres, he has also collaborated with a wide variety of artists.

See NEPA Scene’s photos of Billy Strings performing at Mohegan Sun Arena’s 2020 drive-in concert series here, the 2019 Peach Music Festival here, the F.M. Kirby Center in 2018 here, and the 2017 Susquehanna Breakdown here.

Photo by Scott Kucharski Photography/NEPA Scene