MEET ME AT THE CREEK – Billy Strings

Originally from the small town of Muir, Michigan, Billy Strings (William Apostol) has been touring around the country this year and still managed to make time to release his sophomore album Home. His guitar picking skills are on fire and the toe-tapping music he creates is just something I can’t get enough of.

Though there seems to be no limit to his talent, one particular song continues to stand out to me off his debut album Turmoil and Tinfoil. “Meet Me at the Creek” is a fast-paced traditional bluegrass tune featuring the standard of guitar (Billy Strings), bass (Brad Tucker, Royal Masat touring), mandolin (Drew Matulich, Jarrod Walker touring), and banjo (Billy Failing).

The first seconds of the song spin and swell into a short pause, before the off-beats take us into a frenzy with the banjo setting up the melody. The music moves swiftly to the first verse where the unique quality of Billy’s voice sets in – a throaty yet smooth tone with a little bit of twang.

Lyrically, the song focuses on returning home, penniless (or nickel-less?) and full of misfortunes from a life away. Burdened with all the bad choices, the narrator comes to the creek to watch the muddy waters churn, taking his troubles with it. And while it may only be a temporary ease, at least some worry can be left behind. I, too, enjoy sitting by a creek (a raging river can also do the trick) – the sound of the moving water is soothing and sometimes loud enough to inhibit your own thinking.

After moving through the first couple of verses and chorus, the banjo again moves forward, answered by the guitar. The short verse following has a fun pause on the song title before moving into another chorus before the song heavily syncopates and runs into a whisper of itself as everyone gears up for solos.

The mandolin starts the jam session ending in a whirlwind that leads to the guitar. After some decent play, the guitar builds up with the mandolin into a siren like sound and then wildly drops off to that banjo that has just been “slowly” moving in the background. The song gradually builds around the banjo, moving a few times more back to guitar and mandolin, as we are pulled out of the jam and back to the melody. This improv’d section is likely new every time it is performed live – a bonus with bluegrass and jam bands.

Billy Strings is not a musician you want to miss. “Meet Me at the Creek” is just one of the many fantastic songs that he has put together. If you are not a bluegrass fan, I still encourage you to give it a try. His music has bleed in from other genres – most notably rock influence – and it comes with so much energy. Passionate musicians always shine through.

Go grab a beer and tap your foot to this one! Please take a listen to a live performance of this song here and check out the full lyrics below.

Enjoy!
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“Meet Me at the Creek” by Billy Strings

Well I’m standing all alone by the river of my home
Thinking about the days I’ve left behind
All the years I roamed not a nickel can I show
And the river helps to ease my worried mind

Well the river run all night, lord, the river runs all day
I can’t run no more cause I’m here to stay
I had an eye for trouble and I’ve lived a life of pain
I sit back and let that water heal my brain

I’m letting go of all my troubles
I think I’ll be right here to stay
Well the water keeps a churning while my poor heart is burning
Muddy water take my pain away

Well one thing I want to know, lord, is where we people go
When everything comes crashing to the ground
Meet me at the creek grab a beer and tap your feet
See that muddy water flowing down

I’m letting go of all my troubles
I think I’ll be right here to stay
Well the water keeps a churning while my poor heart is burning
Muddy water take my pain away

Well I’m standing all alone by the river of my home
Thinking about the days I’ve left behind
All the years I roamed not a nickel can I show
And the river helps to ease my worried mind

I’m letting go of all my troubles
I think I’ll be right here to stay
Well the water keeps a churning while my poor heart is burning
Muddy water take my pain away
Muddy water take my pain away

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