Ionia Michigan Native Billy Strings Takes Home Bluegrass Grammy [Video]
Some of you may have run across Billy Strings when he used to busk on street corners in Traverse City back in the day. Now, he's a bona fide star.
I first came across Billy playing on the street corners of the Cherry Capital during the height of tourist season. Even then, you could tell he was going places, and Sunday he achieved a career high, winning the Grammy for Best Bluegrass album for "Home".
Strings, whose real name is Bill Apostal, learned to play at the side of his stepfather, Terry Barber, a picker on the Michigan bluegrass scene. He got the nickname "Billy Strings",
Strings has since ascended to the top of the bluegrass scene nationally, where he's acclaimed for being one of the top guitar pickers out there, having been featured at the Grand Old Opry, the shrine of country music.
His latest album is a blend of old school bluegrass and modern takes on the genre, including this song, "Watch It Fall", which features a video of some stunning sights around our country, with some heavy lyrics about what will happen if we don't learn to get along.
Billy accepted the award live from his home in Nashville, where he now lives.
Congratulations, Billy, and thanks for doing West Michigan proud. So I'll play one more song of his, which is my favorite from the Home album, "Enough To Leave".