Grammy Award-winner Billy Strings and his dad, Terry Barber, have debuted a powerful new version of Lawrence Hammond’s “John Deere Tractor.”
The song is the latest unveiled from the pair’s anticipated new album, Me/And/Dad, which will be released November 18 via Rounder Records. The product of a longtime dream, the record features new versions of fourteen bluegrass and country classics that the two have been playing together since Strings was a young child.
Already receiving critical acclaim, the pair’s new versions of George Jones’ “Life To Go” and bluegrass traditional “Long Journey Home” recently debuted, of which NPR Music praises, “exuberant interplay…he and Barber’s take comes in hot, a match made tender by the familiar harmonies of these two lifelong picking partners.” Additionally, Strings was recently featured on CBS Sunday Morning, speaking with correspondent Conor Knighton.
Reflecting on the project, Strings shares, “As long as I can remember, I wanted to make a record with my dad. I’ve been burning up and down the highways the last 12 years, and as time slips away, you start thinking, ‘I need to make time.’ It’s been a bucket list thing for me, something I’ve been afraid I wouldn’t find the time to do. And that scared me; not doing this record scared me.”
Produced by Strings and Gary Paczosa and recorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studio, the record finds Strings and Barber playing with familiar ease, naturally trading off leads both vocally and on guitar. In addition to Strings and Barber, the album features an all-star band including bassist Mike Bub, mandolinist Ron McCoury, banjo player Rob McCoury, and fiddler Michael Cleveland, as well as special guest appearances by Jerry Douglas, Jason Carter, and Strings’ mother, Debra Barber, who sings on the final track, “I Heard My Mother Weeping.”
Known for his electric live shows, Strings will continue his headline tour next year including 15 newly confirmed arena dates.