Billy Strings , the 28-year-old guitar phenom, was named Entertainer of the Year at the International Bluegrass Music Association awards show Thursday evening in Raleigh, North Carolina. Strings' win represents a sea change in bluegrass, a genre that has traditionally been reluctant to change and obstinate about awarding artists who take a progressive approach to string music. Strings was not in attendance to receive the honor, but his songwriting collaborator Jon Weisberger talked to Rolling Stone about what the win meant for bluegrass. "With Billy, it's the breadth of his playing. You hear the classics from the bluegrass canon done in his own distinctive way, and then his band can jam like crazy," Weisberger said. "Like most bluegrass flat pickers, Billy goes right to the source — you hear Doc Watson and Clarence White in his playing." Strings also took home his second Guitar Player of the Year honor at the IBMAs, which he first won in 2019. "Billy is bringing bluegrass to so many different kinds of people in such huge audiences. And it's a fresh approach in putting on a show — tonight's win is really big news," Weisberger says. Held at the Duke Energy Center for the… Read full this story
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