Billy Strings Turns in Career Chart Numbers for “Me / And / Dad”

How much does the listening public care about a batch of ol’ stuffy bluegrass cover songs? Apparently quite a bit when they’re coming from Billy Strings. His recent collaboration with his dad Terry Barber has brought in career-record numbers for the bluegrass phenom, and put him at or near the top of multiple charts.

Released on November 18th, Me / And / Dad moved a total of 17,123 units in sales and streaming equivalents, including 15,646 complete albums. This was good enough to give Billy Strings a #1 album in bluegrass, a #2 album in Americana/Folk right behind Zach Bryan and American Heartbreak, and a pretty stellar showing at #7 in country. The album was also #1 in pure album sales in country, and #5 in all of music. It debuts at #37 on the Billboard 200.

This beats Billy’s previous best of #9 in country, and #82 on the Billboard 200 for his last album Renewal, which sold 10,246 total units, and 8,135 physical albums upon release. Me / And / Dad sees a 67% increase for Billy Strings in sales, and speaks the the Michigan native’s swelling popularity. Strings recently announced new tour dates in 2023, and they confirmed that he’s now graduated to becoming an arena artist.

It’s also worth underscoring just what Me / And / Dad is. This isn’t Billy’s usual mix of bluegrass and exploratory psychedelic space-outs. This is a traditional bluegrass album composed of traditional bluegrass standards co-starring Billy’s dad, and featuring a strong cast of traditional bluegrass players, including fiddler Michael Cleveland, dobro player Jerry Douglas, along with Jason Carter, Ron McCoury, and Rob McCoury from the Travelin’ McCourys.

Billy Strings continues to take bluegrass to heights we’ve never seen before live, and is reviving its place in the Top 10 of the country charts. You have to go back to Alison Krauss and her 2011 album Paper Airplane with Union Station to find a comparable title.

Where Billy Strings will go from here is what we’re all wondering, especially when he releases a new album of original material. But for now he’s making hay with the music he was raised on, and it’s helping to keep these traditional bluegrass songs and modes alive in the modern context.

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