Billy Failing

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Past shows

  • Bluegrass Roundup: Billy Failing

    This show was on Feb 23rd, 2015 | 51 people watched
    7 Comments - See all
    • Feb 24
      Truly amazing work!
    • Feb 24
      We didn't watch it.
    • Feb 24
      It was a terrific idea! Those of us on the listening side seemed to have a blast, but I think it was difficult for the musicians to connect with their audience via the very brief comments. Not that they didn't enjoy the comments, but they were hardly comparable to real-time audible responses. Over all, this is a very cool concept! M.A. Malone
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Bio

An accomplished banjo player, guitarist, singer and songwriter, Portland, Oregon native Billy Failing is constantly exploring new and different musical ideas. From an early age, Billy was naturally drawn to music and discovering new and interesting sounds. From early childhood violin lessons to high school Ghanaian drumming sessions to loud, high-energy indie rock with his high school band,... more

An accomplished banjo player, guitarist, singer and songwriter, Portland, Oregon native Billy Failing is constantly exploring new and different musical ideas. From an early age, Billy was naturally drawn to music and discovering new and interesting sounds. From early childhood violin lessons to high school Ghanaian drumming sessions to loud, high-energy indie rock with his high school band, Electric Lunch, his early days as a musician were characterized by exploration and the search for a unique musical voice.
In his first year of college in Eugene, Oregon, Billy began dedicating himself to learning bluegrass banjo, after a few years of experimenting with the instrument on the side. The banjo quickly became his main instrument, and bluegrass music his primary mode of expression. Working his way back from modern bluegrass-related musicians like Bela Fleck, Tim O’Brien and Yonder Mountain String Band to the earliest innovators like Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley and Earl Scruggs, Billy immersed himself in the bluegrass sound. His developing songwriting and instrumental skills were put to good use when he helped to form Mossy Top, a progressive Eugene bluegrass band, and later, when he was asked to join the Portland-based jam-grass stringband, Wy’East.
Eventually, Billy’s dedication to musical improvement led him to the world-class Berklee College of Music in Boston. As one of a select handful of banjo players studying at Berklee, he has vastly expanded his instrumental toolbox and repertoire, in addition to honing his songwriting and compositional skills. Exposure to jazz, classical, celtic and old time music, among other styles, have greatly expanded the range and versatility of Billy’s playing style on both banjo and guitar, in addition to his original music. Alongside his regular coursework at Berklee, Billy had the opportunity to study with several masters of the banjo, including Noam Pikelny, Tony Trischka, Bill Keith and Alan Munde, to name a few, as well as private sessions with renowned fiddlers Darol Anger and Bruce Molsky.
His playing is derived from a diverse mix of styles that come together to make up a truly unique sound. Venturing into somewhat uncharted territory with his exploration of jazz and classical ideas on the banjo, Billy seeks to break new ground, while still maintaining the soul and character of traditional bluegrass music. His unique background as a musician manifests itself in his music, and presents a distinctive break from tradition.

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