Willie Nelson and Billy Strings Release Single “California Sober” [Listen]

By Stu Kelly / April 28, 2023

Billy Strings has once again teamed up with the legendary Willie Nelson on his new single “California Sober.” The song was released today, along with an official music video of the artists recording the song together with Nelson’s harmonica player Mickey Raphael. “California Sober” is Strings’ first release in a new deal with Reprise Records.

Billy Strings and Willie Nelson are well-known musicians in the country music scene, but they come from different generations and have distinct styles.

Billy Strings, born William Apostol in 1992, is a bluegrass musician from Michigan who has gained widespread recognition recently for his virtuosic guitar playing and dynamic stage presence. He started playing guitar at a young age and was influenced by various musical styles, from traditional bluegrass to heavy metal.

Willie Nelson, born in 1933, is a country music icon who has been active in the music industry for over six decades. He is known for his distinctive voice, songwriting ability, and outlaw image. Nelson has released over 70 albums and is a Country Music Hall of Fame inductee. Some of his most famous songs include “On the Road Again,” “Crazy,” and “Always on My Mind.”

Despite the age difference and different styles, there is a connection between the two musicians. Billy Strings has cited Willie Nelson as one of his influences, and in 2020, the two collaborated on a cover of the classic song “Goodnight Irene” as part of the virtual Farm Aid concert. The collaboration was well-received by fans of both artists and highlighted the ongoing influence of traditional country and bluegrass music on contemporary artists. 

Check out the official music video for “California Sober” below. 

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Stu Kelly