Billy Strings is a fiery flat-picking guitarist with virtuosic chops and a penchant for delivering twangy, front-porch tunes with raucous energy and extended instrumental passages. Growing up in Michigan as a fourth-generation musician with a bluegrass-playing dad, the young guitar wiz (a.k.a. William Apostol) learned traditional acoustic music at an early age, but during his teenage years he played in a heavy metal band and developed a love of psychedelic rock.
Now based in Nashville, Strings fronts a fleet-fingered quartet, blending his influences into a progressive string-band sound that features fast, furious solos and long jam workouts. Next week he’s releasing his debut album, “Turmoil & Tinfoil,” which has moments that could please fans of Black Sabbath and the Grateful Dead, as well as disciples of Bill Monroe. With lyrics about personal discord, the tempo-shifting title track pulses in a sinister minor key, and “Meet Me at the Creek” is a persisting wood-and-wire journey that features wild-eyed string shredding.
The album’s edgier sides are balanced by some of the purer basics of bluegrass. “While I’m Waiting Here” is a sincere, lonesome ballad with close-knit harmonies in the chorus, and during the guitar duet “Salty Sheep,” Strings trades precise, intertwining runs with genre great Bryan Sutton — solid proof he can mingle with the masters.
Show: With Whiskey Shivers on Wednesday at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. 202-667-4490. blackcatdc.com. $15.