What: 4 Peaks Music Festival

When: Thursday through Sunday

Where: D.M. Stevenson Ranch, 21085 Knott Road, Bend

Cost: $225 plus fees for full festival (includes camping), $80 for young adults, free for kids ages 10 and younger, $100 for Friday ticket, $120 for Saturday ticket, $40 for Sunday ticket, $25 vehicle impact fee, $40 for three-axle/trailer pass, $150 for RV pass

Contact: 4peaksmusic.com

Billy Strings has had a lot of opportunities to learn from his musical heroes, but the biggest lessons were mostly unspoken.

Since emerging on the national scene in the early 2010s with a pair of collaborative albums with mandolinist Don Julin, the bluegrass prodigy born William Apostol has played extensively with artists such as Del McCoury, Sam Bush, David Grisman and more. The bluegrass scene is notoriously welcoming, as Strings would soon find out. Not surprisingly, he credits McCoury and his sons, Ronnie and Rob McCoury, for one of his biggest, unspoken lessons: Always be kind to other people.

“I didn’t learn it straight from Del, but he definitely inspired me,” Strings said recently while between tour stops in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He and his four-piece band will perform Saturday at the 12th annual 4 Peaks Music Festival, which takes place Thursday through Sunday at D.M. Stevenson Ranch.

The other big lesson came in the middle of a show. Strings recalled taking part in a 20-musician jam years ago that also included multi-instrumentalist Bush. The young guitarist had just finished taking a solo and thought no one else would notice if he took a quick sip of his beer.

“When I did that, I noticed Sam Bush was standing right next to me,” Strings said. “He had his eyes closed and he was just playing the (crap) out of the song. And he wasn’t near any microphone — he was way to the back of the stage, just like me; nobody could hear him — but he was playing the song with every ounce of his soul and every — I mean, 300%. I felt like such an infant for taking my hands off my guitar to take a drink of beer. It’s like, dude, we’re playing a … song right now.”

That level of dedication and intensity informs nearly every aspect of Strings’ career. He regularly plays upwards of 200 shows per year while finding time to record. (The not-yet-titled follow-up to his debut solo album, “Turmoil & Tinfoil,” should be released in the fall, he said). Bend fans at 4 Peaks can therefore expect an intense set from Strings and his band — including longtime banjoist Billy Failing, upright bassist Royal Masat and mandolinist Jarrod Walker.

He will join a lineup spread across two main stages — Cascade Mountain Stage and Lava Rock Stage — and featuring folk-rockers The Wood Brothers (featuring Chris Wood of Medeski Martin & Wood), Chicano rockers Los Lobos, string band The Lil Smokies, festival favorite Poor Man’s Whiskey and more (see the full schedule below). Local musical prodigies CJ Neary and Maxwell Friedman will serve as artists-at-large, sitting in with other performers throughout the festival.

The festival will continue to grow in its third year at D.M. Stevenson Ranch. Director Stacy Koff teased an expanded lineup for the Junction Stage, which is located in the campgrounds, and a second bar and lounge area. The after-hours Silent Disco, Movie Under the Stars and Kidlandia family area will return from previous years. Attendees also will receive a free Silipint this year to help cut down on waste and improve sustainability, Koff said.

“The site in our third year is getting pretty dialed in,” Koff said. “We’ll have a really good flow on site this year.”

Over the years, 4 Peaks has gained a reputation for eclectic, genre-bridging lineups with an emphasis on jamming in particular. Strings, who has performed at Volcanic Theatre Pub and was scheduled to play the canceled 2017 Sisters Folk Festival, fits the bill. Just take a listen to “Meet Me at the Creek,” the nine-plus minute opus from his debut solo album, 2017’s “Turmoil & Tinfoil.”

“When I wrote that song, I was like, ‘Man, I want to write a song that has a big ol’ space where it’s just open and free, and we just take it to a different place every night,’” he said. “I had that in my head before I even wrote the song; it’s like, this song has to have a big jam in the middle. … But sometimes when we’re onstage we’ll do that to a song that (we) necessarily hadn’t done that before; it just ends up going there. We kind of tapped into that energy of being onstage and playing music together.”

Strings has a deep musical background to pull from for these moments. His stepfather, Terry Barber, who performed guest vocals on a song on “Turmoil & Tinfoil,” introduced him to bluegrass at a young age while growing up in Michigan.

“From the time I was born to the time I was about 8 years old or 9 years old, I only heard bluegrass really,” Strings said. “I mean, I heard stuff that was on the radio, and my mom would listen to Pearl Jam and Led Zeppelin and stuff, but for the most part, I just heard bluegrass and my dad playing bluegrass. I played with him and I learned from a young age how to play bluegrass rhythm. I learned a lot of the repertoire as far as the songs and stuff.”

His stepfather bought him an electric guitar when he was about 11, and he soon began playing with some friends in middle school. “I’d been playing with a bunch of old guys my whole life, and I really wanted to play music with people that were my age,” he said.

Those friends were involved in the metal scene, specifically death metal. Strings, who dabbled in classic rock before, was not a fan of the abrasive sounds at first, but eventually came around and still listens to death metal bands such as Crypt and Suffocation.

“I grew up playing bluegrass my whole life, and that’s how I learned how to play music,” Strings said. “But I learned how to perform in a metal band, which, you know, we were headbanging and thrashing all over the stage and spitting on people. It was insane. … When I came back to bluegrass, some of that metal energy stuck.”

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