18. Boy Named Banjo
Long before Boy Named Banjo, two of the founding members of the genre-bending band grew up a mile down the road from each other in Nashville. William Reames and Willard Logan both picked up the guitar at an early age, took lessons from the same teacher in town, and played in the same middle school band together. A shared love for bluegrass, folk, and singer/songwriter music sparked a new musical friendship between Reames and banjo player, Barton Davies.
“We were still too young to step foot inside a bar when we first started to play,” Davies recalls, “so we’d set up shop on the sidewalk outside of Robert’s Western World in downtown Nashville and play our own songs for whomever would listen.” According to Davies – about halfway through one of their sets, a man came stumbling out of Robert’s, got in Barton’s face and yelled “play that thing, Banjo Boy! C’mon, Banjo!” Reames texted Davies later that night – “Boy Named Banjo.”
With a brand-new name and a handful of original songs, the trio recorded The Tanglewood Sessions, giving fans an inside look into the lives of the young outfit and receiving unexpected praise. In 2013, Boy NamedBanjo invited drummer Sam McCullough to join the group, before recording their sophomore album, Long Story Short (2014). The band earned a spot in their first major music festival, performing at Bonnaroo in 2015. Shortly after releasing their Lost on Main EP in 2016, Boy Named Banjo found its missing piece, bass guitarist Ford Garrard. The group hit the road and haven’t stopped touring since.
They released their UMG Nashville debut EP, Circles, in summer 2021. The seven-track project prominently features their live show-ready sound, strong harmonies, virtuosic guitar licks, infectious banjo plucks, and undeniably anthemic energy. Putting punctuation on their momentous year, the band played their final show of 2021 at the Brooklyn Bowl in Nashville just two days before Christmas.
Expect them to continue bringing their energetic shows to venues across the country in 2022.
Labels: UMG Nashville
Hot Release: “Go Out Dancing”
If you like: Moon Taxi, Kings of Leon, The Dirty Guv’nahs