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. The two young musicians enthusiastically bounced songs off each other, discovering some of their favorite artists together, such as the Steeldrivers, John Hartford, and The Infamous Stringdusters. Before long, they were writing and performing songs of their own, and at the age of 16, they decided to form their own band. Only, they needed a mandolin player. That's when they called Logan - and the two longtime friends, and now Davies, were bandmates once again.
"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 Named Banjo invited drummer Sam McCullough to join the group, before recording their sophomore album, Long Story Short (2014). In 2015, the band earned a spot on the lineup of their first major music festival, performing at Bonnaroo for the first time in their career. 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. Boy Named Banjo has crafted a sound that incorporates an energetic blend of country, bluegrass, alt-rock, and folk-pop telling their stories through an honest, emotional, roots-driven perspective.
In April 2020, Boy Named Banjo signed a record deal with Mercury Records Nashville and released their debut major label single, “Circles” in July 2021. The band is currently in the studio writing and recording their debut major label EP coming this Summer.
Boy Named Banjo