Red Light Management

Boy Named Banjo

Artist Bio

In a time when the popular choice is to chase the double yellow line down the road to country radio, Boy Named Banjo thrives on its fringes. The Nashville-raised five-piece is a fusion of contemporary country, Americana and folk-rock stacked on a foundation of bluegrass.

“We’re trying to find our own niche within popular country music today,” says Sam McCullough (drums). “But not straight down the middle.”

The band, which has been together in some iteration since members were in high school, is comprised of Barton Davies (banjo), Ford Garrard (bass/upright bass), Sam McCullough (drums) Willard Logan (mandolin, acoustic/electric guitar) and William Reames (acoustic guitar/harmonica). William and Willard played in a middle school garage rock band together, but it wasn’t until William met Barton in high school English class that Boy Named Banjo started to take shape.

Barton had just started playing banjo when he heard William listening to bluegrass music. He suggested they jam together, which led to them asking Willard to join them. The guys started playing music on the streets of downtown Nashville, which is where the name “Boy Named Banjo” was created, outside of the famed Robert’s Western World. While playing, a man walked by and yelled to Barton “Play that banjo boy!” Later that night William came up with the name Boy Named Banjo, which has stuck ever since.

Ford started playing bass when he was 13 years old, and he, Willard, William and Barton shared a guitar teacher. They played a couple of shows together in high school, but it wasn’t until after college that Ford and Sam joined the band and together the five guys formed the band Boy Named Banjo that we know today.

“I was like, ‘I don’t think you need a drummer because you’re a bluegrass band, but I’ll be your drummer if you want me to be,'” Sam recalls. “They were like, ‘Hell yeah, let’s do it.'”

That was the summer of 2013, and the addition of the bass and drums immediately started to evolve the group’s sound from its rootsy, string band feel into something more commercial. Not only did the band continue to steadily release music independently, releasing two albums and an EP, the band developed its one-of-a-kind live show over the years until it attracted Mercury Records Nashville’s attention in 2019.

Boy Named Banjo had just launched their most extensive headlining tour to date when the pandemic commanded them to drive the 36 hours from Portland, Oregon, back to Nashville and put their lives on hold for the next 18 months. They became the first act that Universal Music Group Nashville signed via Zoom about two weeks later.

“We’re a very live-driven band,” William said. “We love to play live. We love for people just to have a great time. We also have a lot of banjo solos and electric guitar. I feel like our music is an escape from everyday life. You come to a show, and we have a little bit of something for everyone.”

While the pause wasn’t what anyone planned, Boy Named Banjo released their debut EP, Circles, in summer of 2021. The collection includes seven tracks co-written by members of the band including the compassionate “Go Out Dancing,” which the band says takes on a much larger meaning post pandemic thinking “if it really was ending” what would we do? They used the time to write songs and hone in on their sound with writer/producer Oscar Charles (Carly Pearce, Charlie Worsham, Elvie Shane). With a catalogue of songs to choose from, and recent time spent in the studio, the guys are deciding what to run with next.

“They built themselves into something great and Nashville noticed. These guys are realer than the real deal,” says Charles.

“The pause was tough touring wise because that’s where we really thrive is on the road,” William said. “If people haven’t heard us, they seem to get it when they see us live. That’s a huge aspect of what we do, so figuring out how to capture our live sound in the studio is tricky. But that time allowed us to figure that out a little bit.”

Until now, members say, they were finding their way through their “musical adolescence.” “We have a special chemistry together,” Barton said.

“I think we’re really just starting to know what Boy Named Banjo sounds like from here on out,” Sam said.

The band is currently out on the road playing some of country music’s largest festivals including Dierks Bentley’s Seven Peaks, Country Jam, and they recently made their CMA Fest debut playing at the Ascend Amphitheatre Nighttime Concert. They head out on the road this fall as direct support to multi- PLATINUM singer/songwriter, Kip Moore on his Fire on Wheels Tour.

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Tour Dates

Aug 25 2022
Bloomington, IN
Aug 26 2022
The Blue Note
Columbia, MO
Aug 27 2022
The Bourbon Theatre
Lincoln, NE
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Sep 03 2022
Seven Peaks 2022
Villa Grove, CO
Sep 08 2022
The Complex
Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 09 2022
Knitting Factory Concert House
Boise, ID
Sep 10 2022
Hop Country Music Fest
Yakima, WA
Sep 11 2022
Roseland Theater
Portland, OR
Sep 15 2022
Paramount Theatre
Denver, CO
Sep 16 2022
The Admiral Theater
Omaha, NE
Sep 17 2022
Tony's Pizza Event Center
Salina, KS
Sep 23 2022
Ruby Amphitheater
Morgantown, WV
Sep 24 2022
Rams Head Live!
Baltimore, MD
Oct 06 2022
The NorVa
Norfolk, VA
Oct 07 2022
Coyote Joe's
Charlotte, NC
Oct 08 2022
The Blind Horse Saloon
Greenville, SC
Oct 13 2022
Riverside Theater
Milwaukee, WI
Oct 14 2022
EPIC Event Center
Green Bay, WI
Oct 15 2022
The Sylvee
Madison, WI
Oct 20 2022
Charleston Music Hall
Charleston, SC
Oct 21 2022
The Moon
Tallahassee, FL
Oct 27 2022
Empire Live
Albany, NY
Oct 28 2022
Flynn Center For the Performing Arts
Burlington, VT
Oct 29 2022
Paramount Theatre, VT
Rutland, VT
Nov 10 2022
Terminal 5
New York, NY
Nov 11 2022
Hershey Theatre
Hershey, PA
Nov 12 2022
TempleLive Cleveland Masonic
Cleveland, OH



Livestreams for Aug 27 – Sept 1

Friday, August 27   Rhett Miller Friday Freakout (recurring event) 9pm ET     Saturday, August 28 No livestreams     Sunday, August 29   Rhett Miller Sunday Brunch (recurring event)…

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