FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — “It’s one of the better days that we’ve had in a while,” Willard Logan told News 2 in Franklin Saturday afternoon.
Logan, along with Barton Davies, William Reames, Sam McCullough and Ford Garrard, make up Boy Named Banjo, a Nashville-based band with a combination of sounds, blending old-school country, folk rock, Americana and even bluegrass together for a newer take on country music.
The group just wrapped up a performance on the Gold Record Road stage at the annual Pilgrimage Music and Cultural Festival Saturday afternoon, their first time performing at the festival.
The daytime outdoor performance was a favorite of the groups, Logan said, as the energy is one that fueled the fivesome on their ongoing tour.
“It really feeds the soul, a day like today,” Logan said.
Saturday’s performance was also the first time Logan himself had ever been to the festival, though some of his bandmates had been to the festival in the past as attendees. Regardless of if they’ve been before, Logan said they’re all “big fans of the festival” and what it brings to the area.
“It’s going to be hard to top performing at the festival,” he said.
To date, the group has several different festival performances under their belt, including a stop at Bonnaroo in 2015, CMA Fest in 2022 and 2023, and a Bourbon and Beyond performance earlier this year.
This festival, though, hits a little different for Logan, he said, because the blend of genres gathered together in Williamson County reminds them of their own sound.
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“I would say Pilgrimage is unique in the fact that, kind of like us, we’re not a straight country band; we’re not a straight Americana or bluegrass band; we’re kind of a blend of those things,” he said. “To be at a festival that is a blend of all that music is kind of a perfect fit for us.”
And the energy of a festival, he added, is “unmatched.”
The slate of festival performances has also kept the group sharp in preparation for their upcoming album, “Dusk,” set for release this week.
The album is “indeed an electrifying dose of lightning in a bottle, one that explores the full sonic and emotional spectrum of the band’s rich, eclectic sound, from late-night, feel-good, fall-in-love party anthems to stripped-down, introspective meditations on loneliness, loss, and letting go,” according to the band’s artist page.
“We wanted to make a big statement with our first full-length release on Mercury,” says guitarist William Reames. ”Our influences have always been really broad and our sound has always been really wide-ranging, and we didn’t want to shy away from that. At the end of the day, this is who we are.”
The band also teamed up with another Middle Tennessee favorite, Dickel Bourbon, for a special live session performance after their on-stage gig at the festival. Celebrating the brand new permanent offering from the distillery that houses George Dickel Whisky, the band is helping the brand kick off its “Dusk Til Dawn Tour.”
Logan said the partnership was an easy one to make, as two of the band members have history near Cascade Hollow.
“Two of us went to school near Tullahoma, so we kind of know the landscape of where Dickel’s created,” he said. “Barton [Davies] and I, we went to Sewanee, up on the Plateau. It’s a beautiful place—the rolling hills of Tennessee. It’s nice to know that what we’re drinking is coming from such a beautiful area where we have a lot of connection to.”
Between the group’s ongoing tour and the brand-new album, the band has plenty to look forward to through the end of the year.
“We just want people to enjoy the new album and look forward to more music from Boy Named Banjo,” Logan said. “Hopefully you enjoy all the different dimensions of our band.”
“Dusk” is available for pre-order and pre-save now. It will be released on all major streaming platforms, as well as at live shows.
“Come and see us live, and get it on vinyl,” Logan added.