Photo courtesy of Boy Named Banjo
What do Billy Joel, Kendrick Lamar, and Mumford & Sons all have in common?
They’re all lucky enough to get to play alongside Sewanee’s own Boy Named Banjo at Bonnaroo this summer! Over the course of a brutal bracket-based competition, Boy Named Banjo beat out 62 other bands in order to win an opportunity to play at Bonnaroo 2015 this June. Hosted by Sonicbids, the tournament ran from March 19 to April 6, and pitted 64 bands against each other over 6 rounds of voting. Both Boy Named Banjo, and Wild Adriatic (a band hailing from New York) won a performance slot at Bonnaroo and $1000. The boys will be performing in Manchester on Friday, June 12. Boy Named Banjo originally began at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville over the summer of 2010. Barton Davies (C’16) and William Reames (C’16) discovered a passion for bluegrass and started to write their own songs. Shortly afterward, they were joined by Willard Logan, a student of University of Tennessee at Knoxville. The band’s sound was rounded out by the addition of Sam McCullough and Abe Scott. Davies and Reames have been able to bring Boy Named Banjo to Sewanee on several occasions, most recently performing at the Kappa Alpha house on April 17. The band’s music is also featured in the video “This Light Will Guide You,” produced by Stephen Alvarez (C’87) for the Sewanee Annual Fund.
In addition to performing at Sewanee, Boy Named Banjo has performed in Knoxville and at Rhodes, as well as all over Nashville, including the Nashville Chalk Fest, The Basement, Bridgestone Arena (for a Predators’ hockey game), The Mercy Lounge, and the Endada Spring Arts Festival. The band was also featured as the local Lightning Artist of the Week on Lighting 100, a Nashville radio station, the week of April 13-19. Boy Named Banjo expressed their excitement on the Sonicbids website and their Facebook page following the announcement of their victory. “We could not be more excited to be playing at Bonnaroo! Everybody in Boy Named Banjo has been to the festival at least once, so we understand what an honor it is to perform on the farm alongside some of our biggest influences and some of the greatest bands in the world. It’s absolutely a dream come true for us, and we are so thankful for Sonicbids, our amazing friends, family, and fans for giving us the opportunity of a lifetime. We won’t let you down!” To keep up with Boy Named Banjo, like them on Facebook.