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Boy Named Banjo Plays First Show of the Year at Charlotte’s Visulite Theatre

Boy Named Banjo Plays First Show of the Year at Charlotte’s Visulite Theatre

By: Keely Caulder

Whether you like banjo music or not, it’s hard to be in a bad mood when listening to it. Saturday night, the Americana-Roots band from Nashville, TN, Boy Named Banjo, played their first headlining show in Charlotte, NC at the Visulite Theatre.


Kicking off the night and opening for the band was Pierce Edens, a rootsy singer-songwriter from Asheville, NC. Having recently opened up for Langhorne Slim at the Orange Peel on NYE, he has planned to play his first couple shows of the year in his home state.


chatty crowd was still filling in as Edens began to sing. His raspy, vagabond voice quickly quieted the audience and had many dancing on their feet by the second song. Edens played multiple songs from his fifth and most recent album Stripped Down Gussied Up.


He shared the stage with guitar player, Kevin Reese. With only the two of them, it was amazing the sound they were able to put out. You would have thought they had a full band onstage. Both men played acoustic guitars. Edens also beat the kick drum while strumming along on his guitar. My favorite song Edens played was “Sirens.” By watching him play, I could see the influence North Carolina has had on his music. Edens sang about wandering men, train tracks, and daffodils. His americana/folk rock sound had him transitioning from soft and delicate songs to gritty, raspy, numbers – and he made it look easy along the way. There is something to be said about hearing about a musician/band for the first time live. Edens’ performance was easily one of the best opening acts I have seen in a long time. His music is beautiful both lyrically instrumentally. After the show, I immediately bought his album, sold to me by Edens himself.  


At this point, the house was packed. Everyone seemed to arrive just in time for the main act. I stumbled upon Boy Named Banjo while attending AmericanaFest in Nashville, TN this past September. The festival had concerts spread out across Nashville, a similar setup to SXSW.


I simply went to their show because I liked their band name and knew nothing more. Little did I know that I would leave loving their music. The show on Saturday night was the band’s first of the new year as a part of their small tour on the eastern half of the US. Boy Named Banjo began their set with their most popular song “Blue Hole Bridge,” a joyous summertime memory, instantly making the crowd forget it was 40 degrees outside.


Boy Named Banjo consists of five members and the talent amongst them is unreal. Each member of the band is a multi-instrumentalist. On Saturday night I witnessed a banjo, a harmonica, mandolin, bass, acoustic guitar, and drums. They released their first album, The Tanglewood Sessions, at the age of 18 before they graduated high school and have since then been creating buzz in Nashville.


Boy Named Banjo recently sold out The Basement East in Nashville and have played multiple festivals including Bonnaroo. The band showcased many new songs during the night. Vocalist and banjo player, Barton Davies said they hope to be back into the studio making new music this year. They also played numerous older favorites such as “19,” “Figure Out,” and “Letter to a Lonely Girl.” Fans clapped and jumped up and down for them while they played their catchy banjo riffs.


The band recalled their memories of North Carolina and mentioned they had once played at a grocery store in Charlotte. Boy Named Banjo’s music makes me want to build a fire with all my friends and chill out on a hot summer night just like they sing in “Blue Hole Bridge.”


Their upbeat Americana/Bluegrass music mixed with their southern Nashville sound is hard not to love. Having been compared to bands such as the Avett Brothers, Boy Named Banjo is on the road to success. My prediction is that you’ll be hearing a lot about them in the near future.  

See full gallery of the night.


See them:

Date Venue Location
Jan 16 City Winery ATL Atlanta, GA Tickets & More
Jan 25 Gallettes Tuscaloosa, AL Tickets & More
Jan 26 Zydeco Birmingham, AL Tickets & More
Jan 27 Bourbon Street Bar & Grill Auburn, AL Tickets & More

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