Gene Watson's Peers within the country music industry believe in the sheer talent of this unassuming man from east Texas, so much so that Gene is regarded by many of them as 'the singer's singer' - and rightly so!
All of Gene Watson's Peers, who were contacted during 2013, were most gracious with their time and words.
It is here, within this special part of The Gene Watson Fan Site, that you have an opportunity to read a quote from Will Banister, which he submitted to this site on Thursday 17 January 2013.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Will Banister who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Thursday 17 January 2013.
'I've been listening to Gene Watson ever since I can remember.
When I was a little kid, I would listen to 'Fourteen Carat Mind', which was written by Dallas Frazier and Larry Lee Favorite (Saturday 6 January 1940 - Saturday 26 May 2001), over and over again.
I saw him live in 2011 and his voice sounded as good as ever.
He is one of my biggest influences.
I'm very excited to get to play a few shows with him'.
Thank you, Will Banister, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Will Banister...
Will Banister, who hails from New Mexico, was encouraged, by both his father and grandfather, to listen to classic country music.
Will Banister's mother was also a fan of Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 - Thursday 1 January 1953). As a result of this early musical education, Will Banister began to appreciate real traditional country music and began to hone his own song-writing skills.
Will Banister's musical influences included two extraordinary country music songwriters, Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 - Thursday 1 January 1953) and Merle Haggard (Tuesday 6 April 1937 - Wednesday 6 April 2016).
Will Banister also grew up listening to Charley Pride, Gene Watson, Marty Robbins (Saturday 26 September 1925 - Wednesday 8 December 1982), George Strait, George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) and Vern Gosdin (Sunday 5 August 1934 - Tuesday 28 April 2009).
In 2007, when he was nineteen years old, Will Banister began to write his own material; the first composition which he was proud enough of to share with the world was a song called 'You Remind Me', which was later included on his debut album, 'Turned Her On to Country' (Cloviste Records, 2010).
The title track of Will Banister's debut album, 'Turned Her On to Country' (Cloviste Records, 2010), was inspired by Will's wife Tessa; Mrs Banister was also the inspiration for another of the album's first class songs, 'I Hate Santa Fe (Tessa's Song)'. Tessa Banister is a fan of both Randy Travis and Keith Whitley (Thursday 1 July 1954 - Tuesday 9 May 1989).
The material on Will Banister's debut album, 'Turned Her on to Country' (Cloviste Records, 2010), which was released on Thursday 1 July 2010, was compared to the early recordings of George Strait; comparisons were also made to Clint Black's debut album, 'Killin' Time' (RCA Records, 1989).
Will Banister first gained major attention in the United Kingdom when 'Turned Her on to Country' (Cloviste Records, 2010) was awarded 'CD of the Month' in the September 2011 issue of the United Kingdom's highly influencial monthly publication Country Music People; a glowing review by CMP editor Duncan Warwick, which you can read here, and the ensuing exposure in turn led to building business with the import album dealers.
The title track of Will Banister's 'Turned Her on to Country' (Cloviste Records, 2010), enjoyed a four week stay at No.1 on the United Kingdom's weekly Hot Disc Chart, ensuring that Will Banister had access to a radio audience way beyond British shores.
Will Banister not only proved a winner with the country music audience but also gained attention of the national media, with the Daily Telegraph's Douglas McPherson concluding his Wembley review with the words: 'The most memorable moment (of the festival) found 23-year-old Will Banister wowing the crowd with a sublimely straightforward 'Lovesick Blues'.
Sixty-three years after Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 - Thursday 1 January 1953) sang 'Lovesick Blues', it was proof that 'country, like rock 'n' roll, will never die'.
In late 2011, despite being in what he termed 'semi-retirement', United Kingdom-based publicist Tony Byworth continued to remain active within the country music scene and was responsible for bringing Will Banister to a wider audience following his discovery of Will during one of his many trips to the United States.
In the January 2012 issue of Country Music People, in his regular column in the magazine, David Allan wrote that he felt that Will Banister was going to be his tip for the surprise hit of Wembly Country Music Festival in London.
Although it was brief, Will Banister’s debut United Kingdom tour was a great success. Following on from his appearance at Wembley’s International Festival of Country Music in London on Sunday 26 February 2012, and the huge critical acclaim for his 'Turned Her on to Country' (Cloviste Records, 2010), the Clovis, New Mexico country music traditionalist played before ecstatic audiences in Basildon, Widnes, Leeds, Watton (in Norfolk) and Nottingham.
After each concert, Will Banister spent time meeting with the crowds, signing autographs and selling copies of his brand new album, 'Turn Back Time' (Cloviste Records, 2012), which received its worldwide premier to coincide with the tour.
Then, after the United Kingdom tour, Will Banister’s Facebook page continued to host many compliments and good wishes.
Backing Will Banister on every date were top British musicians Derek Thurlby (steel guitar), John J. Paul (keyboards), John Pettifer (guitar) and Roy Martin (drums), who were joined by Will Banister’s record producer / manager Johnny Mulhair (guitar, harmonica) and Jill Mulhair (bass, vocals).
The tour was promoted by Nicky James who, previously, brought into the United Kingdom such country music stalwarts as Gene Watson, Moe Bandy and Johnny Rodriguez.
At Easter 2013, Will Banister made his Scottish debut at the Caithness (Northern Nashville) Country Music Festival in Halkirk, Scotland.
Will Banister also appeared, as a headline act, at The Americana Festival at Newark County Showground in England, between Friday 12 July 2013 and Sunday 14 July 2013.
Country music fans applauded Will Banister’s 'Turn Back Time' (Cloviste Records, 2012), an album which equalled the praise afforded the earlier 'Turned Her on to Country' (Cloviste Records, 2010), a not easy task when the first rated among the finest country music album releases of 2012.
Country Music People provided the first print review of Will Banister's 'Turn Back Time' (Cloviste Records, 2012), with editor Duncan Warwick awarding the album 'CD of the Month' in the October 2012 issue of Country Music People.
Will Banister & The Mulberry Band is one of the most versatile bands in the United States, featuring Johnny & Jill Mulhair, along with Duane Castleberry.
Johnny Mulhair, of Will Banister & The Mulberry Band, is the direct connection to the Clovis Sound and has recorded with Norman Petty.
Johnny Mulhair co-produced, along with Greg Walker and Wilbur C. Rimes, LeAnn Rimes' 'All That' (Nor Va Jak Records, 1994), an album which included 'Blue' (written by Bill Mack) and 'Why Can't We' (written by Allen Shamblin, Austin Cunningham and Chuck Cannon).
Johnny Mulhair was also the acclaimed co-producer of one of the biggest hit albums in the history of country music; LeAnn Rimes' debut album 'Blue' (Curb Records, 1996), which featured her first hit single 'Blue' (written by Bill Mack) (No.10, 1996).
Johnny Mulhair also co-produced a number of other tracks on LeAnn Rimes' debut album 'Blue' (Curb Records, 1996), including her first hit single 'The Light in Your Eyes' (written by Dan Tyler) (No.10, 1997), 'I'll Get Even With You', 'Cattle Call', which was a duet with Eddy Arnold (Wednesday 15 May 1918 - Thursday 8 May 2008), and 'Fade to Blue'.
Johnny Mulhair was also noted as one of the Top 10 guitarists in Nashville’s 'Music Row' magazine in 1997, and has been amazing fans with his talents for years.
Jill Mulhair, is a top-notch vocalist, who is often compared to Emmylou Harris. She offers both strong lead and harmony vocals to the band, and keeps a strong steady rhythm on bass.
Will Banister has also been nominated for 'Male Vocalist of the Year' at The Grapevine Opry in Grapevine, Texas and is fast becoming a regular performer at a vast number of venues, including Johnny High Country Music Review in Arlington, Texas and Lincoln County Symposium in Ruidoso, New Mexico, and plays with The Mulberry Band.
In addition to these great honors, Will Banister has performed at the world renowned 'International Festival of Country Music' hosted at Wembley Arena in London, where such country music megastars as Reba McEntire, Ricky Skaggs and George Hamilton IV () have graced the stage.
Together, Will Banister & The Mulberry Band have quickly become one of the most sought after bands.
Between Friday 15 March 2013 and Monday 18 March 2013, Will Banister, along with Brent Allen, made a very welcome appearance at Butlins at New Lydd Road in Camber Sands, Sussex, England.
Visit Will Banister's Official Site at willbanister.com