The Blackguards (Javi Peña and Nacho Baños)

The story behind The Blackguards Nashville Sessions is one of friendship and a passion for American roots music.

Spaniards, Javi Peña and Nacho Baños are long-time friends and music lovers who are devout fans of classic country, western swing, and Telecaster guitars. The duo decided to record some of their original songs, along with covers of standards in Nashville, Tennessee.

Peña and Baños wanted to track the old fashion way. Live in-studio with all the musicians playing together, crafting the songs with attention to every possible detail.

After sharing their initial ideas with some musician-friends stateside, Redd Volkaert and Bill Hullet got on board, and the rest as they say, is history. Javi and Nacho started writing and arranging the songs while Bill put together a stout group of seasoned Nashville session players.

Travelling to the US to attend the Arlington Guitar Show in Arlington, Texas, was the perfect excuse for the Spaniards to take an extra week’s detour and head to Nashville. They revelled in the Music City’s magic where they fulfilled their dream of recording a country record where it all started.

Once there, every evening turned into a rehearsal party in their hotel room. Dinner hangouts morphed into late night jam sessions at a crowded Broadway club. Talk about a full dive experience! The two foreigners may have travelled thousands of miles, but they felt right at home from day one. Everything was new and exciting yet familiar at the same time.

The sessions took place at Hilltop Recording and Starstruck Studios. The songs were expertly and soulfully performed in six sessions during October of 2018 and 2019.

The band locked in tight with a great feel, and the fun they had in the recordings reveal as much. The songs came together effortlessly, as if the band had been touring together for years, even though they were playing tracks written only weeks before arriving in the U.S.

The group includes the stellar talents of Noam Pikelny on banjo, Charlie McCoy on Harmonica, Tommy White on steel, Wes Little on drums, Glenn Ducan on fiddle, Redd, Bill, Javi on guitar…Such an all-star line up.

The Blackguards Nashville Sessions is pure traditional western swing music at it’s best. The seasoned group of musicians from different sides of the world collaborated beautifully, sinuously blending together as one unit. These great artists are now friends for life bonded through their mutual enthusiasm for the music.

The Nashville Sessions is the result of those unforgettable recordings, where each player involved contributed with care and reverence to the music that transcends borders and embraces the sound they all love.