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Billy and the Willies / Bio

Being a novice songwriter myself, I find it easy to relate to Willie Nelson as a songwriter and have a great appreciation for the lyrics and music he has written. To date, I have recorded (mostly for my own amusement), about 30 of my original songs with the help of Kenny Wilson, Brandon Wells, Greg Fagan, Dick Roby and several other musicians who contributed to my projects.
I’ve always been a country music lover and love playing and singing country music.
A few of the country artist who have always been dear to my heart and a positive influence are Conway Twitty, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Johnny Cash, Don Williams and too many others to name them all here.

A few years ago, I started going to establishments that featured karaoke. Almost from the beginning, there was always at least one person who said I looked and/or sounded like Willie Nelson. What a compliment!! Now I’m known as the Willie Nelson guy when I visit the karaoke places that I frequent. And so it occurred to me, with a lot of encouragement from the many friends I’ve made while doing karaoke, to start a band dedicated to Willie Nelson music. One of the great advantages of doing Willie Nelson music is that he’s recorded with so many recording artists or groups or at least recorded one of their songs. That gives me a lot of flexibility.

Brothers Terry and Tommy Ferguson who play keyboards and bass respectively, grew up in a musical family. Their father played pedal steel guitar for the legendary country recording artist Eddy Arnold for many years. Their brother Ted who lives in Mankato also plays drums. Tommy is also accomplished as a drummer and acoustic guitar player. Likewise, Terry played drums for the White Sidewall band and Danny’s Reasons. Terry also plays acoustic guitar and steel guitar. And both are excellent vocalists. And Terry played piano at Nordstrom's for thirteen years.

Dan Elliott, our drummer, also played for a time with the White Sidewalls. Dan has also performed with Sherwin Linton, The Del Counts, The Underbeats, just to name a few of the local bands. He’s performed from the East Coast to the West Coast, as well as in Canada and Branson with such music legends as The Righteous Brothers, Del Shannon, Frankie Ford, The Diamonds, Lou Christie, Gary (U.S.) Bonds, Tommy Roe, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, The Crystals, The Sherelles, and others.
Dan is also a great vocalist.

Last but not least is our lead guitar player, Joel Geris. Joel, who is the newest addition to our band also played with Danny’s Reasons for many years. While most of his career has been in the realm of blues and rock and roll, he’s had no problem adding great guitar licks to our country catalog of songs. Joel adds a Rock and Roll and Blues flavor to our band, both with his guitar playing and vocals.
I feel very fortunate to have such a talented group of musicians in the band!

General Info

Band Members
Billy J, Terry Ferguson, Tommy Ferguson, Joel Geris, Dan Elliott, Billy
Artist Name
Billy and the Willies
Home Page
Active Since

Contact Info

Minneapolis, MN
Billy J

Similar Artists

  • Willie Nelson
  • Conway Twitty