How Will Bannister Got to Sing on Clint Eastwood's 'Cry Macho'
Clint Eastwood Will Bannister.jpg

Clint Eastwood's latest flick, Cry Macho, opened in theaters and debuted on HBO Max on September 17th. With Dwight Yoakam starring in the film, interest from the country music community was high. But Yoakam's involvement isn't the only link to country music.

The opening song from the film's soundtrack, "Find a New Home," was specially written by Grammy-winning film composer Mark Mancina to set the mood by anticipating elements of the film. Even though they had a great song, they also needed the right singer to perform it. And instead of getting a big name for performing "Find a New Home," through a crazy series of circumstances, the opportunity ended up in the lap of independent country singer and songwriter Will Banister of Portales, New Mexico, near the Texas border.

Since Cry Macho is set in Texas and Mexico, they wanted someone from the region. So film composer Marlon Espino contacted an old college roommate in Texas to see if they had any suggestions for someone who could play the role of an authentic country voice, and Will Banister's name was circulated. So Banister got the track sent to what he thought was some kind of indie film project at the time, and he did the vocal recording at home, which he thought was just an audition, with a studio recording that was supposed to be done in California, if she liked what she heard.

Apparently, Clint Eastwood liked what he heard so much that he decided to leave the vocal track as it is, and it's now the first thing you hear when the movie starts. "This guy's voice is from the top of these speakers to your feet," Clint Eastwood said of Will Banister's post. Despite keeping the original setting, Banister flew to California to meet Clint Eastwood and perform on his private golf course in Carmel.

“I'm a huge Mr. Eastwood fan,” says Will Banister. “I saw a lot of his films as a kid and he was the guy you wanted to be as a kid. The chance to meet him and perform for him was a great honor. He's as down to earth as I thought he was. To hear my voice at the opening of 'Cry Macho' was a great honor! "

Cry Macho follows Mike Milo (played by Clint Eastwood), a drained rodeo star who became seriously ill, leading to problems with drugs and alcohol. After being fired from his position as a horse trainer, he is hired by his former boss (played by Dwight Yoakam) to go to Mexico and fetch his son Rafo from the boy's unstable mother. On their journey through rural Mexico, the two encounter challenges and grow closer.

Will Banister has been an independent country artist since 2010 when he released his debut album Turned Her Onto Country. He is known for performing cover songs and originals and of course for his voice, which was specially made for traditional country. Bannister released his newest album Everything Burns in 2020 and will release a new single called "Out of Her Mind" on September 24th, co-written with Wyatt McCubbin and Roger Springer.


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