Read about the debut, self-titled album from Banditos


BANDITOS Release Debut, Self-Titled Album May 12 2015

Originally from Birmingham, AL and now operating out of Nashville TN, Banditos is a collective of six twenty-something-year olds.

The Banditos’ self-titled debut album (Bloodshot Records) has a hell of a lot of ramshackle spirit.  The music here is a little difficult to describe, such is its diversity.  The album admirably assembles appropriates elements of ‘60s acid rock, jangly boogie, garage punk, hip shake baby groove and a healthy dose of loose, raucous rocking (very!) country.  From back-woods bluegrass, to slinky nods to Muscle Shoals’ soul and unexpected bits of doo-wop, Banditos sound like no one really.  And that is a pretty good place to be.

The members of the band first met playing in various punk and rock ‘n’ roll projects around Birmingham at D.I.Y., all-ages venues.  In 2010, singer/guitarist Corey Parsons and singer/banjo player Stephen Pierce began busking around town and were soon asked to perform at their favorite local bar.  Without a full band, they invited friends Randy Wade (drums), Jeffrey Salter (guitar), and Mary Beth Richardson (vocals) to join them.

Salter and Wade studied together at music school learning classical/jazz techniques, while Richardson’s background was mostly singing in church choirs.  After some apprehensions from Richardson about taking the stage with an unrehearsed band, a last-minute trip to New Orleans with the group (which resulted in a stolen hotel Bible inscribed with the band’s lyrics) seemed to cure a case of the cold feet.  The ensuing performance was raw and electric, and an ecstatic crowd response further cemented the members’ convictions to become a full band.  The addition of bassist Danny Vines made the group complete.

The members soon moved into a house together in Birmingham and, after repeated tours through Nashville, decided to move the band there instead, where the music scene was bigger and more diverse.  The sextet has since developed its unique and airtight sound, culminated through several years of enduring friendships and a road-dog touring schedule that has, at their count, numbered over 600 shows in the last three years!

The self-titled debut full-length album is layered with grime as well as pinpointed songwriting and feverish technical savvy.  Each song wafts new dynamics into a streamlined stylistic roots, punk, and rock ‘n’ roll jet stream, the variations heard evidently through the vocal baton passing and wrenching harmonies of Parsons, Richardson, and Pierce.  Each vocalist, as with each performer in the band, is given the spotlight during the course of the album’s twelve songs.

The album was recorded and mixed at The Bomb Shelter in Nashville with Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray For the Riff Raff, Benjamin Booker).

NPR Music just premiered the song “Cry Baby Cry” saying, “Three vocalists, a wicked guitarist who also plays pedal steel, a banjo, an upright bass and a hot-footed drummer guarantee that every song they play is stuffed with crazy rhythms and melodic energy… The group came up in rowdy bars, and it shows. It plays to fill the room and turn it on.”

As well, here’s the band live with “Golden Grease””

Banditos have been announced as part of initial line-up at Americanafest 2015 (where I’ll get the opportunity to see them) and Rhythm n Roots Reunion.  All tour dates are here.



Read about the debut, self-titled album from Banditos


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Author: Rob Dickens

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