Banditos – s/t (album review)

by Woody on May 20, 2015


The old saying goes, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” If there was ever an instance to contradict that statement, the cover of the Banditos’ Bloodshot debut would be it. Take a look at that cover and really let it sink in. Dig into the details and you know you’ll be getting a rollicking, rocking version of Barroom Americana.

Hailing from Birmingham, Banditos are the latest entry on the venerable Bloodshot roster. Discovered at SXSW ’14 by the Bloodshot crew in a venue, that Bloodshot co-founder Nan Warshaw remarked had “questionable sound. the 6-piece was back at SXSW this year making some real noise during the fest. I caught them at an outdoor stage on the first stage and they were everything I had imagined. Vocals alternating between three voices (Corey Parsons-singer/guitarist, Stephen Pierce-singer/banjo and Mary Beth Richardson-vocals), buoyed by the rhythm section of bassist Danny Vines and drummer Randy Wade and punctuated by the driving solos of Jeffrey Salter.

Overall the album has this booze-soaked feel to it, sort of like a Diamond Rugs record. The album opens with a can of whoop-ass with the trio of The Breeze, Waitin’ and Golden Grease that are meant to be listened to loud; preferably outside at a barbecue while drinking canned beer. A few tunes later, Still Sober (After All These Beers) is a tune that will leave John McCauley remiss that he didn’t think of first.

While a whole album of ramshackle Americana would be just fine by me, Richardson sprinkles in a few tracks where she slows things down sounding like she’s being backed by The Holding Company as opposed to these fine gentlemen from Birmingham. No Good and Old Ways go a long way to breaking up the non-stop party and giving the album some real feeling.

Based on the album cover alone, I thought I was going to love this album and it exceeded those lofty expectations. They are going to be on the road this summer and they are not to be missed. This band embodies the reason HearYa started up 10 years ago.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Banditos are here

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: