• These six keyed-up twentysomethings mix a hodgepodge of sounds. Sometimes it’s barroom country backed by a rogue kazoo, and other times it’s a chicken-picking version of slow-burning soul behind the Janis Joplin–esque wail of Mary Beth Richardson

    — Garden & Gun
  • The music's got the energy of youth...but it's also got some life lived in it.

    — Mike Watt
  • There’s no shortage of artists having a go at classic Americana, roots, and country music, but few do as impressive a job of revitalizing the tried-and-true as Banditos…they sound simultaneously familiar and fresh.

    — Premiere Guitar
  • Equal parts alt-country twang and garage rock bang...recalling everything from ZZ Top's greasy boogie to the Alabama Shakes' coed soul.

    — Rolling Stone
  • Corey Parsons and Jeffrey Salter start picking at their guitars like they’re dialing up Waylon Jennings. Richardson responds with a howl, as if she’s crash-landing some Southern-fried Jefferson Airplane. And it’s on.

    — Washington Post
  • With the turbocharged careen of their punked-up country mix and their keening, just-south-of-unhinged harmonies, Alabama-by-way-of-Nashville band Banditos brings to mind the sound and attitude of what their label, Bloodshot Records, used to call “insurgent country.”

    — Boston Globe
  • Mary Beth Richardson has the classic blues wail of a bad woman feeling good and her band races her to the finish line...

    — NPR Music
  • This dame could take paint off a wall with the power of her voice. That primal belt of hers is the only vocal I've found worthy of comparing to Janis Joplin in over 1000 album reviews.

    — SYFFAL
  • If you think Alabama Shakes is too restrained and polished, this is the band for you.

    — Red Eye Chicago
  • Perhaps more than any other band occupying this same territory, this is a band that respects the tradition of country, understands the roots, but also likes it loud. Sure, others have gone down this road; Jason & The Scorchers, drivin n cryin, Steve Earle, et al, but this is the first band to get the mixture right.

    — The Shit
  • Banditos are an adaptable beast, playing various flavours of Southern sound with considerable panache and foot-tapping flair.

    — Uncut (UK)
  • Banditos don’t operate under the guise of subtlety. The Nashville alt-country outfit has built a reputation off of their gritty, whiskey soaked sound.

    — Consequence of Sound
  • Banditos bring rock ’n’ roll fervor to material based in deep-country traditionalism. Twanging guitars trade licks with banjo pick-and-roll behind the twin lead vocals of Corey Parsons and Mary Beth Richardson, with thumping bass (sometimes upright) and drums driving the train relentlessly.

    — Austin American Statesman
  • The group came up in rowdy bars, and it shows. It plays to fill the room and turn it on.

    — NPR Music
  • 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.

    — NPR Music
  • For fans of honest, gritty southern rock n’ roll.

    — American Songwriter
  • It's with the earthy, ragged-but-right feel they bring to their blend of hell-bound honky-tonk, roadhouse roots-rock, and field-holler folk...[that] they’ve made their presence felt among those with a passion for raw, rootsy music.

    — MTV Hive
Hometown: 
Nashville, TN via Birmingham, AL

Originally from Birmingham, AL, Banditos is a group - more like a gang, actually - of six 20-somethings, nowadays operating out of Nashville, close to, and simultaneously very far away from, the gleaming towers and industry hustle of Lower Broad and Music Row.

With the rugged power of a flashy Super Chief locomotive, the Banditos’ self-titled debut album bodaciously appropriates elements of ‘60s blues-fused acid rock, ZZ Top’s jangly boogie, garage punk scuzz a la Burger Records, the Drive-By Truckers’ yawp, the populist choogle of CCRSlim Harpo’s hip shake baby groove, gut bucket Fat Possum hill country mojo and the Georgia Motherf**king Satellites. From backwoods bluegrass, to slinky nods to Muscle Shoals soul and unexpected bits of doo-wop sweetness, the Banditos recall many, but sound like no one but themselves.

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 their unique and airtight sound, culminated through several years of enduring friendships and a roaddog touring schedule that has, at their count, numbered over 600 shows in three years. 

Back in March 2014 we found ourselves at one of those fly-by-night, hole-in-the-wall bars that sprout like skunkweed on Sixth Street in Austin, TX during the height of SXSW crazy. The only other patrons were Bud Light-swilling bros watching a blowout college basketball game; the sound system at this place was a painful mix of all treble and reverb; and the noises oozing out of the PA during another band's set were not unlike the distorted echoes of the soundtrack to Suspiria (and not in a good way). We wish we were kidding.

Then the six-piece Banditos took the stage, and even though they themselves were a little intimidating - all hair, denim, and stoic determination - the sounds they managed to conjure from two overworked speakers were fresh, raw, and spectacular. We were instantly blown away and immediately started concocting ways to lure them into our fold...

 

 

Compilation Tracks: 
Recommended if You Like: 
Drive-By Truckers
Alabama Shakes
Georgia Satellites
Waylon Jennings
Deer Tick
Houndmouth
Janis Joplin
Jason Isbell

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