Banditos are the real deal. A roots-rock collective originally hailing from Alabama and now located in Nashville, this six-member ensemble knock it out of the park on their self-titled debut album. With an eclectic sound that incorporates everything from country, rock and soul to gospel, jazz and the blues, there’s a little something for every listener.
The brainchild of co-founders Corey Parsons (guitar/vocals) and Stephen Pierce (banjo/vocals), the band’s secret weapon is vocalist Mary Beth Richardson, who earned her stripes performing in the church choir. When she belts out tunes such as personal favorite “Old Ways,” don’t be surprised to feel chills running down your spine. The rest of the Banditos include Jeffrey David Slater (guitar), Randy Taylor Wade (drums) and Jeffrey “Danny” Vines (bass).
There isn’t a bad song to be found on the 12-track, 48-minute slab, but pay special attention to “The Breeze,” “No Good,” “Still Sober (After All These Beers),” “Long Gone, Anyway,” “Blue Mosey #2” and “Preachin’ to the Choir.” Keep an eye on this bunch. (Jeffrey Sisk)