With the rugged power of a flashy Super Chief locomotive, the Banditos bodaciously appropriate elements of ’60s blues-fused acid rock, ZZ Top’s jangly boogie, the Drive-By Truckers’ yawp, the populist choogle of CCR, Slim Harpo’s hip shake baby groove, gut bucket Fat Possum hill country mojo and the Georgia Motherfucking 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 Banditos will play in benefit for WSLR 96.5 on Saturday, January 31 at 8pm at the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center. Tickets are $8 in advance/$10 at the door.
Banditos are famously eclectic, paying tribute to a little Aretha here, a little CCR there, with a tidbit of Squirrel Nut Zippers packed around the edges. While such a myriad of influences would bury a lesser band in tuneless muck, Banditos use their disparate influences to forge a more assured identity. Though they recall a dozen bands, they sound like none so much as themselves. The instrumentation is as ambitious as it is deftly executed, mingling upright bass with kazoo and banjo while the soul-spangled howl of front-woman Mary plays counterpoint to a deceivingly sparse guitar, drenched in a quantity of reverb and delay not often associated with “danceable.” All this would mean crap if Banditos couldn’t play, but these mothers can choogle. It’s always the mark of a good band to be able to play the hell out of three chords and a breakdown, and Banditos shake it down like John Fogerty. Honestly, their shows are such burn-downs of shimmying shins and stomping heels they should carry warnings for bone spurs. These guys are down home rock & roll the way you always hoped it would be. Banditos have signed with Bloodshot Records and will release a new album sometime in early 2015.