Birmingham Bands: Banditos and Great Book of JohnThis is the second part of my Festival Season recap. I heart festival season (I have a t-shirt to prove it) Springtime in the south feels like music season. There seems to be more concert acts coming through town and definitely more of a focus on festivals. Check out my previous post about Southsounds Festival in Mobile and Baby Bee. This is the second post for Southsounds focusing on Birmingham bands.
The Banditos also stood out as usual. I have seen this band many times but I just can’t get enough and the shows just keep getting better and better. The group is originally from Birmingham but recently transplanted to Nashville.
Their dirty, gritty sound is authentic, honky tonk, blue-grassy rock ‘n’ roll. There’s even a little country mixed in, which I don’t typically like, but I like this.
The six-member band has a couple of guitars, drums, an upright bass and co-lead singer Mary Beth Richardson belts out some amazing notes – and she plays the kazoo, (what? mind blown). She can boom it out and her tone and quality are just the perfect compliment to the soft, gritty sound of lead singer Corey Parson’s voice.
The band is full of long hair, beards, cigarettes, hats and amazing talent, rounded out by the amazing members Stephen Alan Pierce II on vocals and banjo, Randy Taylor Wade on percussion, Jeffery Daniel Vines on upright bass and Jeffery David Salter on electric guitar and lap steel. Their unique sounds make this band truly special.
The guitar riffs by Salter have a unique sound that, honestly, I’ve never heard before (and I have heard a lot of electric guitar this being my favorite sound and all). The band members are super friendly and will take time to chat and drink with you. The band played a free show on the Cathedral Square stage and then a show later at the Alabama Music Box as part of SouthSounds and play in the Southeast region regularly. Catch a show if you get the chance.
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Great Book of John
Photo from Facebook: Photo by: Raymond Moore from PTTR 2013
The vocals have an almost ethereal sound with lead from Taylor Shaw and back up vocalist Bekah Fox, whose voice blends seamlessly with Shaw’s. The band is rounded out with bassist Alex Mitchell and drummer Chip Kilpatrick. Each has been into music since they were young and have also worked together on other projects, including Birmingham’s Wild Sweet Orange, and this time spent working together shines through.
This band has taken Mobile and other southern cities by storm. They have two previously released, full-length projects including their second full length album, The Great Book of John. It’s described as "a deeply-layered production brimming with amplified crunch and a thick, somnambulant atmosphere, provided in part by musician / producer Jeffery Cain (Remy Zero, Sanders Bohlke, Dead Snares) and Grammy Award winning engineer Darrell Thorp (Radiohead, Beck, Outkast)," according to their Facebook page.
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More Festival Recap Coming soon.