Finding adequate lodging is a constant struggle for touring musicians. If a band is lucky, a generous local will offer up a free place to catch some shuteye before moving on to the next city. Last time the Birmingham, Alabama-based Southern rock sextet Banditos came through Eugene, the band learned an important lesson.
“When you walk into the place of someone who wants you to stay with them,” Banditos vocalist and banjo player Stephen Pierce tells EW, “if you don’t see any furniture except for a record player or something, it’s usually not going to be a good night to get some rest. The person just wants to stay up and drink and party and jam ’til 5 am,” he says, laughing.
One particular night in Eugene, Banditos members ended up sleeping in their van. But they came back to town anyway, supporting their Bloodshot Records eponymous debut.
From the ferocious opening lick of “The Breeze,” to vocalist (and kazoo player) Mary Beth Richardson’s bluesy wail, to the classic Creedence Clearwater Revival groove of the excellently titled “Still Sober (After All These Beers),” the record is rough, rowdy and ready to party, blending roots music, Southern rock, outlaw country and lean-and-mean rock ‘n’ roll with a whiskey hangover.
“We just call it rock ‘n’ roll,” Pierce says. “It’s a little honkytonk; it’s a little soul. We all just have such vast musical tastes we just keep playing what we want to hear. We’re all over the place.”
Lock up your valuables because Banditos are playing twice in Lane County, first at 8:30 pm Sunday, July 12, at Sam Bond’s Garage; $7. The band plays again 8:30 pm Wednesday, July 15, at Axe & Fiddle in Cottage Grove; $5. Both shows are 21-plus.