Essentially Pop went a little bit country last night (and a little bit rock’n’roll) at London’s “The Social”, where we were treated to a music industry showcase of tracks from the debut album by US band, Jess and the Bandits. To get us in the mood on what was admittedly an otherwise wet and miserable night, we were treated to a “Texan BBQ”. (EP had a spicy Cajun-style sausage – ed.)
It did the trick – Jess got up and introduced the band with a “Thank y’all so much!”, and transported us all away on a wave of song from the dimly lit London basement.
Songs included tracks from their album, “Here We Go Again” (due for release in March), plus a rousing cover of the Glenn Campbell staple, “Witchita Lineman”. Crowd favourite, “My Name is Trouble” got every head bobbing (there was no room for dancing). Jess and the boys certainly have their fans – and having seen them in action, it’s not hard to understand why. If the album is as slick as last night’s performance, then it wil certainly be one worth getting. EP particularly enjoyed the track, “Wanted Man”, which brought the evening to a close.
Jess and the Bandits comprises Texan Jessica Clemmons, and The Bandits – Steven Reid Williams (keyboards/guitar), brothers Ricci (drums) and Louis Riccardi (guitar) and Dave Troke (bass) – who all hail from Nashville. They’re no strangers to our shores: Jess got her foot firmly in the door whilst wowing arena audiences on Boyzone’s recent BZ20 tour, and on other outings from the Overtones to the Stylistics.
Speaking last year about their album, Jess said,
“We got a little of that country-rock feel, and then we’ve got those really pretty country ballad sort of songs,
“I spent ten days in Nashville hoping to write enough songs, and left with more than I could put on the record. I’m really excited about it.”
Crowded into the intimate and atmospheric basement of The Social, the audience was made up of fans and industry people – the number of cameras videoing and shooting the performance should ensure plenty of footage appears on YouTube over the next few days!
The songs on “Here We Go Again” have all but one been co-written by Clemmons, who worked Nashville’s elite including producer and co-composer Jeff Cohen (The Band Perry, Evan & Jaron, Big & Rich,Sugarland) and arranger Larry Beaird (Dolly Parton, Brooks & Dunn, Faith Hill), who recorded ‘Here We Go Again’ at his Beaird Music Group studio. Other co-writers include James T. Slater (‘My Daughter’s Eyes’), Brian White(Rascal Flatts) and Australian-born Sherrié Austin (‘Never Been Kissed’).
Check out the official video for “My Name is Trouble”: