Photos and Review by Chandler Mays
Rosco Bandana is a little bit of folk, a little bit of soul, a little bit o’ blues, and a lot of rock ‘n’ roll! Their spirited performance at Smith’s Olde Bar on friday was a rollicking good time, and the perfect way to start the weekend. Hailing from Gulfport, Mississippi, the seven-piece is currently touring behind the release of their debut album, Time to Begin, which contains a well-written collection of folk-tinged country rock songs that make you want to pour yourself a glass of bourbon and join the party.
My favorite aspect of Rosco Bandana is their eclectic vocal talent. Lead singer and songwriter, Jason Sanford, has a wonderful voice that sounds like a less-whiny Bob Dylan. He is flawlessly accompanied by backup leads (and major hotties) Jennifer Flint and Emily Sholes. Together, the singers create gorgeous three-part harmonies that sound like the lovechild of First Aid Kit and The Civil Wars. Any time the three sang together, I was spellbound, enraptured in a celestial atmosphere of exquisite harmonies. Some peoples’ voices were simply meant to accompany each other, and I’m glad Jason, Jennifer and Emily were able to find each other.
The band didn’t waste any time wowing the crowd with their upbeat and lively setlist. I wasn’t planning on drinking that night until Jennifer shouted to the bartender, “Can we get three shots of whiskey up here?” Jason quickly piped in, “Just make it seven!” By that point, it was time for a shot of Bulleit Rye and some foot-stomping. Hiding behind a thicket of dreadlocks, Jackson Weldon impressed the crowd with his masterful mandolin playing, and whenever he had any musical exchanges with lead guitarist Patrick Mooney, I was truly mesmerized. Weldon would also occasionally jump on the lapsteel, which added a lovely deep-south vibe to the arrangements. I was really impressed with the band’s gospel-folk rendition of Blur’s “Tender“, which is also included on the album. The song’s chorus lends itself exceptionally to the band’s vocal talents. Rosco Bandana is a fantastic live act and you wouldn’t want to miss the fun next time they come through. Be sure to check out their debut album, especially the tracks “Woe Is Me”, “Radio Band Singer”, and “Heartbreak Shape”.