“Trashcan Bandits is an indie folk band with heavy gypsy and jazz influences and features four members on seven or more different instruments, including clarinet, mandolin and even the spoons! The lead singer’s deep, vibrato-filled voice is unusual for a bar band, but it transcends the environment.” — Carroll County News
By Terrah Baker
Since The Trashcan Bandits put out there first EP with four tracks last year, fans have been begging for more. They can’t seem to get enough of the foot-stompin’ pirate, Irish folk, bluegrass, punk-rock sound that the group is now defining as the genre swamp grass.
“It entails the swampiness from cajun-style music and a New Orleans sound from clarinet, but also incorporates the bluegrass sound with some traditional Irish folk in a modern way,” said Clarinet, Mandolin, Spoons player and vocalist Patti Richardson.
When they put the EP together, it took them only three days and they had only been a full band for a short time. It was good, Richardson and their fans said, but they knew they could do better. Their new, full-length album featuring 13 songs and one surprise track, The Righteous and the Wicked, is their attempt at proving this.
“Before doing this album we had an entire year to play as a band and the sound gelled so much better. This,” she said, “is a real representation of what we are as a band.”
They recorded the album during April 2013 in Fayetteville at East Hall Recording with just a weekend to get the full band together, as one of the members recently moved to Arizona. From there, members were called in individually to play small parts that needed tweeking or altered. To make matters more complicated, they added new elements to their sound by bass player Ed Cheek playing trumpet, drummer Nick Clark playing the banjo, and lead vocals and rhythm guitar Dane Gamble switching to lead guitar and adding solos. And they invited guest musicians like Matt Beach from 1 oz. Jig to play trombone on one track.
It’s been a struggle getting everyone together with busy schedules and outside jobs, but the result is something they’re extremely happy with, said Richardson.
“I’ve been giving it to different local bands and musicians and they’re just super impressed with the way it turned out.”
As for the overall sound, it’s as complex and entertaining as could be imagined. While one track takes you down a dirt, swampy road on a melancholy night, another makes you want to down a dark beer or cause general chaos, and then to a land of legend with harmonic Irish-folk sounding melody. Because the album was first recorded on reel and converted to digital — in-line with East Hall style — the tone and sound quality only adds to the overall satisfaction.
“When you get it you feel like you’re getting an old record that has good quality sound,” Richardson said.
With this album and a few upcoming shows, the band hopes to raise enough money to travel the country, where friend musicians and fans have begged them to visit. Of course they hope to make another album in the future, but want the quality of this one to take them to the next level of recognition locally and nationally.
“We’d like to get our online presence a lot more vamped in order to get to tour in other towns. That’s the hardest part of being a musician is staying alive and staying relevant,” she said.
See Trashcan Bandits Live (And Get Their New Album)
The group will be playing at the upcoming River Stomp in Tahlequah, Okla., starting on Sept. 27 at 8 a.m. and ending Sept. 29 at 5 p.m., and at their CD release party at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville on Sept. 29 at 10 p.m. The album will be available for purchase at both shows, and will be available soon online and around town. If you happen to miss the show, contact email@example.com to get your very own copy. Visit www.reverbnation.com/thetrashcanbandits to learn more about the group and their music.