Though somewhat atypical for a group rooted in country to find success in the UK, it is par for the course when it is the unlikely group Jess and the Bandits. The Bandits met Texan favourite Jessica Clemmons, during a 2012 tour while supporting The Overtones and instantly bonded over their mutual love of Country music. As they began to play together more and more, it became painstakingly clear that the chemistry was flawless.
Jess and the Bandits were born.
Made of brothers Ricci and Louis Riccardi on drums and guitar respectively, Dave Troke on bass, Steve Reid on keyboards/guitar and of course Jessica Clemmons on vocals, each member of the Bandits brings with them a shared history of country creativity. Influenced by their musician father, Ricci and Louis Riccardi were playing Country and Blues music from an early age. Whilst studying in the US they learned the Nashville Number System, a method of transcribing music, which they rely on to this day. They later joined forces with fellow bass player David Troke, a musician who shared the same influences and aspirations. Last to join the group was singer-song writer and piano player Steve Reid, a musical kinded spirit, one of the most recognised keyboard players on the scene.
Jessica Clemmons hails from Houston, Texas, however UK audiences have fallen for her soulful and passionate work so much that she’s becoming something of an honorary Brit. The Country singer got her foot firmly in the door while wowing audiences at Boyzones BZ20 tour, and on other outings from the Overtones to the Stylistics. Jess graced the BBC Radio 2 playlist last year with ‘Single Tonight’ and sent social media into a spin when she performed her show stopping female take on ‘Wichita Lineman’ on Terry Wogan’s Sunday morning show.
The band spent the majority of 2014 on the road, with performances at Country to Country at London’s o2 arena, as well as The Isle of Wight Festival and a support with Pete Molinari. Later in the year Jess re-joined her co-writing team in Nashville including Jeff Cohen (The Band Perry, Sugarland), James T (My Daughters Eyes), Brian White (Rascal Flatts) and producer Larry Beaird (Dolly Parton, Faith Hill). These Country credentials are especially displayed on the group’s much anticipated album ‘Here We Go Again’ released in March 2015.
Heading up to the release is new single ‘You Can’t Stop Me’ on the 16th February. With Jess’ show stopping vocals centre stage, and a prominent ballsy Nashville production ‘You Can’t Stop Me’ displays the groups flair of the contemporary Country love song, which won’t disappoint.