Button and the Bandit are a self-proclaimed bothersome band from Birmingham, Alabama (already this post has enough alliteration to excite any self-respecting English teacher or children’s poet!). Although their initial talents lay in the art that is the film industry, in which they are both heavily qualified and experienced I might add, Michaela Walton (Button) and Clint Buckner (The Bandit) have clearly proved that their skill sets are anything but narrow. Meeting through their work; work which is exciting enough to satisfy most people’s dreams, the pair have been writing and recording melodic country for the masses ever since. ‘Five and Dime’ is one of their most recently released songs, and hopefully will deliver exactly the same service as previous tracks ‘Bandits Are on Their Way’ and ‘Scattered Amongst the Stars’.
Whilst we have heard a ukelele led style before (Clint is a talented multi-instrumentalist, excelling in guitar, ukelele, piano, bass and banjo), this work features guitar and hand-clap prominence, overlaid with Michaela’s angelic vocal melodies. Whilst most country music fails to include me as one of its fans, Button and the Bandit’s music breaches common ideas of genre; containing just enough of the common country connotations without overwhelming you. The slight American twang present in the vocal line is recognisable enough to add the feeling of the deep south without being too strong, which would detract from the piece’s musicality. With this music a happy medium is achieved; that fine line between the harmony and delicate feeling of regular acoustic artists, and the strong emotion of country, making it appeal to a wider variety of people.
The more cute (as a a button) and cuddly version of Bonnie and Clyde, Button and the Bandit travel the USA as fictional outlaws, delivering their soft and more endearing take on country music wherever they go. Practising wherever possible; from idyllic settings such as by rivers, in national parks and on mountains, to…well, less idyllic surroundings such as a military barracks, this band would be perfect as the basis for a film. On the run, but aided and loved by everyone, the pair would fight evil anywhere they came across it, but would never use violent means; similar to those children’s action programs you used to watch. In aesthetic, music and attitude Button and the Bandit have got it nailed; all they require now is the success they deserve. It is very rare that I have come across such lovely people, and I wholeheartedly hope that they can achieve even the wildest of their ambitions.
Listen to ‘Five and Dime’ along with all the rest of Button and the Bandit’s tracks on their soundcloud page.