If you’ve ever been in Casa Nueva on a Wednesday night, whether it be for open mic night or cheap margaritas, odds are you have seen the Boot Bandits playing some bluesy, psychedelic, southern rock tunes on stage.
Or maybe you’ve walked by the band’s house on Mill St. and heard music blaring from the house as they show each other some new riffs or jam out to some Grateful Dead or Neil Young, jumping from instrument to instrument with ease. If you haven’t yet been able to experience this eclectic and passionate group play, you will in this podcast.
Created in 2015, the Boot Bandits are comprised of four Ohio University juniors: Sam Benezra (lead guitar), Jackson Schroeder (bass and vocals), Andrew Maughan (rhythm guitar and vocals) and Jason Weihl (drums).
The group originally started as the Appalachian Boot Band. However, when they went to play at an open mic, the MC called them by the wrong name, the Boot Bandits. The name stuck and they have used it ever since.
I sat down with the group (minus Benezra, who is studying abroad in London) in their jam room (also known as their basement) and talked with them about how they came to love music, how Athens has shaped them as a band and about their music inspirations.
This podcast is the first in a series called “The Jam Room.” Although I have interviewed the Boot Bandits in the first round, they will be taking over as hosts and will be sitting down once a week with different local bands or artists to talk about music and jam out with them at the end.
This story is part of a month-long multimedia series about the Athens music scene called “Sounds From the Hills: An Athens Music Project”