The Bayou Bandits
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The Bayou Bandits

Phoenix, Arizona, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2018 | SELF

Phoenix, Arizona, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2018
Band Rock Americana




"The Spokesperson of Southern Rock"

Despite social distancing and economic hurdles brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bayou Bandits are gearing up to launch “gritty” new music.

The Southern rock four-piece, which comprises lead singer/guitarist Joshua Strickland, lead guitarist and background vocalist Jeremy Madig, bassist and background vocalist Jay Kereny and drummer Dan Johnson, has quickly built a reputation in the Arizona music scene with its cover shows.

Blending the sounds of Louisiana swamplands with other elements of Southern rock, the Bayou Bandits have shared the stage with Billboard-topping artists like Jerrod Niemann, David Nail, The Black Moods, Jason Charles Miller and Jonathon “Boogie” Long, among others.

The Bayou Bandits are now tapping into their bubbling notoriety to focus on creating new original music, according to Strickland.

“I think, with this new music, I’ve matured a little more as a writer — it’s a little bit more complex lyrics and definitely more of a punch in the mouth,” says Strickland, a Louisiana native and U.S. Army veteran. “It’s like if the Doors and Marshall Tucker had a love child who was born and raised in South Louisiana with harmonicas and dirty guitar riffs. It’s a whole lot of soul.”

The Bayou Bandits are in the “planning stage” of releasing an EP in the near future, boasting slide guitars guaranteed to inspire a “hell raisin’, boot stompin’ musical throwdown.”

Operating independently from a record label, Strickland says the band’s recent single “Gasoline” has attracted the attention of “record labels across the country.”

“We’re real proud of that song,” he says. “We started working with a publicist out in Vegas, and they’ve been jamming it and loving it. That’s something we’re real proud of — not saying we don’t want to be on a label, because we do. But everything we’ve achieved as a band is on our own.

“It’s been a grind. Whenever you’re independent, you don’t have the same resources as a big label head does, so it’s a matter of shopping your music out there and getting people to hear it.”

The Bayou Bandits stepped into the spotlight in 2019 with the song “Take Me Back,” which landed the band a feature in Comedy Central’s docuseries “Klepper” by Jordan Klepper. “Take Me Back” was then added to the Bayou Bandits’ self-titled album, accompanied by other hits such as “Dixie Ass” and “Tip ’Em on Back”

In early 2020, the band hit the road for its debut tour across the Gulf Coast. The Bayou Bandits amassed scores of fans, including a sold-out crowd in New Orleans, along the way — until lockdown measures halted performances.

Strickland, whose musical careers stems back to playing on Bourbon Street as a “bucket boy” when he was 13, describes honing his singing skills throughout his youth in Southern Baptist churches.

Like many creatives, the singer-songwriter says he draws most of his writing inspiration from his personal life experiences.

“It’s hard for me to write songs about stuff that I don’t know anything about,” Strickland explains. “I write about stuff I know that I’ve lived. It’s hard for me to believe in something that doesn’t have a personal tie to me.”

Having served missions in Kandahar City, Afghanistan, Strickland honored that time with the song “Kandahar.” A live performance of “Kandahar” was recorded by an audience member during an open mic night. It was later uploaded on YouTube and has since generated over 3,000 views.

A registered nurse at a Phoenix hospital, Strickland has also written pieces honoring the nurses and front-line workers who are powering through the pandemic.

“A Nurse’s Story (Save You)” was released as an acoustic single in 2020 and immediately gained attention across the United States from fans and multiple state nursing boards and organizations.

Strickland, however, says he is most proud of the band’s success and development as a unit.

“My bandmates are my best friends, and it’s not necessarily by choice either. It’s because we were with each other so much,” he says. “Our lyrics have grown more; our sound has grown more. I feel like our next record is basically the transition from when boy becomes man — a coming-of-age-type tale.”

And the band’s progression doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

The Bayou Bandits will open for the Los Angeles-based American rock band Steel Panther, best known for its satirical lyrics and exaggerated on-stage pastiche of the stereotypical glam metal lifestyle.

“They’re great dudes. We’ve played with them before,” Strickland discloses. “Those dudes are a riot, and they bring the party.” - The Entertainer

"Southern Rock with a Personal Twist"

The Bayou Bandits put out a great performance of Southern-inspired rock, but there is much more heart and soul to the band when one looks a little deeper. The Bayou Bandits released their self-titled debut album in late 2019 and the sound and the power behind their words and music resonate with a diverse audience.

Joshua Strickland is lead singer and songwriter for The Bayou Bandits and also plays rhythm guitar. The Walker, LA native moved to Arizona in 2014 and now calls Phoenix home. Jeremy Madig, Paul Williams and Stevie Belcastro round out the band’s roster. “Jeremy and I founded it and we share co-founder status,” says Strickland. “We were initially jamming together.”

An early corporate gig in 2018 led to an incident when the band needed an official name. “Initially, we were going to be called The Joshua Strickland Band,” explains Strickland. “The guy who booked us said, ‘No, you need to come up with something cool!’ So, I wanted to highlight something significant where I was from.” The name of The Bayou Bandits was christened during a quick off-the-cuff conversation.

Initially, the band played cover tunes, but then fans were wanting to hear original songs. “Jeremy and I primarily write all the lyrics, and our first song was ‘Take Me Back.’ Jeremy wrote the majority of it, but it was sort of surreal because all my family is back in Louisiana and I’m the only one out here other than my core family. He wrote that song about me and how I felt about longing to go back home to Louisiana.”

Strickland served in the Army for 12 years, including serving in Afghanistan and some of his experience has spilled over to flavor some of The Bayou Bandits songs. One song entitled “Kandahar” recounts his time serving in the Afghan city and the toll that being a soldier can take. Strickland says, “I wrote that song in honor of one of my buddies who wound up losing his battle with PTSD after we got home. All the big military organizations like Wounded Warrior Project – they’ve all been privy to that song.” Strickland writes from the heart drawing from various personal experiences in his own life.

Another recent song not on the album is entitled “A Nurse’s Story (Save You).” The Bayou Bandits pay tribute to all those on the front lines of the health care industry that are caring for COVID-19 patients. In addition to being a musician, Strickland is also a RN. “I wrote it because ever since the outbreak, I’ve been a COVID nurse,” says Strickland. He had traveled to the East Coast to assist in his RN capacity during the initial surge in the pandemic and wrote the song based on what he saw and experienced during his time there.

Although COVID-19 put their tour on hold, The Bayou Bandits anticipate hitting the road in support of their debut album as soon as it is safe. Strickland was one of the first in the state to receive the COVID vaccine and he’s keen to play out once again.

In addition to his work as an RN and musician, Strickland is involved with veteran-focused nonprofits. One organization is Southern Arizona Musicians for Healing which helps veterans by raising awareness and funds for vets dealing with mental health challenges. Additionally, Strickland is a co-founding member of Veterans IV Veterans Motorcycle Association which assists veterans in crisis. In 2020, Strickland was recognized as ‘Veteran of the Week’ by the Federal V.A. in Washington.

Visit for more information and links to purchase The Bayou Bandits album. - Citylifestyle

"From Bourbon Street to the Battlefield to The Bayou Bandits"

From Bourbon Street to the Battlefield to The Bayou Bandits, Louisiana Proud - The Entertainer Magazine

"The Entertainer Magazine"

The Bayou Bandits Joshua Strickland Remembers late colleague on album - The Entertainer Magazine

"New Arizona Country: The Bayou Bandits-The Mavericks"

Obviously, right off the bat from the first two tracks, you can hear that The Bayou Bandits are coming at you Southern Rock, they are slinging mud from the sweet dark of the swamp, and they are mixing it up with something here in the Arizona Southwest that is familiar, but unique and special at the same time. - Ryan Clark

"Phoenix News Times"

The Bayou Bandits, led by Joshua Strickland, release their first album at Valley Bar tonight. Strickland originally hails from New Orleans, but after moving to the Valley a couple of years ago, he has made roots here. The old soul is introducing us to a gritty, Southern rock that is unique from what we hear in other local blues artists. It has just a little more grit and tells a different story. It makes you want to cook up a batch of gumbo and plan a trip to Louisiana. My favorites are “The Swamp” and “Take Me Back.” - Dani Cutler

"Phoenix News Times"

The Bayou Bandits
Get some Louisiana soul in your life and add Bayou Bandits to your regular listening. They released their first EP in November, and have introduced Phoenix to a gritty, Southern blues-rock that is unique from the desert rock we hear in other Valley blues artists. - Phoenix News Times


Debut Self Titled album - " The Bayou Bandits" released on 11/14/2019



"The Bayou Bandits have been sweeping the Southwest and Gulf Coast regions with their heavy guitar riffs, blues harmonica driven, dirty south sound! The Bayou Bandits have shared the stage with numerous national acts such as Steel Panther, LA GUNZ, David Nail, Jerrod Neimonn, Lillie Mae, Austin Meade, The Black Moods, among many more! The Bayou Bandits have been featured in a documentary with Jordan Klepper from The Daily Show on Comedy Central as well as numerous magazine publications such as “The Entertainer,” “Phoenix New Times” (most recently voted among the top 20 bands the state of Arizona fell in love with) “Peoria News Times,” and “The National Veterans Magazine” which has over 10 million readers.  Their latest single "Gasoline" is currently charting on Rock Radio UK and Europe radio stations. The Bayou Bandits will give you a show you will never forget! Laissez Les Bon temps Rouler!"

Band Members