First Listen: Banditos’ “I Put A Spell On You”

The Birmingham band releases a must-hear take on Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ 1956 classic

Photo: David McClister

On the road to rock and roll glory, tackling a song made famous by someone else is rife with potholes. And when that song is the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins classic, “I Put A Spell On You,” the stakes are even higher.

So give Birmingham—and G&G—fave Banditos credit for their searing version, which has become an encore staple in their raucous live shows. Vocalist Mary Beth Richardson tears into the lyrics, while the band unleashes a torrent of noisy, climatic guitar. The song has been covered by everyone from Creedence Clearwater Revival to Nina Simone (who has her own epic version), but Banditos’ version comes close to Hawkins’ primal roar.

“His untamed performance resonated with me, so when we approached the idea of performing this song, I really wanted it to be unhinged,” Richardson says. “I like to go a bit nuts on this one, and it’s always nice to see people lose their minds a little if I jump off stage and get in their faces. I think Screamin’ Jay would’ve liked it that way.”

He most certainly would have.

Here is the exclusive premiere of Banditos’ version of “I Put A Spell On You.” The limited-release two-track single is available for pre-order now.