Long a Lonesome Standard Time live show staple, this song was co-written sometime in the late 1980s with my friend and sometimes co-writer in those days, Donnie Clark.
Donnie had the idea to write a fiddle-oriented tune about a raccoon, called Bandit. He was thinking about a running fiddle part for a chase scene etc., etc. Though he asked me on many occasions to help him write the song, I couldn’t quite get a handle on how to do so.
One night after a gig at the Bell Cove Club, where I was playing at the time, we decided to try to start working on the song. It was about 1 AM when we finally got started.
Donnie had the makings of a chorus melody and most of the chorus lyric. We finally got a working verse melody and got down to the business at hand.
Somewhere in the process we decided that the best approach would be to write the entire song from ‘Ol Bandit’s point of view. I love giving things that can’t speak a voice. We worked until we were both worn out (maybe 4 AM), but managed two verses and the complete chorus that night. A week or so later, we sat down together again, and, after reviewing what we had, came up with a direction for the last verse. It was then that we officially finished our tale.
Bandit originally appeared on Lonesome Standard Time’s Sugar Hill CD, SH-3816 titled, “Mighty Lonesome.” The band at that time consisted of Glen Duncan, fiddle & tenor vocals; the late great Butch Baldassari, mandolin; Billy Rose, doghouse bass & baritone vocals; Larry Perkins, banjo; and myself on guitar & lead vocals.
From the first time we played the song live, it became a crowd favorite. In the ensuing years, our fans have made sure that it remained on our set lists. Now becoming our long-time encore song, ‘Bandit’ never fails to get the crowd worked up & in a dancing mood. Sugar Hill took the “Mighty Lonesome” CD out of print a few years ago but fans were still consistently asking, what CD is the coon song on? I decided I’d just do a new version for our 2018 project. Here ya go folks… run all night sleep all day…