with The Part Time Gentlemen, Red Beards Revenge
Thursday, January 9th
Southgate House Revival – Revival Room
111 E. 6th Street, Newport, KY 41071
Doors 8pm – Tickets $6 – 18 and over
From Binghamton, NY comes Driftwood, a young string band with a rock n’ roll soul and a folk art mind. Carving out a name for themselves with electrifying live performances, they bring unvarnished energy to the Americana music scene. Incorporating upright bass, banjo, acoustic guitar and violin, they channel the ghost of traditional American folk music but the melodies, the harmonies and the lyrics are something else entirely. “We recognized early on that one of our strongest points was songwriting. The greatest songs transcend genre and time and this was one of the motivating ideas behind the band at the start”, says banjo player/songwriter Joe Kollar, who is joined by Dan Forsyth, Claire Byrne and Joey Arcuri.
Driftwood’s self-titled third album lands on December 3rd – a collection of 11 songs with lyrics written by 3 or the 4 members of the band. From black holes (“Outer Space”), memories of childhood (“Brother”), politician doublespeak (“Words Come True”) to the blunt invitation of love in the unbelievably infectious first single (“ The Suns Going Down”)Driftwood is unified by the chemistry between the musicians, all of whom have chops to spare and clearly love playing together. The album was recorded in an old church and produced by Grammy-winning engineer Robby Hunter (Branford Marsalis, Donna the Buffalo). Jeb Puryear (Donna the Buffalo guitarist/songwriter) helped Hunter produce “Words Come True” and “The Carburetor and the Steam Engine” as well.
“The recording process for this album was really quite organic. Robby would have it no other way. The church was a beautiful place to make music. When you’re playing in a room that was built to reverberate, the music truly takes on a life of it’s own”. explained guitarist/songwriter Forsyth, “There were a lot of external factors that made the whole experience so genuine, road traffic, cold weather with an ancient heating system, a fire siren from the station next door. During the intro of “Buffalo Street” you can hear the snow pounding on the stained glass windows. The sound was completely honest and the vibe was unreal.”
Trading lead vocals between Forsyth, Kollar and violinist Claire Byrne, the group’s stage dynamics equally captivating. “I give so much of myself when I play because I deem it necessary in order to do the music justice”, says Byrne, whose violin-shredding performances galvanize fans. Songs or shredding, “There’s a reason people won’t let them off the stage”, says Jess Novak from The Syracuse New Times. With hundreds of shows and festivals under their belts, Driftwood has earned fans at great radio stations like New York’s WFUV as well as tastemakers like WDVX in Knoxville and WCBE in Columbus.
Formed in 2005, it’s easy to wonder how this not-so-traditional string band came out of the Binghamton music scene. “What people don’t often realize is that bands like Old Crow Medicine Show, The Horseflies and The Highwoods String Band came out of this same area and had a huge influence on us”, says Forsyth. “We played a lot of old-time music in the beginning and it was a huge part of our band learning to play music together”. Look for Driftwood performing through 2013-2014 in support of their terrific new album.