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."
Here's a live performance of Driftwood's "Outer Space."
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.
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.
Driftwood on Tour:
Nov 08 The Burning Bridge Tavern Wrightsville, PA
Nov 09 Cannon's Blackthorn Rockville Centre, NY
Nov 15 The Choconut Inn Choconut, PA
Nov 22 The Lost Horizon Syracuse, NY
Nov 23 Caffe Lena Saratoga Springs, NY
Nov 29 Moonshadow Cafe Accident, MD
Dec 05 Mojo's Jamestown, NY
Dec 06 The Sportsmen's Tavern Buffalo, NY
Dec 07 The Waterhole Saranac Lake, NY
Dec 13 The Haunt Ithaca, NY
Dec 14 Elk Creek Cafe Millheim, PA
Dec 20 Dante's Frostburg, MD
Dec 21 HMAC Stage on Herr Harrisburg, PA
Dec 31 First Night Saranac Saranac Lake, NY
Jan 03 AS220 Providence, RI
Jan 05 The Firebox Hartford, CT
Jan 10 Woodlands Tavern Columbus, OH
Jan 18 The Jalopy Theater Brooklyn, NY
Jan 24 Snugs New Paltz, NY
Jan 25 Sticky Lips BBQ Rochester, NY
Jan 31 Red Square Albany, NY
Feb 01 The Oneonta Theater Oneonta, NY
Feb 08 Club Café Pittsburgh, PA
Feb 09 Christina’s Café Strasburg, PA
Feb 14 The Pourhouse Raleigh, NC
Feb 15 Jack of the Wood Asheville, NC
Feb 20-23 Virginia Key Grassroots Fest Miami, FL
Apr 05 Crooked Tree Music Series Harbor Springs, MS
Apr 11-13 Stringbreak Music Series Brooksville, FL
For more info on Driftwood visit: www.driftwoodtheband.com