OUT: October 12
FILE UNDER: Casual and homey roots rock
R.I.Y.L.: Wiskeytown, Lucinda Williams, The Band, Silos.
Uniting former members of the dBs (Peter Holsapple), the Bangles (Vicki Peterson), the Cowsills (Susan Cowsill), the Dream Syndicate (Mark Walton), Steve Wynn's band (Robert Mache) and the Bluerunners (recent addition Russ Broussard), the Drifters are a rock genealogist's dream. They are a true collective, with Cowsill, Peterson and Holsapple trading and sharing the singing and writing, but with a communal spirit infusing every song. It's porch music, after-hours speakeasy roots rock, music created by players sitting in a circle, and truth be told, it has only vague connections to the members' former bands; rather than power-pop (dB's) or psychedelic rants (Dream Syndicate), the Drifters favor the rich simplicity of acoustic guitars, mandolins, and sparse drumming. After a first album defined by its choice coveres, Vermillion (which was released in Europe last year) showcases the band's considerable writing skills. Together or separately, Cowsill, Holsapple, Peterson, (and in one case, Mache) write sharply detailed personal narratives, with a few electric roots rockers added for diversion; Lucinda Williams comes to mind, not only because Susan Cowsill possesses a similar voice. So comfy and casual, but also confident, that it must have grown naturally from informal sessions, Vermillion asks us to join a talented community and we're fortunate to receive the invitation. >>>>>>Steve Klinge