Driftwood Fire
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Driftwood Fire

Fort Collins, Colorado, United States | SELF

Fort Collins, Colorado, United States | SELF
Band Americana Folk

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Press


"Brilliant. This is one of the best CDs I have heard in a long time. These girls are unreal." - Tony Doolin, Americana Carnival

"2011 has been quite the year for duos. So far, this year has seen the advent of The Civil Wars, and now come Driftwood Fire...a refreshing sound that is completely unique but feels familiar...Driftwood Fire is one of the most promising new bands of the year.
With strong folksy harmonies and a sound that falls somewhere between The Waifs and Tres Chicas, their debut album How to Untangle a Heartache, is a gorgeous album that carries a lifetime of experience."
-Roughstock.com

"Wow. I kind of want to steal the song [The Salty Sea]" - Corb Lund, Songwriter
"Paper Bag [is a] crowning achievement...Driftwood Fire has taken the Appalachian to the Rocky Mountains with style and substance."
-Glide Magazine

"...understated perfection. What stands out here is not only the heartfelt songwriting and skilled instrumentation, but also Scharf’s vocals, which are reminiscent of a cross between Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt...The tracks have a depth to them that belie their simplicity and clean style."
-Colorado Music Buzz

"...this duo’s [new] album blends Brandi Carlile’s passion, Sarah McLachlan’s gloss and Indigo Girls’ grit for an impressive effort."
-88.9FM KRFC

"Folk-pop at its best."
-The Advocate

"Lynn Scharf's smooth-as-ocean-polished-glass voice coupled with the sweet sounds Charlotte Formichella can coax out of a banjo and a guitar make this duo stand apart. It's not a surprise to hear the lonesome soul-touching songs of Appalachia at the root of their music; both artists were raised in those Scottish mountains of Virginia.
In fact, the second song on the album, Appalachian Hills, is without a doubt my favorite of the bunch, though all the selections are stand-alone hits. Scharf's voice was made for this music; timeless, mournful, and distinctive.
...Of course they have a Facebook page! Go ahead, click that "Like" button! You'll do more than like this cd....you'll love it. "
-Blogcritics.org

"Musings on relationships intermingle with meditations on coal mines."
-OnEarth Magazine
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"On their debut album, this Fort Collins, Colo., duo strike a nice balance between the banjo-led, rustic sounds of Appalachian folk (there’s even a song here called “Appalachian Hills”) and the bright melodies of contemporary country-pop. Lead singer Lynn Scharf brings Sarah McLachlan sultriness to tunes like “Turn on the Radio,” while her and partner Charlotte Formichella’s love of Gillian Welch and early Dolly Parton shines through on quieter numbers like “The Salty Sea.” An understated but impressive debut."
-MetroMix.com

"How To Untangle A Heartache doesn’t sound like music that scientists would make, but when you consider that one of those scientists studies man’s sonic debris on wilderness, and the other maps endangered species’ territories, it’s no wonder that this Americana duo from Fort Collins put together such a tender and beautiful album. The playing is extraordinary, the songwriting is sincere, and it’s astonishing that this is a debut."
-Marquee Magazine

"Driftwood Fire will release their debut album, How To Untangle A Heartache on August 23rd. Though Driftwood Fire are billed as an Americana duo comprised of former scientists – singer-guitarist Lynn Scharf and multi-instrumentalist Charlotte Formichella – the two women were joined by several other talented musicians for the recording of How To Untangle A Heartache. The resulting album is truly a delight.
The opening tracks are airy pop-folk songs that fall somewhere between Crooked Still and Beth Nielsen Chapman, but How To Untangle A Heartache really finds its footing with the panoramic “Let It All Go.”
“Appalachian Hills” is the album’s biggest stunner. The haunting folk ballad explores the beautiful landscape and horrific racism in the Shenandoah valley during and after the Civil War.
Other highlights are the jaunty Tin Pan Alley instrumental “Intermission” and the gentle pluck of banjo in the atmospheric finale “The Salty Sea.”
-Muruch.com

Tim Maddocks (The Scene Magazine)
“While their musicianship is more than capable, it’s the song-writing that comes to the forefront…carried by the strength of Lynn Scharf’s sultry vocals. As the album’s sound begins to settle into a pattern of tastefully sustained emotion and melody…‘Holes in the Sky’ suddenly pops. Frankly, the song is great. The melody swings into your ears, the chorus is catchy and it’s sad when it’s over, reminding you why there’s a rewind button on the player.”

Peer Bataille (Radio Alt Country Netherlands)
“Many of these songs fall somewhere between Joni Mitchell and Michelle Shocked, however, the imminent Appalachian Hills, is reminiscent of Gillian Welch. This song examines the impact of civil war and racism the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and demonstrates musicianship of the highest class.”
_____________ - All


Discography

How To Untangle A Heartache
Released 2011
-- Americana Radio airplay (Songlines: Leslie Rouffe)

Driftwood Fire (2008)
Released June of 2008
-- Colorado regional radio play

Photos

Bio

SHORT BIO
Driftwood Fire’s How To Untangle A Heartache is a rarity in today’s media mad world — a debut album by an organically creative female fronted group whose vivid songwriting and prodigious playing skills display uncommon artistry.
         Striking for its balance of variety and seamlessness, and for exceptional storytelling, the disc covers a wide palette of emotions and sounds in multi-instrumentalist Charlotte Formichella’s and singer-guitarist Lynn Scharf’s 11 original compositions. Together they embrace the roots of country, blues, pop and rock to create their own unique blend of Americana.
         The eponymous 2008 EP propelled them to the stages of the National Women’s Music Festival, the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, Falcon Ridge Emerging Artists showcase and Far-West Folk Alliance Premier showcases. The CD gained Suggested Artist status in VH-1’s Song of the Year contest.
         Even before its release How To Untangle A Heartache received accolades from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, the International Narrative Song Competition, and the Telluride Troubadour contest. Since it's release Driftwood Fire has been invited to perform at SXSW (WAMU 88.5 FM Capital Bluegrass showcase), at Robert's Western World (Tony Doolin's Americana Carnival Live broadcast) and enjoyed a romp across the US in a highly successful 2011-2012 CD release tour.
         When asked what they love most about writing, performing and touring, “Our goal is for people who come to our shows or listen to our album to leave a little lighter,” Scharf explains. “We want to give people an experience that slows down time a bit and encourages them to sit back and catch their breath” says Scharf, “and maybe find a part of themselves in this music, like we did.”

FULL BIOGRAPHY

Driftwood Fire’s How To Untangle A Heartache is a rarity in today’s media mad world — a debut album by an organically creative female fronted group whose vivid songwriting and prodigious playing skills display an uncommon artistry.

Striking for its balance of variety and seamlessness, and for exceptional storytelling, the disc covers a wide palette of emotions and sounds in multi-instrumentalist Charlotte Formichella’s and singer-guitarist Lynn Scharf’s 11 original compositions. Together they embrace the roots of country, blues, pop and rock to create their own unique blend of Americana.

To songwriting aficionados, this comes as no surprise. The eponymous 2008 EP that introduced Driftwood Fire to the world at large also propelled them to the stages of the National Women’s Music Festival, the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, the Falcon Ridge Emerging Artists showcase and the Far-West Folk Alliance Premier showcases. The strength of its recordings also gained them Suggested Artist status in VH-1’s Song of the Year contest.

Even before its release the new How To Untangle A Heartache has already received accolades from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, the International Narrative Song Competition, and the Telluride Troubadour contest.

“In the four years we’ve been together — starting from a point when we were really raw — we've devoured every style of music that spoke to us as we’ve expanded the sound and the grasp of the band,” Scharf explains. “We’ve worked hard; we’re both perfectionists. But at the heart of it all, whether we’re playing a song that has a more complex electric guitar arrangement or is written for just voice and banjo, it’s all grounded in our rural Virginia childhoods, where seeing live music meant going to the local firehouse to hear the neighbors play bluegrass – and there were some amazing players to learn from.”

With How To Untangle A Heartache, Scharf and Formichella present themselves as a formidably versatile and emotionally powerful band on their own terms. The opener “Turn On the Radio” achieves a beatific symmetry, balancing sounds from their musical roots — banjo, dobro, accordion and guitar — with a warm vocal performance steeped in pure pop melodicism.

Similarly the arrangement of “Appalachian Hills” evokes the misty valleys of the Shenandoah, while the storyline threads through the region’s history of Civil War and racial violence, contrasting nature’s beauty with a glimpse into the clouds of the human psyche. That potent blend won the tune first place in the 2007 International Narrative Song Competition.

“No matter how far we travel, physically and musically, the visceral memory of growing up in that region never leaves us,” Scharf observes.

“The Salty Sea,” which won first place in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest 2011, is a pure-hearted love song tinged with longing — a theme for the ages, set simply to Scharf’s voice and Formichella’s banjo. And “Small City Nights” is a rocker with a universal underpinning: the desire for something bigger than one’s self — whether it be true love, a calling, or th