Modern Day Drifters

Modern Day Drifters

 Waco, Texas, USA

Nominated for BEST NEW ARTIST - GRUENE WITH ENVY AWARDS 2009 - thank you for your continued support and God Bless!


For most people the essential elements of life include things such as oxygen, water, and food. Yet, for the Modern Day Drifters, music is equally as vital. The Drifters, whose current album contains the fitting title of The Highway Is My Home, are a collection of passionate musicians who have a firm belief in the band concept and yearn to create classic American music. With members from all corners of the country, the band is full of a variety of influences and styles that range from stone cold country to hard rock. The brand of music they have developed is one that that stems from the roots of soul and southern rock, to the front porch of the country. Lyrically, the tales the Drifters have to tell are influenced by the hard miles traveled down highways both literal and figurative.

The band is fronted by a dynamic and special lead vocalist in Kristen Kelly. Kelly’s ability to deliver any style of vocal is the groundwork for which the Modern Day Drifters are founded on. Growing up in a musical family, she draws inspiration from a variety of influences, be it country pioneers such as Emmylou Harris, modern blues wailers such as Susan Tedeschi, or classic bands such as Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles. As a dreamer steeped in the realities of the musical education she received from her respected musical mentors at McLennan Community College, Kelly knew exactly what type of band she wanted to form.

Kelly sought a full sound with equal contributions from each member in writing sessions, production meetings, and stage shows. Her career got on the fast track after she co-wrote “Down in Flames” with Brandon Jenkins and Stoney LaRue, as she quickly became a sought after songwriting partner and harmony vocalist. Kelly yearned to do more than just be someone’s co-writer, and together with a friend, they began to perform as an acoustic duo around her hometown. The music they were creating was magical and she began to write and perform constantly. Kelly soon decided she needed to round out the musical vision she’d had in her head all those years. Enter Derrick Dutton, a guitar guru known across Texas and beyond for his blues inspired myriad of tones and sounds. Dutton grew up in Portland, Oregon, the son of a southern rock lead guitarist. After a stint in the Navy, he landed in Texas for college and quickly immersed himself in the Texas blues scene. Through years of gigging, Dutton has been able to take his genetic guitar gifts to the next level. Joining Dutton to help create the Drifters signature twin guitar attack is Joshua Roberts, a talented guitarist who has been playing professionally since the age of 15. The next Drifter to join the fold was Marty Mack on drums, a professional sound engineer from Austin. Mack quickly realized the potential of this project and immediately set about stabilizing the rhythm. The search for a bass player that could match the intensity of Kelly’s vocals and Dutton’s guitar work, yet still lock themselves in the pocket created by Mack ended when the band met Vincent Bryce, a music teacher who displays Cliff Burton-esque virtuosity on the bass.

This amalgam of musical backgrounds and strengths has combined to create something totally unique in the Texas/Red Dirt scene. That unique something is a powerful and unique sound that is garnering MDD praise across the country. With Kelly’s vision now a reality, the band has been hitting the road hard over the past year, playing any stage that would have them. What started in Kelly’s head, transitioned to garage rehearsals and ended up at esteemed venues such as Gruene Hall and Cheatham Street Warehouse, in addition to festivals such as Larry Joe Taylor’s Music Fest and SXSW. Each gig is now a musical sermon, a redemptive call to arms that attempts to shake contemporary music out of the homogenized rut it often finds itself in.


Modern Day Drifters

The Highway is My Home

March 2008

Set List

Typical set list consists of a mix of covers and originals. Enough material to play 4 hours. Typical repertoire consists of Country, Southern Rock, Blues, and Texas/Americana.


Rock Bottom
Broken White Line
Nature to Run
Shades of Gray
Tired of This Town
Down In Flames
Angel Dust
Small Town Way

Voodoo Woman
Runnin Kind
Everytime I Get Around You
Midnight Rider
40 Dollars
Used Cars
Beast of Burden
Roadhouse Blues
and many more!