The Farewell Drifters
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The Farewell Drifters

Band Folk Bluegrass


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Farewell Drifters"

One of the bands I did not get to catch at IBMA was The Farewell Drifters. I did, however, just receive a copy of their debut CD, Sweet Summer Breeze, and am now doubly sorry that I didn’t get to see them perform live.

This self-produced project features 12 new songs written within the band among the 14 tracks, primarily written by guitarist Zach Bevill and mandolinist Joshua Britt. One of the two covers, Wheels, comes from Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons, and it fits perfectly among the band originals which share much of the melodic and lyrical sensibility.

It is always a good thing to welcome new songwriters into bluegrass music, and Bevill and Britt are fine examples of why we can confidently place this music into the hands of a new generation of artists.

A fact that seems to be lost sometimes on both new and established artists is that no amount of technical proficiency and studio tanning can compensate for weak material - and that, by extension, really great material elevates any project beyond the performance itself. The Drifters’ originals are catchy and memorable, and as likely to be appropriate before a folk, bluegrass or jamgrass audience.

Making up The Farewell Drifters are Clayton Britt on lead guitar, Trevor Brandt on banjo, and Ryan Pennington on bass along with Zach Bevill and Joshua Britt.

You can hear several tracks from Sweet Summer Breeze on the band’s MySpace page, and audio samples and download purchases are enabled on their Speakerheart page.

It seems fair to expect that these talented young men will only reach higher and achieve at a loftier level given the chance to continue performing and recording together. Kudos, fellas… this is a good’n. - Bluegrass Blog


Sweet Summer Breeze (2007)



he Farewell Drifters are proud to announce their new record Sweet Summer Breeze, an album that displays the band in true form for the first time, uncovering a hidden treasure in the art of folk and bluegrass. This collection includes twelve original songs and two covers that will leave you truly believing that folk music is hip again. You will hear sounds of tradition and influence from artists of old, mixed with a completely original approach to lyrical content and musical form. The poetry of writers Joshua Britt (mandolin) and Zach Bevill (guitar) reveals a new muse for their generation. Their songs put music and harmonies behind the deepest truths of life, and stories yet untold. Britt seems to rewrite himself through the creation of his lyrical personae in a way that shows his determination to fuse high poetry and the best of oral tradition, even in a modern world of pop and simplicity. The honesty and clarity of Bevill’s vocals are equally advanced whether interpreting Britt’s stories or sharing the truth of his own lyrics.

Their songs are only fully realized when joined with Trevor Brandt (banjo), Clayton Britt (lead guitar), and Ryan Pennington (upright bass). This talented group of musicians completes each song with exactly what is needed: no more and no less. The eclectic style of Brandt’s banjo can be bright and punchy, silky smooth, and everywhere in between, letting the song be the guide. Clayton’s guitar work is certainly virtuosic, yet never overdone as he weaves in between lyrics, delivering tasteful licks and blistering solos. Pennington’s upright bass shines as he freely walks the neck laying the creative foundation on which the Drifters build their arrangements. In addition to all this, the group’s vocal harmony demands attention as they drift from Monroe Brothers style duets to the sonic sounds of the Beach Boys and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Yet amidst this flurry of musicianship, one will notice that the band never loses sight of its true focus, the song itself.

Produced by fellow songwriter Glen Garrett and recorded at Ben Surratt’s Rec Room Studio in Nashville, Sweet Summer Breeze draws on the influence of innovative, yet tasteful creations from artists like Clarence White, Gram Parsons, or even Bob Dylan. The difference is that the Farewell Drifters have chosen bluegrass as the vessel by which they can express themselves artistically, all the while maintaining a stylistic freedom that gives their music that same sense of adventure. The result is a sound you’ve never known, but somehow feels like home; and an album that will please the ears of bluegrass and folk enthusiasts while also appealing to a broader audience.

For booking contact Janice Young @ Keith Case & Associates (615) 327-4646