The Farewell Drifters
Gig Seeker Pro

The Farewell Drifters

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"It's a Good Time For the Farewell Drifters' Thoughtful Acoustic Pop"

The title of The Farewell Drifters' new album, Echo Boom (as in, the generation made up of Baby Boomers' progeny, and the one the Drifters happen to belong to), is a clue that they're thinking about the big picture, about where they fit, about their peers — and more to the point, they're just plain thinking.

Over the course of their three albums, the quintet — whose lineup became locked in with the addition of fiddler Christian Sedelmyer and bassist Dean Marold — has gone from playing crisp, '60s Southern California-inspired bluegrass to smart, baroque acoustic pop.

Their latest lyrics — written primarily by founding members Joshua Britt and Zach Bevill — are thoughtful, earnest and heart-searching. More than once, Bevill, who handles most of the lead vocals, can be heard pondering what it takes to be a man. "If that phrase pops up on the record," he says, "it's probably because we're trying to figure it out."

Unlike their punk- and grunge-steeped Gen X predecessors, the Drifters don't have much use for irony in what they do — with the possible exception of the new album's cover art, in which all five members are lined up in neckties and Members Only jackets of varying shades, including an aqua one sported by lead guitarist Clayton Britt.

"It started with my brother [Clayton], actually," says Joshua. "He got this very rare leather one. ... We kept seeing them everywhere, so we started buying them. Thrift stores always have like five of 'em. But they're always the extra, extra large gray ones. If you look hard enough, it's kind of like [vinyl] record searching — there's millions of bad ones, but one good one."

(For the record, their enthusiasm for the iconic '80s outerwear hasn't gone unnoticed. Members Only threw them a party in the company's New York showroom and hooked them up with never-before-worn jackets.)

Even more complex than the emotions articulated in each verse, chorus and bridge of Echo Boom is the songs' intricate musical construction, achieved with the help of the band's first outside producer, Nashville pop specialist Neilson Hubbard. Often, the tuneful, sunlit melodies are embellished by layer upon layer of dreamy, perfectly perched vocal harmonies, propelled by clean, insistent rock-style strumming and laced with precise fiddle or guitar figures.

Says Bevill, "While somebody might have to pay more attention to realize Christian and Clayton are virtuosos — because it's not blistering solos all the time, or something like that — I feel like we're still putting their talents to good use in the band."

It's not that the Drifters have shed their '60s influences. "I personally was really inspired by The Beach Boys," says Bevill. "Pet Sounds and the intricacy of those arrangements. That was one of the influences I feel like we let in a little more on this album." The same goes for Simon & Garfunkel. The Drifters cover their song "The Only Living Boy in New York" as a bonus track on the vinyl and digital versions of the new album. When Bevill and Joshua met during Bevill's Belmont days, they bonded over the sophisticated folk-pop duo's Live From New York City, 1967.

During the many decades since Simon & Garfunkel's heyday, it's sometimes seemed like any music pegged as "smart" is doomed to be heard by few ears. But there's a growing pile of evidence — including the warm reception Paul Simon's new album So Beautiful or So What has received — that the moment is ripe for a younger generation of intelligent pop-makers like the Drifters.

"Just the appreciation of our generation for things like Brian Wilson's SMiLE album [which finally saw the light of day in 2004]," Britt says. "If you listen to that album, that's the most intricate piece of art I've ever heard. And all my friends are into it."

They have other examples where that one came from. "I just went to the Fleet Foxes show in town," says Britt. "There were some crazy things happening [musically], and people were paying attention to that. Making interesting music is what I'm attempting to do.... With this album I didn't worry so much about making it accessible to people, because I think interesting music is what's becoming accessible these days."

Bevill brings up the conceptually complex indie anthemics of The Arcade Fire: "Obviously they've gotten huge. They were on the Grammys and all that kind of stuff. Their music has layers upon layers of things happening that are well thought-out and intentional."

Concludes Bevill, "It's gone so far that being intellectual is hip, it seems like." - Nashville Scene

"Album Review: The Farewell Drifters - Echo Boom"

The Farewell Drifters wear their 60s influences on the sleeves of their Members Only jackets. The title of their newest album, Echo Boom, is a reference to the extended resonance of the Baby Boom generation's hopes, failures, idealism, and projections as processed and perceived by their offspring. Many boomer-era musical legends also echo throughout the new album which initially made me wary, to be honest. Through press releases and reviews, I'd read about an album of progressive folk music decidedly influenced by 60s pop supergroups Simon and Garfunkel, the Beach Boys, and others. This sounded to me like exactly what I didn't want to hear in contemporary roots music. I feared a modern day version of the Country Gentlemen or even something like the Kingston Trio with more compositional savvy. I can appreciate some Simon and Garfunkel. And I can appreciate the production and harmonic genius of Brian Wilson. However, extended listens to each don't make me want to write forlorn poetry or drive to the shore for sun and fun; they make me want to eat a mouthful of gritty dirt to rid the cloying taste of saccharine from my mouth. I was pleasantly surprised that my reaction to Echo Boom was quite the opposite. Somehow this group of young, earnest musicians manage to take the best elements from those influences and transform all that saccharine into an earthy, organic honey that is not just palatable, but downright savory. Echo Boom accomplishes a form of alchemical magic that deserves a wide audience.

I caught the final set of one of their concerts last week at Nashville's legendary Station Inn. As much as I've enjoyed Echo Boom since giving it a fair shake, I was even more impressed seeing these guys play live. Not only do they exude an irresistible charm of good-natured humility, but they can play. Really play. Despite the harmonic density and musicianship the album documents, it's clear that Echo Boom exercises some serious restraint, preferring to spotlight the subtlety of songcraft above the virtuosic ability that lies just barely beneath the surface.

In addition to their precociously mature musicianship, this is a band of thoughtful, introspective lyricists, unapologetically exploring the preoccupations of youth in a cerebral dreamscape of analog hand-claps, clever doo-wop harmonies, and vibrant string arrangements. For my money, the album's standout track is "Heart Of A Slave," whose verses construct layered counterpoint melodies including delicious pizzicato fiddle riffs from Christian Sedelmeyer. Dean Marold's perfectly sparse bass line, worthy of Reggie Workman on the deepest of Coltrane albums, adds the song's groove before a deep-swinging southern chorus springs forth propelled by Sedelmeyer's bowed fiddle and Zack Bevill's sliding vocals. Another favorite track is "Tip Of The Iceberg" which is an unlikely marriage of an AM Gold summer hit from decades past as courted by a suitor further down the dial on WSM.

Perhaps I'm perceiving the band's breezy vocal harmonies a little too literally, but Echo Boom evokes a spirit of shared joy among friends excited to explore multiple influences and inspirations with mutual enthusiasm. Or maybe I'm picking up on those intangible familial bonds between lead guitarist Clayton Britt and his mandolin playing brother, Joshua. Whatever the reason, Echo Boom is an album of exuberant musical intelligence slyly filtered through the hazy sunshine of 60s idealism, even as it politely investigates the reliability of that distorted view. It is not, as I feared it might be, baby boom nostalgia dressed up in stringband arrangements; instead the album is a successful transcendence of that ethos by way of earnest, witty musical invention. - No Depression

"Q & A with the Farewell Drifters"

Judging by the instruments The Farewell Drifters haul around—acoustic guitars, mandolin, banjo, fiddle and upright bass—you’d expect a far more bluegrassy sound than the one they make on their excellent new album Echo Boom. Primary songwriters Zach Bevill and Joshua Britt, lead guitarist Clayton Britt, fiddler Christian Sedelmyer and bassist Dean Marold have arrived at a lavish, layered pop sound that almost definitely owes more to Pet Sounds than it does to Bill Monroe. And the self-aware, coming-of-age lyrics and musical intricacies are no small part of it.

The band are set to release Echo Boom on June 7 via Thirty Tigers (pre-order it here). Get an exclusive first listen to the album’s bonus track, an excellent, slightly bluegrassy cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s The Only Living Boy In New York,” below, and check out our Q&A with the band.

The Farewell Drifters – The Only Living Boy In New York by Evanschl

It hasn’t been that long since your last album, Yellow Tag Mondays. But every facet of what you do is more intricate—the parts, the arrangements, the songwriting. What areas did you really focus on developing?

Bevill: I think that on this album… all these songs that we wrote we were sort of stretching ourselves stylistically. And we were listening to a lot of different kinds of music. And I think that we just sort of let our guard down even more in terms of who we are as a band and just kind of let everything in. And this is what came out.

Could you give a specific example of how you stretched yourself stylistically?

Bevill: I think specifically we started to mess around with straight down strokes on the acoustic guitars a lot more. It’s kind of a driving rock thing. We did that a significant amount on this album. So when we started kind of toying with that and working it into what we’d already been doing, that sort of stretched the limits of what we were doing.

Britt: Yellow Tag Mondays, it was like five guys who really all played electric guitars and things like that before all learning how to make mandolins and banjos and violins sound kind of like what we wanted to sound like. And with this album, this was so easy. It’s like, ‘Well we’ve figured it out now.’ …It sounds more difficult, but for me every song was way easier this time.

It’s not that Yellow Tag Mondays was necessarily a bluegrass album, but compared to Echo Boom it came a lot closer. Were you aware of the new direction you were heading songwriting-wise?

Bevill: I think we were aware of it. I think we kind of looked at it as we were just traveling further down our musical path that we were sort of blazing together in the first place. …We knew what we were doing and it came out naturally, but that doesn’t mean that we were unaware of it. And so when we started incorporating some of the other influences that we had growing up into what we were doing, it just felt natural.

Britt: From a songwriting perspective, when I was writing songs for the first album I felt like I was trying to go for something. And this album it was just like, ‘Well, let’s just write a song. Forget about “Is this gonna be on the record?” or “Is this gonna be good enough for the Farewell Drifters to play?”’ …It used to be I would worry. I would write a song and I would be like ‘Well, that’s a good song, but how are we gonna put a banjo on this song and make it work? …I should just save this one if I ever have a rock band or if I ever have a barbershop quartet group or something.’ There was none of that on this album. We pretty much went for everything. There are songs that are kind of doo-wop songs on the album. Those are some of my favorite moments that would’ve never passed before.

How do you write smart pop songs for an acoustic band with really hot players in it?

Bevill: We’re still trying to figure it out.

Britt: When you have players as good as Christian, and like my brother [Clayton] is just a prodigy guitar player—he always has been—it’s easy to write songs that don’t include them at all.

Bevill: Because most pop songs don’t have a prodigy guitar player showcased in them.

Britt: On Yellow Tag Mondays, those were the limitations. It was like, ‘Well, we have these strengths: We have this fiddle player who’s really good and we have this guitar player who’s really good. And then I’ve got a song that I think is really good. How do we make them all [work] together?’ …But on this album I think we’ve just done it so much, been on the road together so much, that I hear things that my brother does on guitar and I’m like, ‘That’s awesome for this song.’ It doesn’t have to be a big raging solo or anything. …Sometimes on this album he’ll spend a whole song doing harmonics, and those are harder than anything.

You can hear important parts being played on the instruments.

Bevill: And I think that that’s what’s so cool about us being songwriters and being able to take our songs to the band, is that they do add things that become signature elements of the song. And it’s not just that they’re gonna take some hot solo after the second chorus. You can use instrumental prowess to enhance and create a mood that we already kind of started with a song.

I get the sense that you didn’t begin this album with a theme and title already in mind. What inspired you to take the writing in this direction?

Britt: Well when we thought about our music around that time, it was this huge period of trying to define what is our music. That’s really important when you’re trying to find your audience, what you can do in your show and what people want in your show. We were trying to figure out…beyond genre, what is the difference in us? If we’re a bluegrass band, why are we so different than pretty much every bluegrass band? …The biggest thing we found was who we are as people. That really encouraged us to just sort of be ourselves. People seem to be okay with us being ourselves is kind of what we discovered. We don’t have to go out and be a bluegrass band; we don’t have to go out and be a rock band and blow their faces off. A lot of shows we’re playing side by side with some indie rock kids, and then other shows we’re playing side by side with some old flatpicker guy. It was working both ways. We discovered that being ourselves was what people were okay with, not trying to be either one of those things. On this album, both the Baby Boomers and kids our age it’s like we both relate to that.

How did you determine what the album is really about?

Britt: Opening up is what this album’s about, the attempt to open up, and the feeling that you never can open up enough. As people, that’s how we feel a lot. I feel like this band, we have the desire to open up with each other and open up with people, but…maybe with the exception of Christian who knows everybody in the world and is a very open person, we’re always very introverted people.

And when we go anywhere we’re in a van with each other. And we write songs with each other. It’s just like whenever we try to go outside of that, it’s so much easier to go back in. This album, there’s a lot of that, even in relationships where it’s like ‘I want to be there, but I’m not.’ I can go to this band and write a song and work up a song and get that feeling in that easier than I can show it in real life. That’s how we feel a lot on this album.

Are arrangements something you think about at all in the songwriting process?

Bevill: There’s definitely a difference between Josh and I as writers. When I write, I kind of have the arrangement, at least an idea of it, sort of rolling around in my head as I’m writing. Sometimes I come to the band with kind of specific ideas of what I hear happening in a song, and sometimes I’m right and sometimes I’m wrong. Sometimes it totally doesn’t work the way I thought it would. But sometimes it does. …I usually like to bring songs where I have it pretty well—at least I think I have it pretty well figured out in my head. Whereas Josh is a lot more in the moment. He’s a lot more comfortable bringing something that’s a little more raw, a raw idea and sort of fleshing it out with the band or with me when he’s teaching me to sing it. We wrote together a lot on this album.

Britt: Yeah that was a big difference.

Bevill: We’d done it a little bit, but we did a lot more on this album. I think we’re getting to know each other even more and getting more comfortable with making music together, and also less guarded about our songs. Because songs can be pretty personal. You can get kind of this feeling of ownership over what you’ve created where you don’t want to let somebody else into the creative process, in terms of writing. But I think we really kind of opened up on this, as we were writing this record, and saw each other’s strengths. I really see Josh’s strengths as a songwriter now and I hear a song that I’ve written and I hear that it wants—like, I want to know what he thinks about it and what he would do to it to change it.

What do you feel you each bring to the table as songwriters? Are there identifiable fingerprints?

Bevill: Josh’s lyrics are better than mine. I think they are. I love his lyrics.

Britt: I think that Zack is very good at taking a huge idea and being able to put it all into perspective and finish it and have like fifteen different elements running through it and this really Brian Wilson effect of there’s a million things going on in his head but he sees the big picture of a song. Whereas I’ll bring this poem and then this crazy harmony idea that I like and then some mandolin weirdo thing that I really love. And I’m like ‘Here’s the song.’ And he’s just like ‘Okay, how’s it gonna start?’

Bevill: Josh is the most creative person I know. His creative spark inspires me and I feel like I kind of have this level-headedness about me that’s kind of boring sometimes, but maybe it turns into a strength when you have somebody as creative as Josh. …It compliments each other in the process. - American Songwriter

"Video Premiere: The Farewell Drifters "We Go Together""

Watch the new video for "We Go Together" from The Farewell Drifters. The song is featured on the band's upcoming album Echo Boom, out June 7 on Heart Squeeze Records/30 Tigers. Can't wait until June to hear more from the band? They might be playing your town soon. - Paste Magazine

"Yellow Tag Mondays"

When is a bluegrass band not a bluegrass band? The Farewell Drifters prompt that question throughout their debut album, Yellow Tag Mondays. Their instrumentation -- acoustic guitars, fiddle, mandolin, upright bass -- is undeniably in the bluegrass format, and tracks like "Virginia Bell" and the colorfully titled instrumental "I've Got Your Heart in My Hand, and I'm Gonna Squeeze" (F.Y.I., their label is called Heart Squeeze) wouldn't sound out of place on a Del McCoury album. They play for bluegrass festival audiences as a matter of course. But before the genre gavel comes down pronouncing the Nashville-based quintet "bluegrass," the judge would be advised to listen to the bulk of their album, on which the Farewell Drifters seem to be a straight-up pop/rock outfit that just happens to pick acoustic axes and lack a drummer. Zach Bevill's lead vocals bear not a trace of the high-lonesome sound, and most of the time, the harmonies of his fellow Drifters show more fealty to classic pop than country. The songs themselves mostly follow suit -- the hooks, riffs, and groove (yes, kids, it's possible to have a groove without employing a drummer) of tunes like "Everyone Is Talking" and "Love We Left Behind" wouldn't even suggest a country leaning if not for the fiddle sawing and mandolin picking. It's similarly telling that the album's lone cover tune is a straight-across-the-plate version of the Beatles' Baroque pop Revolver ballad "For No One." Nor does it seem to be a coincidence that Yellow Tag Mondays is front-loaded with the three aforementioned tracks. The Farewell Drifters don't try to hide their bluegrass influences -- at times they wear them proudly -- but it's plain that they've got another agenda that takes priority. Maybe it doesn't really matter whether that makes them newgrass, "contemporary bluegrass," or just a pop band that doesn't like to plug in. - All Music Guide

"Best of What's Next: Farewell Drifters"

Hometown: Nashville
Album: Yellow Tag Mondays
Members: Zach Bevill (Guitar, Banjo), Joshua Britt (Mandolin), Clayton Britt (Lead Guitar), Dean Marold (Bass), Christian Sedelmyer (Fiddle)
For Fans Of: John Hartford, Nickel Creek, The Beach Boys

Fate and some amount of plain old good luck brought together the five members of Farewell Drifters, who now live in Nashville but hail from all over—Kentucky, Illinois, Colorado, Pennsylvania. One day a few years ago, mandolin player and songwriter Joshua Britt was walking down the street when he saw another fellow carrying a guitar. Not a strange sight in Music City, by any means, but something about the guy caught Britt’s attention.

“I just asked, ‘Do you wanna be in a band?’” Brit remembers. The guy was Zach Bevill, who would eventually become his Farewell Drifters songwriting partner. “He looked like one of us, for some reason—we all have the same look, or something. I mean, that’s how all of us joined. It was all just, ’Hey you wanna join our band?’”

These days, the cobbled-together group of musicians plays with all the enthusiasm of kids opening presents on Christmas morning, unapologetic optimism practically gleaming in their eyes. Although they released a low-key first album in 2007, this June Farewell Drifters finally issued a proper national debut LP, Yellow Tag Mondays, which fully embodies their upbeat spirit, tight harmonies and the nostalgic, homey twang of an all-string ensemble. The songs were written and tested out over the last two years; they tend to be personal, based on experiences or specific memories neatly tucked into acoustic string harmonies.

“You live together, travel on the road together,” Britt says. “And we write a lot of songs about that, the things we encounter in our lives as young musicians.” - Paste Magazine

"These Guys Don't Wear Overalls"

Looking like a Hitchhike to Rhome-era Rhett Miller of Old 97s (minus the glasses), Farewell Drifters frontman Zach Bevill might be the world’s first bluegrass pinup. His Nashville quintet employed a slew of friends armed with mandolins, fiddles, and banjos to make the pop-influenced Americana of their full-length debut, Yellow Tag Mondays. If it’s sunny, harmony-laden roots music you seek, these songs would make a fine addition to your next mix CD alongside the Jayhawks and Avett Brothers, especially “Virginia Bell”, “Wake Up”, and the Beatles cover “For No One”. If you prefer either cynicism or cornpone gimmicks, you’re barking up the wrong tree. These guys don’t do angst, and they don’t wear overalls. - Pop Matters

"The Farewell Drifters nail friendly West Coast harmony on their first proper album, Yellow Tag Mondays"

Say there were a couple of college-age guys from Kentucky looking for a potential bandmate. Driving to Belmont and wandering around until they found somebody lugging a guitar case, somebody who looked like he might be on their wavelength wouldn't be the worst strategy in the world. More direct than a Craigslist ad, at least. That's pretty much how brothers Joshua and Clayton Britt stumbled upon Zach Bevill, and the seeds for Nashville's Farewell Drifters were sown.
"I mean, it kind of was like that," Joshua says. "I don't know how it worked out. It was meant to be, I suppose. He was carrying a guitar and he looked like one of us. I've always been kind of shy. It took a lot of guts to ask. ... But I sort of worked it up and picked him." When he says "one of us," he means it literally: "Everybody always asks us if he's our brother."
Resemblances aside, it's pretty remarkable that a chance meeting some four years ago could lead to as lasting and well-suited a partnership as it has. The Britt brothers weren't interested in playing just any music. "We weren't really into country music," says Joshua. "We didn't really like it or have any connection to it." Nor did they have rock in mind — of any flavor — though they'd each fooled around with it in high school. The moment of truth, he says, was when he and Bevill "both started talking about, like, Simon and Garfunkel."
The Farewell Drifters of today play crisp acoustic pop steeped in the sunny disposition of the '60s — the '60s of The Beatles' and Beach Boys' gilded harmonies, and the Dillards' and Byrds' easygoing take on things folky and bluegrassy. They've just released Yellow Tag Mondays, hard — and utterly winning — proof that a lot has changed for them in the past few years. "I mean, we all were really serious about it, but I don't know if anybody took us serious," Joshua says with a laugh. "I've been serious about it since I was 17, or 16."
First came an intensive study of Beach Boys and Beatles records — particularly their secrets of sparkling vocal arrangement — and a way low-key gig in Bowling Green. "Rather than working up the courage to try to book ourselves anywhere," he says, "we just started throwing house concerts in our apartment. We had 30 or 40 college kids that would come out, sit in our living room and watch us play."
They wrote first one batch of songs, then another, tossed both out and wrote a third, which they recorded for their self-released 2007 album, Sweet Summer Breeze, with Joshua and Bevill sharing the lead singing and songwriting duties. The lineup's changed since then. Joshua's still on mandolin, Clayton on lead guitar and Bevill on rhythm, but Dean Marold replaced their original upright bassist, and they traded banjo for fiddle with last year's addition of Christian Sedelmyer.
"I think the original reason we had banjo wasn't because we were trying to fit a form or anything," says Joshua. "I just happened to have my great-grandfather's banjo in my closet, and a friend of mine learned it. We didn't know anything about bluegrass or anything. ...We were always so into that '60s pop music, that kind of arrangement. You know, banjo's kind of a little too clunky for that. It's a little too folky for us." Banjo hasn't entirely disappeared, though. The Drifters still bring one on tour, and Bevill whips it out for a few songs.
But as far as performance goes, it's not the playing — whatever the instrumentation and however polished it's become — that really makes the band: It's the singing, something all five of them participate in. They've taken their harmonies to a new level on Yellow Tag Mondays. The buoyant, midtempo number that opens the album, "Love We Left Behind," features a dazzling passage during which the singers split from even-toned unison singing into bright three-part harmony. Beneath the melody of the courtly love song "Dream of Me Tonight" glide gentle, well-placed "aahs."
The Drifters' amiable sound has gone over well at folk and bluegrass festivals and small rock clubs. The curious thing about it is they seem to appeal equally to their peers and the baby boomers who grew up listening to their influences, which is not necessarily the case for other likeminded bands they admire, like Fleet Foxes. "That exact band I tried to show my father," says Joshua. "He was like, 'Eh.' "
"We played in New York City, and it was nothing but people our age and it went over really well, and then we've played for the NPR crowd," he says. "We did that again in Syracuse, and it was just like the biggest response we've ever had. It was amazing. But it was like no young people there. I've often thought that the same people that like this kind of music now ... that are a little bit older grew up with The Beatles. It's not like people grew up with Bill Monroe anymore. People that are into us are people that grew up with The Beatles and just modern music doesn't do it for them. And our music at least has some of that stuff in it, maybe. I mean, I hope."
- The Nashville Scene

"The Farewell Drifters"

“The Drifters’ music is hardly traditional bluegrass, yet their focus on concise, neat arrangements keeps them hovering in that area, even as their youth and fresh perspective pulls them in a different direction.” - No Depression

"Bluegrass Blog"

“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.” - Bluegrass Blog

"The Farewell Drifters"

“Young…fresh…talented…contemporary…relaxed. These are just a few of the words that come to mind when listening to the Farewell Drifters.” - Bluegrass Unlimited

"MountainRidge Music Marketing Announces Winning Flagship Group: The Farewell Drifters"

In efforts to promote the emergence of Pinecastle Records’ sister marketing company, MountainRidge Music Marketing, a contest was devised to find one deserving bluegrass band to serve as its flagship group. After countless submissions and much deliberation, MMM offered the flagship position to The Farewell Drifters! The Drifters, as a result, will be receiving free tour support for 15 dates of their choosing. MMM will launch the company next week at the International Bluegrass Music Association conference in Nashville. The Farewell Drifters will be performing a showcase at the MMM booth in the Exhibit Hall on Thursday, Oct. 2nd, at 3:30pm.

A little about The Farewell Drifters…
The Farewell Drifters began their bluegrass ambitions while attending Western Kentucky University. The band consists of Zachary Bevill on guitar and lead vocals; Trevor Brandt on banjo; Joshua Britt on mandolin, Clayton Britt on guitar; and Dean Marold on upright bass. In 2007, the Drifters independently released their debut album, Sweet Summer Breeze. Over the past few years, they have been developing their fan base through their many performances at festivals and listening rooms across the country. Now based in Nashville, it has been three years since the Drifters formed and the burgeoning young group has come to embody the sounds of traditional bluegrass, while incorporating modern influences, giving The Farewell Drifters their unique and appealing sound.
- MountainRidge Music Marketing

"Where did all the music go?"

It is of general knowledge that nearly all branches of public funding are experiencing the effects of budget cuts. Music education in public schools is no exception. For those of us who recognize and value music as an important part of life, it is devastating to learn that the arts have become essentially categorized as disposable in the school system.

In efforts to combat an ever-shrinking budget, Philip Gilbert of New Castle, VA is seeking to cultivate a budget through community support. He and his students are hosting a benefit concert featuring The Farewell Drifters on December 11th at the Craig County High School Auditorium. Philip is the sole music instructor in Craig County, VA, where he teaches music to K-12th grade in three schools. He has taken the unique approach of teaching traditional mountain music to his students. They currently have to share the two guitars, two mandolins and banjo that Philip and his students bring to the classroom.

The Farewell Drifters’ concert will serve as a fundraiser to allow the music program to purchase instruments for the music room. The instruments will be traditional string band instruments such as mandolin, guitar, fiddle and banjo. Philip is also focused on teaching his students the ends and outs of music business and concert promotions.

Being no strangers to the gift of music, The Farewell Drifters have graciously agreed to give their time to this important cause. The band consists of Zachary Bevill on guitar and lead vocals; Trevor Brandt on banjo; Joshua Britt on mandolin, Clayton Britt on guitar; and Dean Marold on upright bass. In 2007, the Drifters independently released their debut album, Sweet Summer Breeze. Now based in Nashville, The Drifters have spent the past few years developing their fan base through their many performances at festivals and listening rooms across the country.

- MountaintRidge Music Marketing


Yellow Tag Mondays (2010)
Echo Boom (2011)



Rising out of Nashville’s thriving independent music scene, the Farewell Drifters are an alt-folk band known for their 60’s era-inspired harmonies and adventurous musical energy. They have crafted a seamless blend of intellectual psychedelic pop with melodic songs that openly explore the brightest and darkest corners of life with raw intensity. The Farewell Drifters’ latest album, Echo Boom, has been met with critical praise and finds them growing from young men into thinking men and establishing their considerable place in this world.

"A lavish, layered pop sound that almost definitely owes more to Pet Sounds than it does to Bill Monroe. And the self-aware, coming-of-age lyrics and musical intricacies are no small part of it."
- American Songwriter

"The Best of What's Next"
- Paste Magazine

"With Beach Boys harmonies and Avett Brothers energy, The Farewell Drifters deliver infectious acoustic music (and killer live shows, if they happen to come your way)."
- Engine 145

"Exuberant musical intelligence"
- No Depression

"With Echo Boom, the band uses a variety of song structures to explore their generation with delightful results."
- Ann VerWiebe, NPR's Folk Alley