Driftwood at the me and thee in Marblehead! (Heather Aubrey Lloyd opens)
When most people think of upstate New York, they either imagine bucolic landscapes or working-class towns. As natives of Binghamton, the members of Driftwood hail from a working town, but play music rooted in the land, leaning alternately into folk, old-time, country, punk, and rock, depending on their personal moods and their songs needs.
Its sometimes tough to keep any sort of focus on style or sound when you have three different songwriters, guitarist Dan Forsyth concedes. But it also allows us to branch out and explore in ways other bands dont. Also, I think its important, as a band, to ask ourselves Is this a good next step? I think everyone is very excited to know that it is. Describing the Driftwood sound, banjo player Joe Kollar offers, I consider our sound to be more of an attitude and an approach the result of all of our influences in a completely open musical forum where the only stipulation is to use bluegrass instruments and create it from the heart.
Thats as close to being pinned down as Driftwood ever gets. Such has always been the case for artists blurring and blending genre lines in order to innovate. Yes, they wield old-time instruments, but they do so with a punk-rock ethos. I do not know much about punk music, but I do know that it gives me a feeling of tearing into something without inhibition, violinist Claire Byrne says, adding, Old-time music has the same feeling for me. The music was a release for people living extremely hard lives in harsh conditions. In this way, the two styles of music are very similar: Its digging in and making a statement. Its rocking out and feeling totally reborn through the song.
Driftwood has been digging in and rocking out since their 2005 formation, playing an average of 150 shows a year. In the beginning, we hit the road constantly with an all-or-nothing attitude, Forsyth confides. We were doing it with a lot of passion, but had no thoughts about long-term sustainability. Life outside of the band was minimal. One thing that I think we started to notice was, when youre always in it, you have no perspective and you start to lose yourself in a weird way.
As such, gigging and traveling that much cant help but influence and inform the band, individually and collectively. In the past, they used the stage to work out arrangements of new songs. For City Lights, they used the studio. Keeping this kind of touring schedule, we have thought of recording albums as a sort of secondary thing and considered ourselves a live band. We learn so much on the road and this kind of work has always felt productive, Forsyth explains. It wasnt until this last album that we took some time off to learn more about being in the studio. We wanted to take our time and record on our own terms.
According to Byrne, their own terms included taking a step forward with the production and the arrangements. Kollar tacks learning on, for good measure, while Forsyth adds good songs and bigger arrangements, and sounds than we had not previously achieved.
Heather Aubrey Lloyd opens
What do you get when a recovering reporter, performance poet and fairy tale collector writes songs? Heather Aubrey Lloyd has co-fronted Baltimores ilyAIMY (i love you And I Miss You) for 15 years, playing everything from bars to bait shops to clothing-optional resorts nationwide. After a solo stint backing Dar Williams, Lloyd started work on a solo CD. 2017s A Message in the Mess" is exactly that: A storybook drawn from real life, but populated by colorful, larger-than-life characters: Hippie Tooth Faeries, Jackson Pollock reincarnated as a flock of pigeons and aspiring animal crackers. The common thread: Lloyds stunning and emotive alto, pushed to new limits in inventive arrangements featuring mandolin, banjo, upright bass, ukulele and delightfully bizarre percussion (yes, that really is recorded bubble wrap). She is both a 2017 Telluride Troubadour Finalist and 2017 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist.
Previously, Lloyd has been a Lilith Fair Talent Search Finalist, and a frequent honorable mention in both the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest and American Songwriter Magazine Lyric Contest. ilyAIMY is the two-year-reigning Best Contemporary Folk Group/Duo at the Washington Area Music Awards and a Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Most Wanted Winner, among other honors.
In-Depth on the New CD: Lloyd met Reno-based pop-rock band, The Novelists, and teamed up with them for arrangements and instrumentation that mark a polished departure from her alt-folk grit with ilyAIMY. The result: Traditionally folk/acoustic instruments used in unorthodox ways that court jazz, indie, classical and rock. The disc begins with the anthemic pop love song, Ask For Me, and passes through the funny glockenspiel/kazoo folk of The Animal Crackers Song to end up in the string arrangement of Pollock and grinding roots rock of Phantom. Through it all, Lloyds dusky, sensual, intensely emotional voice tells her unusual stories. As her CD wrapped, The Novelists won a performance spot on Trains Sail Across the Sun Cruise, and are poised for major success. LA-based David Peters of Oak House Recording (Amber Rubarth, Vienna Teng) also mixed/mastered Mess.
me and thee coffeehouse (View)
28 Mugford Street
Marblehead, MA 01945
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|