Farewell Drifters

Young singer/songwriters are popping up across the country to join the burgeoning folk movement led by the likes of Sufjan Stevens and M. Ward, but what if two of those songwriters teamed up and led a progressive bluegrass band? You’d have the Farewell Drifters – part folk, part bluegrass – heavy on vocal harmony and intricate arrangements. Zach Bevill (guitar, lead vocals) and Joshua Britt (mandolin, vocals) write eclectic folk songs unbound by tradition, yet invariably influenced by it. Add the rest of the Drifters – Clayton Britt (lead guitar), Christian Sedelmyer (fiddle), and Dean Marold (upright bass) –and you have a delightful synthesis of folk pop and traditional string band music that appeals to a wide range of listeners.

The Farewell Drifters’ debut album, Sweet Summer Breeze, enjoyed rave reviews and contains a single that reached 1 on Sirius/XM Radio, and the band earned coveted slots at festivals like Merlefest and Grey Fox. As they pick up speed, the Drifters are increasingly inspired by the overwhelming response they receive from fans. “When someone digs what we do, it still excites us,” admits Bevill. “We create and perform - hoping, trusting that folks out there feel what we feel and see what we see every day.” And as Bevill and Britt internalize world around them, their distinct voices tend to evoke both the sorrow and the hope that encompasses the human condition. The Farewell Drifters embolden this honesty with the true sounds of acoustic instruments like the mandolin and fiddle and with three or four voices in deep harmony. This string band setting is a wonderful home for songwriters and the resulting outfit deftly combines beautiful melodies with an instrumental dexterity that leaves the door wide open for the sonic landscapes that come pouring out. The Farewell Drifters’ music, like life’s most compelling creations, is a paradox – complex, yet simple; relevant, yet folksy; and sophisticated, yet heartfelt.

“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)

“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 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 Magazine)

“One of the most striking new bands in Bluegrass, a young Nashville based quintet, that plays with the intensity of Mountain Heart and the fire of the New Grass Revival” (Dave Higgs, Bluegrass Breakdown)

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