This young quintet is blending folk, bluegrass, nu-grass, mild country, and various other roots styles into a predominantly mello-rock format that goes down easy, provokes more than a few wistful reminiscences, but is generally up and sunny, not the 'divorce, Jack Daniels, and prairie dogs' that mark so much of the genre in general. Yeah, there's a smidgeon of it here and there but well leavened with earthy positivity and dirt road sagacity.
An acoustic ensemble, their sound is light while complex and letter perfect, rather surprisingly accomplished for cats of such still formative years…but then that kinda echoes the rock field as well, doesn't it? There's a certain joie de vivre that gets lost as the years pass, and that hasn't yet hit these gents at all, although their excellent rendering of the Beatles' For No One betrays that they're not exactly naifs, not innocent of the ways of the world, and harmony vocals abound while Zach Bevill assumes the lead duties in a clear boy-next-door sonority.
Except for the one Lennon / McCartney tune, the entirety of the CD is written by various combinations of band members, all embracing a zone somewhere between Poco, the Dirt Band, Audie Blaylock, John Denver, and America. Many cuts are quite danceable but just as listenable on a back porch or road trip. The interplay between nothing but strings (Dean Marold, with his upright bass, holds a striking balance between plucked notes and soft percussive intonation; thus, not a drum anywhere to be seen, though you'll never believe it at first) is tight and interlocking, proof of long woodshedding and a laser focus on serious musicianship to a degree that guarantees The Farewell Drifters will very quickly become contenders to a much larger degree than they already are, having appeared at the high profile Grey Fox and MerleFest but ready to tour with damn near any high caliber name.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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