DRIFTWOOD'S FoxFire Weekend with Animal Years
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.
"It's 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 don't. Also, I think it's 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."
That's 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: It's digging in and making a statement. It's rocking out and feeling totally reborn through the song."
Brooklyn’s Animal Years are poised to take the indie rock world by storm. Fresh off a national spring/summer 2106 tour that included a sold-out stop at New York City's famed Gramercy Theatre, the band holed up in a cabin in Woodstock with Ryan Hadlock, the hit producer behind the smash debut records for The Lumineers and Vance Joy, to cut their highly anticipated follow-up to 2014’s “Sun Will Rise.” With influences ranging from early Kings of Leon and My Morning Jacket to Young The Giant and The Avett Brothers, Animal Years is driven by Mike McFadden’s passion-filled songwriting and crisp vocals. Their boozy, raucous, high-energy live show provides the icing on the cake for this fast-rising quartet.