Driftwood will perform their style of Americana folk rock at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31 in the Coolidge Theatre at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts at 104 Main Street in Wellsboro. The band is now on tour in support of their fifth studio album, “Tree of Shade,” which was released on April 5, 2019.
On stage will be Driftwood’s founding members Joe Kollar on banjo and guitar and Dan Forsyth on guitar along with Claire Byrne on violin, Joey Arcuri on upright bass and Greg Evans on drums. Kollar, Forsyth and Byrne write original songs for the group and share the role of lead vocalist. Arcuri also sings. Evans doesn’t sing or write songs. The band is currently writing and arranging tunes for a new album with a goal of releasing it in late 2020 or early 2021.
Called a band with a rock n’ roll soul and a folk art mind, Driftwood’s sound is a nod to 1960s R&B, 1970s country rock, contemporary pop, folk and traditional Appalachian music. Live, it all comes together in a performance that has made the band a returning favorite at festivals and dance halls for much of the last decade.
This band has been carving out a name for itself since its start when childhood friends Forsyth and Kollar began performing together in 2005. They released “Rally Day” in 2009 as a duo and that same year paired up with classically trained violinist Claire Byrne and began making a name for themselves as Driftwood. The trio’s fast-paced arrangements of Americana standards, vocal tradeoffs and penchant for genre-bending improvisation quickly generated an audience in their native Binghamton, N.Y. and beyond.
By the time upright bassist Joey Arcuri joined the band in 2011, Driftwood was averaging more than 150 shows a year and building a dedicated following of fans known as “Drifters” up and down the East Coast.
The band added drummer Will Sigel full-time and released their second live album titled “Driftwood Live at The Purple Fiddle on Nov. 20, 2018. Recorded at The Purple Fiddle in Thomas, West Virginia on Aug. 3 and 4, 2018, this album is filled with fan favorites and displays Driftwood’s electrifying live performance skills, blending the ghost of traditional American folk music with a modern rock-n-roll energy, creating something that is uniquely their own.
“It wasn’t until our fourth studio album, ‘City Lights’ released in 2016 that we took some time off the road to learn more about being in the studio,” said Forsyth. “Generally speaking, there’s a maturity to us now,” said Kollar in 2016. “We have a bit of experience doing what we do and the music reflects that point of view. The song subjects, our playing, singing and recording abilities and our relationships have all matured.”
For “Tree of Shade”, the band members retreated to the Catskill Mountains to write and record in the storied home of Rip Van Winkle. They spent 10 days working with Simone Felice, the award-winning producer of the Lumineers’ “Cleopatra” and sound engineer Pete Hanlon, whose many credits include work with O.A.R. and Rachel Yamagata. The resulting 11 tracks on “Tree of Shade” showcase an evolution in the band’s sound. Forsyth, Kollar and Bryne’s new songs are more thought provoking.
In April 2019, Sigel left the band. Greg Evans has been Driftwood’s drummer since May 2019. The
The Jan. 31 concert is the third time Driftwood has performed on the Deane Center’s Coolidge Theatre stage. The first was in April 2018 and the second in February 2019. In addition, the band has performed at Hickory Fest in August of 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2019 at Stony Fork Creek Campground near Wellsboro.
This concert is BYOB with audience members encouraged to bring their favorite beverages and snacks and reserve a table at no extra charge. Tickets are $23. For tickets and to reserve a table at no extra charge, call 570-724-6220 or visit https://www.deanecenter.com