Drifted In The Beginning & Beyond
This two CD set will hopefully go a long way to righting a grievous wrong among music fans- namely, that this incredibly talented group is largely unknown. Founded in the early ’90s in Los Angeles, the group was originally made up of Ray Ganucheau, Gary Eaton and Carlo Nuccio. All sang, and were joined by bassist Mark Walton (from The Dream Syndicate) and jack of all trades Peter Holsapple (the dBs, R.E.M.). Coming along a little later were Susan Cowsill and Vicki Peterson (the Bangles). The first disc collects their early works such as Peterson’s “Who We Are, Where We Live”, Eaton’s “Mr. Everything” and Holsapple’s great “Invisible Boyfriend”. The bands sound is a missing link between the countryish twang of Lone Justice and The Textones at one end, and the more rock-oriented “college radio” sound of The Dream Syndicate or Green On Red at the other.
The second disc is made up of live cuts (a smoking “You Don’t Miss Your Water” for example) and tracks the band recorded for various tribute albums. Gram Parson’s “A Song For You” is recast as a rowdy rocker, and they give Crazy Horse a run for their money on Neil Young’s “When You Dance I Can Really Love”. The last section of the disc shows the bands evident love of the English folk/rock masters Fairport Convention, with three songs by Sandy Denny (“At The End Of The Day”, “Listen, Listen” and “I’m A Dreamer”) and Richard Thompson’s “I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight” and “Meet On The Ledge” among others. The Continental Drifters were a largely unsung, but vastly talented group that despite a fluctuating cast and a move from L.A. to New Orleans retained at their core a willingness to experiment, a heartfelt respect for those that came before, and tasty cornucopia of styles- and singers- that made them unique during their stay. Pick up Drifted and prepare to be amazed at what you’ve been missing. The Continental Drifters were a band for the ages…hear for yourself.