May 02

Driftwood + Rock Creek Kings

Union Stage All Ages
Doors 7PM | Show 8PM

About the event

The title track and first single from Driftwood’s forthcoming spring 2024 album, “December Last Call” is out everywhere 11/10. Penned by guitarist-songwriter Joe Kollar, the track transports the listener to the middle of a rowdy, college dive bar. “December’s a drinking song, so much so I don’t remember writing it.”

After two years of starts and stops, a few pauses from Covid, one scrapped attempt and lots of late nights in the studio, the upstate New York folksters finally wrapped up recording sessions for “December Last Call” this Fall. Recorded in the basement studio of Kollar’s parents’ upstate home, the album concept was simple: Keep it organic. “We grew up making music in that basement, after recording our last album with a well-known producer in an out-of-town studio, it felt so right to be back down there, growing the tracks from scratch on our own,” says guitarist-songwriter Dan Forsyth.

The album is due out in Spring 2024 and is definitely Driftwood’s most explorative effort yet. From full on, electric guitar-laden rock tracks to barren, stripped down, acoustic ballads, the palette is big but the offerings are sincere and purposeful. “These songs are a snapshot of us over the last few years. They are a reflection on life, past, present and future. They portray a group of great friends who have continued to evolve together and separately over more than 15 years,” says violinist Claire Byrne.

Formed by two high school friends bent on traveling the country playing folk music together, Driftwood have turned into one of the hardest working, original bands in the business.

In 2005, Forsyth and Kollar were ready for a side project. After playing in jam rock bands throughout high school and college they were interested in something new. Forsyth explains, “We were entranced with everything going on in the folk world at the time, also I had moved out to Colorado for a bit and Joe came to visit. We went to the Telluride Bluegrass Fest with some friends and our lives were changed forever. When I moved home, we started jamming folk tunes on the side and eventually we set out to learn how to play around one mic, put together a set of original folk music and try to tour on it.” In 2008 they met

Byrne and started touring full time in 2009. In 2010 Bassist Joey Arcuri joined and by then they were regularly hitting the East Coast club circuit. Drummer Sam Fishman, a more recent addition, joined in 2021.

With three people sharing the vocal and songwriting duties, there are certainly some disparate elements at play reminiscent of other well-known, multi-singer bands. But it’s very apparent Driftwood have no interest in emulation; their focus seems to be purely on creation.“I feel blessed to have 3 main singer-songwriters in our band. It allows us to paint from a pretty big pallet and also to challenge each other. Sometimes it can take a minute to make our styles flow but really it’s been such a huge part of our growth as a band and as individual writers.”

In 2019 the band had just released their 5th studio album, Tree of Shade when Covid shut everything down. Byrne explains, “For the 10 years prior to the shutdown, my life had revolved around Driftwood and life on the road. I wasn’t only out of a job, but also having a bit of an identity crisis. I had just become a mother and now my career was on hold for an indefinite amount of time. After reality set in however, it became clear that we as a band needed this break. After things started to open up, we started getting together and playing again. We picked up right where we had left off as friends and as co-workers. The songs and musicianship had evolved and mature and so had we. We began work on a new album, “December, Last Call.” These songs are a snapshot of us over the last few years. They are a reflection on life, past, present and future. They portray a group of great friends who have continued to evolve together and separately over more than 15 years.”

“I’m struck by the gratitude that making music with my best friends/my other family brings,” says Kollar. “Laying out some of your most intimate moments and showing the rawest version of yourself is both scary and exhilarating but more importantly, it reminds you why you chose music as the vehicle. It’s the ’66 Corvette that will always take me back to the beauty and power of a group of people setting out to make something together.”

This show is at Union Stage

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740 Water Street SW
Washington, DC 20024