February 19, 2013
So George has finally retired - well, he is seriously threatening to. He may end up as the greeter for BC Ferries. Seriously. Larry and Mike have both given up the cigarette side of smoking and they now sound pure as springtime. Once more, we are hitting the road for a few days, into our favourite hills and valleys of southern BC, with a couple of Island dates thrown in. Going to be a good time, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. But before that, there is a big show coming up on March 30, with 3 other local bands - a bluegrass extravaganza. Should be an awesome show. - Alan
September 26, 2012
Still on the topside of the grass, and still playing together after all these years. Longevity would give us more reason to celebrate if we didn't get older in the process. The various children are grown or growing, and more work-retirements loom. Time for the old farts to hit the road. We are planning a short tour of the Island and southern BC in the spring. Hope to see you on our travels. And let us know if you'd like us to play in your town, wherever that may be. - Alan
October 29, 2010
Well, the last post promised a new CD by 2010, and dag-nabbit, it's finally done. We started this last attempt back in March, but just before we were set to enter the studio, I conjured up a heart attack on myself. It was a minor one as these things go, but it set the project back a few months to June, when we finally managed to sweat out the details at Baker Studios, under the able technical arm of Adrian Dolan. He exercised his various talents (producer, tech, counsellor, musician, barista, etc.) and made us stick it out until he got the best we possibly could from our merry band of miscreants. After several more weeks at the editing/mixing stages, we could not be happier with the results. To top it off, the mastering was done by multi-Grammy-winning Randy Leroy at Airshow who gave it that professional sparkle. We're planning a big CD release party for November 20th and we look forward to celebrating the big event with our friends, fans, and families. One last thing - the CD cover will remain a secret, to be revealed at the party. Once you see it, you'll know why. We hope you find the long wait was worth it. - Alan
November 25, 2006
Yes, I know, once a year hardly qualifies as a news update. The definitive highlight for the last year was playing the opening set for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band at the McPherson Playhouse here in Victoria. The Drifters rarely get the chance to play in a real live performance hall, and we enjoyed every durn minute of it. John McEuen sat down with us and played tunes and told us road stories for the hour before the show. Thanks John for getting us nice and warmed up. We also played a Hallowe'en gig where Mike's performance as Bubba Billy Bob scared us all for being so dag-nabbed real. Now we are much more cautious around him. Other than that, things are pretty quiet, and the CD project is trudging along. Maybe by 2010. - Alan
November 8, 2005
Check out the new Photos section. We had a terrific summer - the gigs were few in number but high in quality. The highlight was playing for the Music On The Lawn event at Government House here in Victoria. As usual, we played up at Coombs Bluegrass Festival and we flew up to Fort St James for the Cottonwood Music Festival. Plus, we added our presence to a smattering of benefits and social events. The big news is that we are planning to get into Rob Martin's studio late next week, laying down tracks for our next CD. This weekend, Colleen and I are hosting a brand new bluegrass/old-time retreat up at Camp Pringle on Shawnigan Lake. Mucho anticipation, and let's hope my reasons for anxiety are groundless. - Alan
April 27, 2005
I'm a bit slow posting this, but it took a while for this old geezer to recover sufficiently to scratch out a screed. The teaching and tour in the Cariboo\Okanagan was most delightful, and enjoyed by all. Special thanks to Wes, Mel & Dan, Les, Rossetta, George, Charlie, Dan & Karen, the cackler in PG, the jerky store, Dave Carlson (standing in for George Burns standing in for God), and honest-to-goodness Thai food in Vernon. And here is a special message for the kids who broke into the van: Hope you enjoy the ancient boom boxes you liberated. A warning about the knives you stole - they are child-proof (bottle opener does not work on a bottle). Oh, and by the way, in your haste you discarded a little box with a bunch of cash in it. We really appreciate your incompetence. We particularly liked all the parties and jams that sprung up wherever we travelled. You've heard of Slow Pitch Jams? Well, the Drifters have decided to offer our services in providing Slow Pitch Parties. Twenty bucks and your drug of choice gets you in the door, and the Drifters promise to play an endless set of rhythm and groove bluegrass numbers. Guest vocalists and pickers most welcome. No spoons, bongos, harmonicas, accordions, crystal meth or Fireball without a permit. We'll see you at Sooke Bluegrass, even though we aren't on the bill. - Alan
January 8, 2005
Another year, already. We played a couple of theatres in the fall at Malaspina (Nanaimo) and ArtSpring (Salt Spring). It's unsettling to actually hear every little noise we make - one develops a true empathy with the audience. This year we intend to get around more, spreading the bluegrass disease one step ahead of the authorities. We hope to repeat last year's tour of the BC Interior in early April, so be on the lookout for a van-full of desperados. - Alan
October 28, 2004
We are not a band that is particularly fond of bar gigs, which likely means we will forever be happily labouring on the fringes of the music biz. Not all bars are the same however, as we can testify after playing two nights at the White Hart on Gabriola Island. It got a bit crazy - but in a good way. Lots of dancers and, shall we say, enthusiastic vocalizations, but the crowd was very accommodating to the acoustic demands of our single-mic show. Good energy, great time. Life is but a dream when it's harvest time on the Island. Thanks Ron, Bruce, Colleen. And Jeremy on fiddle in his bluegrass debut. - Alan
July 29, 2004
We had a wonderful time at the Peace Country Bluegrass Festival in Dawson Creek. It's always a pleasure to play at a well-organized and relaxed event, especially in such a friendly town. Saturday night's set was more than a little unusual, what with a thunderstorm shutting down the stage halfway through our set. But a minor threat like impending electrocution is not enough to stop the Drifters. We walked out into the middle of the crowd and finished our set. Our first tune there was Darling Nellie which begins with the line "Oh the night was dark and stormy . . ." We didn't plan that, honest. Hi to all, especially bunnyboy and the cookie monster. - Alan
June 22, 2004
Hi there, I'm not dead. Sorry for scaring the fans at Sooke Bluegrass with my poorly-timed pains. After debating with the surgeon about the costs/benefits of slicing out my appendix, we decided to wait. The pain subsided and I went home. Isn't that boring? When it comes to hospital stays, boring is good.
I thought the Sooke festival was a more mature event this year. The organization was much improved and the music was of a better quality. See you at Coombs. -
April 27, 2004
Well, the big tour ended a couple of weeks ago and I think I am sufficiently recovered to jot a few lines. The whole thing was way more fun than any of us imagined, and we are planning next year's tour already. Thanks to Rosetta, Melody, Rob, Eva, Gord and all the folks who turned out to see a band they had never heard. The food, a prime Drifters concern, was fabulous. Special note should be made of the roast beef at 108 Mile (it came with a guy to cut it, white hat and all), Big Lake cookies, Dan's rashers & snorkers, Bert's grilled cheese (in a Japanese restaurant), extreme dining at The Outer Clove, 5-star mussels in Kimberley, and a welcome care package from the Skookum Inn. Hello to all the wonderful folks we met and played with, including Dylan, Darrell and Shelly, the Goglin's, Wayne and Cathy, Bert, the whole Nelson crew, John the pertinent, and Myron the impetuous. Now it's back to the woodshed to learn us some new tunes. - Alan
March 20, 2004
Thanks to Tark and all the folks at the Deep Cove Coffee House for hosting a great Drifters gig. The sound in the hall had a nice ring, especially when we pushed out the vocals on our trios and duets. We've been rehearsing some new tunes and preparing for the Workshop at 108 Mile House, coming up real soon now. Hope to see all our Cariboo friends and share some tunes. Then we venture on south for shows in Vernon, Nelson, Cranbrook and Invermere. This is a big deal for us Islanders - a continental tour. We'll see how we fare spending two weeks together on the road. If all goes well, you won't read about our adventures in the papers. - Alan
January 26, 2004
The CD release party was a wonderful event. If you are one of those people who were turned away at the door, our apologies. We did not expect it to be so popular! Those who managed to see the show from the inside seem to have had a great time, and the band certainly did. Thanks to all those who came forward to sing and/or play a tune with us, and a special thanks to all our friends & family who handled the logistics. Thanks to all for your support and encouragement, and for making this such a rewarding experience. - Alan
January 21, 2004
The CDs aren't here yet, the T-shirts aren't done, band photos are being processed, the website is not finished, I have no idea how many people will show up for the release party on Saturday, our April mini-tour is only half-organized, and Rosetta wants ME to TEACH guitar ?!. This whole thing has been way more work and way more fun than I expected. As Maggie Muggins used to say, "I don't know what will happen tomorrow". - Alan