The Continental Drifters are Back!
With the abundance of talented artists and bands, there is no shortage of Almost Famous stories. Musicians and fans have long considered New Orleans’ Continental Drifters, a 90s super group. Without a definitive genre to market and promote them, the Continental Drifters struggled to find their American radio audience. Were they pop? Country? Rock? Americana wasn’t officially born yet. Cross over wasn’t even born yet. Hell, Austin was beginning down the road of becoming, “The Live Music Gentrification Capital of the World”.
If you do know the Continental Drifters, then count yourself among the fortunate. For those who haven’t, allow me to proselytize, for I am an avid follower.
With a rotating cast of songwriters and vocalists including Mark Walton, Ray Ganucheau, Russ Broussard, Susan Cowsill (The Cowsills), Danny McGough, Gary Eaton, Peter Holsapple (The dBs, Hootie and the Blowfish), Robert Mache, Carlo Nuccio and Vicki Peterson (The Bangles), they released their masterpiece, Vermillion in 1999. You can hear the album here. Vermillion by the Continental Drifters. Vermillion is in my Desert Island Jukebox playlist.
Regardless of their lack of commercial fame, The Continental Drifters continue to influence writers, visual artists, college students, and independent record geeks. They have come through the other end of intra-band marriages and divorces, illness, canceled tours, and unfathomable losses from Hurricane Katrina. Almost two decades later since the release of Vermillion, the Continental Drifters will assemble for a reunion show in their beloved New Orleans.
When Susan Cowsill sings their anthem, Drifters, we may experience nostalgic bitter sweetness as ghosts are buried and the band pauses to reflect on their lifetimes of love, loss, friendship, and rock and roll. I say “we” because I intend to make the trek from NC to NOLA for the reunion show.
The reunion shows, one in LA where they began and one in NOLA, are preceded by the double CD release of Omnivore Recordings’, Drifted: In The Beginning & Beyond. This 33 song collection includes several unreleased cuts from their archive and live recordings.
Where: Tipitina’s New Orleans Louisiana
When: September 12, 2015 Time: 9:00 PM
Cost: $50 – $130
Event Link: Continental Drifters Beginning Beyond Reunion Show
Featured Video – Cry No More
Grammy winner, Rhiannon Giddens, provides a “Come to Jesus” moment with her new video, “Cry No More”. In response to Charleston’s Emanuel AME Massacre, Giddens assembled a group of Greensboro, NC activists, artists, family, and friends for a call remembrance and actions against inaction. Playing only a traditional Cherokee hand drum, Giddens flowed a poetic stream of in your face reality.
Let’s face it. It’s all true.
Africans were stolen from their homeland and sold in our new country. They were stripped of name, gods, personhood, and community to build our nation. As Americans, the black community continues to be the target of hatred and systemic injustice.
If we, as Southerners, can’t see it, perhaps a call out to God and the global community will send others to guide the South through this ignorant darkness.
Watch and share here >>> Cry No More by Rhiannon Giddens
Blue Note Grill Relocates to 27701
After weeks of bureaucratic inspection delays, The Blue Note Grill successfully opened their new downtown location on Washington Street across from the Historic Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Not only did they expand their kitchen and BBQ smokers to accommodate their growing catering and retail businesses, but BNG’s new music hall is a welcomed music venue with the capacity for 200 music-loving patrons.
Formerly of Southern Seasons and Parts & Labor, Sharon Mahofski joined the husband – wife management team of Bill and Andrea Whittington. Passionate about opening new kitchens and menu design, Sharon has already added new items to the menu including hamburgers and new sides.
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