The Dusty Drifters @ CKCU Weekend Wrap-up

“Where else can you catch an amazing set by an amazing band
and play with them afterward?”

by Jeremy Owen

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The Dusty Drifters

The CKCU Weekend Wrap-up is an event still in its infancy, but if last night was any example, that kid’ll be walking and talking in no time. The Drifters (6 in all) packed the stage and packed the room, to the point where this reviewer was obliged to scribble notes while standing against the back wall. This itself provided a unique opportunity to gauge the effect on the audience themselves, mind you; an effect that was immediately apparent in every tapped toe, slapped knee and clapped hand that kept time with the music. The Drifters brand of bluegrass –traditional music with a twist- was such that it compelled you to move; even the bartender was bobbing to the beat as she weaved her way through the capacity crowd.

At the end of each song the band was greeted by a wave of howls, shouts, whoops and manic applause, along with the beating of beer glasses on tables – all of it justly deserved, as each of the Dusty Drifters is a musician of prodigious skill. A trio of guitars (one  a dobro), stand-up bass, mandolin and banjo; all blended together with their layered harmonies to make a sound larger than life. The mandolin took a solo, then the banjo, then the dobro, as each of the musicians shuffled to the front the stage for their time in the limelight. What struck me almost as much as their talent was the sheer joy with which the group played, and the shared camaraderie of the players. They were having such a good time that it proved immediately contagious.

Following a solo set the Drifters began inviting up other players for the ‘jam’ portion of the evening, and this is where the Wrap-up truly differs from any other live event I’ve attended, and why I can’t wait for the next one. Where else can you catch an amazing set by an amazing band and then have the opportunity to play with them afterward? With half the proceeds going to CKCU and the other half to the band itself, this is a great cause to contribute to, and a great time to be had.

Here are some great photographs courtesy of Jake Morrison.

Jeremy Owen is a singer/songwriter who will do practically anything to get into a show for free. He’ll haul gear, sell merchandise, or, in this case, write a review. Available for weddings, funerals, etc.

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