Who: Continental Drifters named one of the USA’s top unsigned bands by Rolling Stone, has been undergoing transition almost since they formed five years ago. Members’ past credits include the Bangles, the Cowsills, the dB’s, the Dream Syndicate and Giant Sand.
The current lineup at least appears here to stay. “We’re a musical family,” says Mark Walton, the only original member. All six now live in the New Orleans area, and have ties that help keep them grounded. And just like any other family, they help each other out.
“We all write and play different instruments, and most of us sing,” Walton says. “That way nobody gets bored.”
But if you had to assign one instrument to each individual? It’d go something like: Peter Holsapple (keyboard, vocals), Vicki Peterson (guitar, vocals), Susan Cowsill (guitar, vocals), Mark Walton (bass), Robert Mache (guitar), and Russ Broussard (drums).
“We’re a really good rock, pop Americana band,” Walton says. “We can rock as hard as anyone and play really amazing vocal sounds. We definitely have a problem with major records companies understanding how to market us.”
Right now, they tour mostly on weekends, but a follow up album to their self-titled debut is in the works, and should wrap up by the end of the year.
For now, though, performing live is fun enough.
Where: Hal & Mal’s, 200 S. Congress St., Jackson
When: Saturday, Mary 31. Doors open at 9 p.m. The band starts at 10 p.m.
How much: $5 ages 21 and over, $7 18-20.
What’s ahead: At this stage in the band’s career (the average age is about 35), a lot of what they do, and turn down, has to do with the bottom line. “We’ve all been performing independently for over 20 years now. With having families and children, we can’t afford to go out there and be a bunch of kids, even though we feel like it. If it doesn’t break even, we can’t do it.”
In the meantime, they’re toying with the idea of putting out a couple of singles to appease diehard fans.
Their live favorites includen Here We Are, Get Over It, and the cover, song For You. When performing, about 80 percent of the material is original. But as Walton says, even the covers become the band’s songs.
“We’ve all played with others, making more money,” Walton says. But the band members are emotionally connected to each other now, and are only interested in doing what’s satisfying to them collectively. “We hope to continue doing it until no one can stand us.”