The Continental Drifters are a loose, flexible group of musicians who have evolved into one of my favorite bands. Peter Holsapole, Mark Walton, Vicki Peterson, Carlo Nuccio, Robert Mache, and Susan Cowsills are veterans of various groups including the dB’s, Dream Syndicate, The Bangles, Tori Amos and the Cowsills. Together, they cook up a mix of rootsy country-rock and swampy soul-pop. It’s a unique blend that owes a musical debt to earlier groundbreaking work by the Band and Gram Parsons-era Byrds.
Founded in Los Angeles as a kind of anti-band in 1992, the Continental Drifters have relocated to New Orleans where that city’s historic echoes further enhance the relaxed, shadowy traditionalist approach to American pop music. Holsapple, Cowsill, Peterson, Walton and Nuccio each contribute a repertoire that also includes Gram Parson’s A Song For You, Michael Nesmith’s Some of Shelly’s Blues, and Goffin and King’s I Can’t Make It Alone. They prove that sometimes a step back si a step forward. I love this album’s songs and spirit . . . and Susan Cowsills’ singing. Old fashioned, but good. Highly recommend.