Photo by Ryan Miller
What is it about young punks growing up to be old folk storytellers? Maybe it’s that the punks live a fast life through their teens and 20s and by the time they hit their 30s they need to slow down and reflect and thank their lucky stars they are still alive. I’ve always found country/folk to be like coffee or bourbon – something that can’t be appreciated until you’re older and just like these punks who grew up to become introspective adults, I didn’t really start listening to country/folk – or should I say I didn’t start liking that genre of music – until I was well into my 30s.
Lou Poster told the Alive this week that, as a kid, he was exposed to country, folk and bluegrass music but upon entering his teens – as teens are wont to do – he gravitated towards punk rock and didn’t come back to his roots until a few years ago. Poster’s Grafton was a High St regular in the late ‘90s, kicking out noise, bluesy, punk rock with some ‘70s hard rock influences. It was abrasive, in your face music – the kind you either wanted to let blast your eardrums by standing in front of the stage or the kind you wanted to retreat to the corner of the venue that was farthest away from the band so that you wouldn’t end up bumped and bruised by the end of the set.
Having been through the trials and tribulations of adulthood, Poster’s musical output has shifted from fast-and-furious to slow-and-easy and his vocals have dropped a few octaves – nearly unrecognizable from his punk days. From that same Alive article, Poster said that he was absent-mindedly singing along to a Johnny Cash song when he discovered that he could sing in a different style and get away with it. And thus, the seeds for Drift Mouth were planted.
I’ve been listening to Drift Mouth’s Little Patch of Sky for a few months now and my first thought was, “When Uncle Tupelo broke up, if Jay Farrar had moved to Columbus for a fresh start and stumbled upon a Greenhorn gig at Little Brothers, Son Volt might have sounded like this.”
Of course, the Greenhorn influence on Drift Mouth’s music comes from guitarist Mark Spurgeon who was responsible for the guitar sounds of one of Columbus’s loudest bands of all time and his style blends well with Poster’s deeper vocals.
There’s a classic High St/Stache’s sound on songs like the rocking “Wake You Up”, “The Straw Thief’s Way” and “Franklin County Nights” (close your eyes and it’s 1993!). And for all the flannel shirt and jeans rockers, there’s rocking chair, front porch slowburners like “The Ballad of Frank Hayes”, “The Prettiest Girl of All Time” and “This Part of Town”. And while the music style has changed, lyrical content hasn’t – there are plenty of references to women, relationships, smoking and drinking!
As if the album release isn’t enough to celebrate, Drift Mouth has done the impossible – getting Feversmile to reunite and play their first show in probably 25 years. Not for nothing, I tried (and failed) to get Sean Beal, Dan Cochran and Sam Brown to reunite and play Independents’ Day a few times but this time machine visit back to 1993 is a much better situation for a Feversmile reunion.
Here’s the lineup and (no offense to other bills) but this is one where you don’t want to miss ANY of the band:
8 pm – doors
8:30 – Sam Brown
9:15 – Todd May
10:15 – Feversmile
11:30 – Drift Mouth
$10 will get you in the Rumba Cafe door where you’ll have a chance to pick up Little Patch of Sky on vinyl (the CD will be released in late May).