James & the Drifters have always kept two goals in mind for every performance, to give positivity and play from the heart. The aphorism has served them well as the band is one of the most talked about and loved groups in Fort Wayne’s underground music scene. Their sound is the transfiguration of modern pop folk into the likeness of the golden-era of rock.
Formed in the small town of Huntington in 2010, James & the Drifters was the collective idea of three folk artists pulling resources. Less than a month after sharing material Brent Chamberlin, Kyle Jackson, and Tyler Gault hit the studio and in 8 hours the three men recorded over 20 songs featuring a wide-range of folk instruments: the banjo, lap-steel, accordion, drums, guitar, and rich three-part harmonies. “There was never a lack of songs and creative input,” Chamberlin says. And never have truer words been spoken. Over the course of the band’s four-year existence they have recorded three albums (about to release the fourth) and perform just about every weekend of the year.
Immediately after forming James & the Drifters began booking shows and playing anyplace that would host them; playing weddings, art galleries, graduation parties, birthday parties, car shows, and of course the local Ft. Wayne dive bars and restaurants. More recently the band has begun touring regionally, including stops in Chicago, Columbus, Indianapolis, Grand Rapids, and Nashville. Another aspect of the band’s mission to give positivity is performing charity events and putting on concerts for the incarcerated.
Stylistically the band has shaken off their dusty-folk/Americana-boots for the tough thick-skinned sound of rock and blues. Melodic guitar riffs float sweetly about one another while coastal three-part harmonies, pure and strong, move along within the rock driven rhythm section. Putting a finger on the sound of James & the Drifters typically hearkens to bands such as My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses, or Lord Huron, yet James & the Drifters offers a fresh perspective which flows down a path of its own right.
The band continues to tour regionally and gain followers by investing in relationships and creating friends. Their fourth album “All That Gold” released independently on August 5th 2014. [+]