The LONGSHORE DRIFTERS, an East Sussex quintet of duet heavy, old school country pickers who wear the influence of golden age Honky Tonk and Cosmic Country proudly on pearl snapped sleeves.
A living jukebox exuding the very essence of dim lights, thick smoke and loud, loud music, two stepping in the shadows of Conway & Loretta, Gram & Emmylou, The Drifting Cowboys and The Buckaroos.
Kicking off with ‘Eyes on the Prize’, a revved up, honky tonk retelling of the tortoise and hare fable, set amongst the frustrations and faded glory of life in smalltown coastal Britain. A proven high point the band’s live show and recently released as a single.
‘Finish This Wine’ slows the pace for a resplendent, downbeat 3am stumble. Evoking hope & defiance in the face unrelenting, slow burning heartache, with yearning, incandescent vocals parting a sea of reverb drenched guitars & pedal steel.
These opening numbers are both written and sung by Michelle Miller, now guitar player and producer Mark J. Lee takes over the microphone for Tejano influenced ‘Almost Fit’. A light hearted, bittersweet examination of two people trying and failing to go their own separate ways. Its a Texan inspired dancehall ready groover with unapologetic nods to the late great Doug Sahm & Freddy Fender complete with ‘cha cha cha’ ending.
We finish with title track, burnout ballad, ‘The Grind’. A classic country duet, telling the story of a relationship struggling for space alongside a ‘third wheel’ of emotional, social & economic fatigue. The band stepping into a 70’s Waylon Jennings inspired 6/8 ramble through the verses which rise into Orbison-like crescendos that crash and burn with the culmination of each chorus.
Across their first collection of recordings The Longshore Drifters hope to show an in depth, nuanced knowledge and passion for the rich history of country music whilst keeping it alive and relevant as a storytelling medium.