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A four-piece original rock band founded in the nineties, Drifter's Escape is the latest underdog and rising force on the Philadelphia music scene. Often labeled "roots rock," their sound includes driving rhythms, no frills guitar, and honest, memorable, sometimes sarcastic lyrics.
The band began as a duo, with Tom and Brian sharing guitar, vocal, and song writing duties. The pair spent a few years playing two man acoustic shows from Lancaster to West Chester and recording 4 track demos. Looking for more of a rock sound, they expanded with the addition of Bob Brobst on bass, and Casey Neumister on drums. The band soon established an audience in the Philly suburbs.
After roughly a year, Casey suddenly departed the band. With several gigs already booked, Drifter's Escape added drummer Lee Newman to fill the space behind the drum kit. The group began a creative and productive period that earned a review in Rockpile magazine stating they had "a strong grasp on an easily identifiable folk/punk sound. The band has potential and could really make waves." The review was a catalyst that motivated the quartet to record their debut CD "Twenty Minutes." The combination of air play on WZZO - 95.1 FM's Backyard Bands and frequent gigs on Philadelphia music scene increased their name power.
Their tune "Good As It's Gonna Get" climbed the charts on and reached the number one status on the alternative playlist for over three weeks. Despite this accomplishment, the band faced a dilemma when Lee Newman and Brian Lamison both quit the band. Guitarist, songwriter Tom Kerns and bassist Bob Brobst were determined to forge ahead and continue the Drifter's Escape name. After months of auditioning various musicians, drummer Dan Gaffney and lead guitarist Claude Jeruchim joined the line-up. It was obvious that Dan and Claude had a clear understanding of where the music was coming from, and where it was headed.
The new Drifter's Escape made it's debut at an end of summer house party. It was clear from the first song and the audience's response that this was a band with a rejuvenated sound. They have taken this sound to the stages of prominent Philadelphia clubs, into the studio, where they recorded the promotional EP "Stubborn From The Beginning," and once again onto the airwaves on Backyard Bands. Drifter's Escape constantly improves as performers and work hard to develop new material. Aiming to gain greater exposure and recognition, they plan to record a new full-length album in the near future.
photos by Lauren Lyon