Driftwood Soldier plays gutter-folk music, a proprietary blend of bitter ballads, fallen gospel, and thumping blue rants on mandolin, bass guitar, and assorted junk foot-percussion.
It was 2013 when bassist Bobby Szafranski first lent his velvet touch to the back-handed poetry and full-throated ruckus of mandolin-wrestler Owen Lyman-Schmidt’s solo work. Since then the duo has been leapfrogging their way up and down the East Coast bringing their unlikely sound to bars, living rooms, roof tops, and back alleys.
Scavenger’s Joy, Driftwood Soldier’s 2015 debut, established that musical range for audiences everywhere, with two thirds of the songs receiving radio play on dozens of radio stations around the country including WFUV, WNCW, and WXPN, where Bruce Warren called the duo “a bluesy version of Nick Cave with a nod to Tom Waits.”
In early 2017, they followed the breadth of Scavenger’s Joy with the focused intensity of Blessings & Blasphemy, a concept EP exploring the tension between spirituality and dogma by reinterpreting gospel traditionals alongside anti-religious originals.
This Spring, Driftwood Soldier is bringing both records and their liver-shaking live show to some of their favorite spots in the great Northeast. Don’t miss the chance to hear this new beast howl!
“A bluesy version of Nick Cave, with a nod to Tom Waits.”
Bruce Warren, WXPN
“Gutbucket-styled, blues-informed Shakey Graves-esque jams.”
John Vettese, The Key
Hailed as "the songwriter's songwriter" by the Newport Folk Festival, Ian Fitzgerald has been criss-crossing the country over the past several years singing what he's written for audiences of all stripes. Based in Providence, RI, Ian performs both as a solo act and as the leader of Ian Fitzgerald & Something Else, the group formed in 2017 to bring full-band arrangements of his songs to the stage. Those songs come from the five albums of original material he has released, including his latest effort You Won't Even Know I'm Gone.
After having picked up the guitar in his late teens with the simple goal of learning to play the songs of others that had become so integral to his life, Ian began in his early twenties to write songs of his own. Ian's first attempts at songwriting coincided with a deepening appreciation of early folk music, which helped establish the path he would follow with his own work. After three albums in quick succession, Ian evaluated what he'd learned about the songwriting and record-making processes and applied those lessons to his two most recent albums, No Time To Be Tender and You Won't Even Know I'm Gone.
The result has been a growing recognition of Ian's work and songwriting ability, including a full touring schedule that has seen him perform in 39 states over the past two years; performances at the Newport Folk Festival in 2015 and 2016; and shows opened for Iris DeMent, Joan Shelley, Willy Mason, Darlingside, The Ballroom Thieves, and many more. Ian hopes to begin work on his next album later this year.
Singer/songwriter/poet from NH, blends his music from influences such as Pete Seeger to The Chariot. His music is cathartic and honest. He released his first album in January of 2015 and spends his time making coffee, playing music, and playing in the dirt.