January 17, 2014 · 8:00pm

All Ages / 21+ to drink
8pm doors / 8:30pm music

It’s a new year for Music Friday, and we’re excited to team up with MOOSE, Series 42 and Music For Everyone in welcoming Colombian hill country blues pioneer Carlos Elliot Jr. and The Cornlickers with Binghamton, NY-based folk outfit Driftwood!

Carlos Elliot Jr. and The Cornlickers

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Carlos Elliot Jr. is a Colombian bluesman inspired by Mississippi hill County blues and African American and Latino cultural heritage found in ceremonial music and dance. Sensitive to the need to promote preservation of mother earth and cultural tradition, Carlos is a self-advocated activist, who plays guitar and fife as the hill country blues pioneer in South America.

He has lived blues music playing with local blues legends in delta juke joints and backyard parties in north MS, where he enriched his already diverse Colombian cultural roots with the deep spiritual feeling of blues music. Carlos is currently promoting hit latest record Mystic Juke Joint Blues with his Power Blues Duo in Colombia and with his US based band, The Cornlickers.




If Rock and Roll is anything specific, it is an energy. Unabashed and profoundly reflective. It’s love, it’s defiance, it’s human. It’s Folk Art. One of the most prominent national acts to come out of the Binghamton, New York music scene, Driftwood, is at heart a Rock band. Carving out a name for themselves with electrifying live performances, they bring one of the most unique, raw sounds to the Americana/Roots scene. Incorporating upright bass, banjo, acoustic guitar and violin, the ghost of traditional American folk music lives in their palette. But the melodies, the harmonies and the lyrics are something else entirely. “We started off playing Rock in high school. Then Jazz and Classical music in college. Then we dove head first into Folk and Bluegrass. At some point I guess we kind of met in the middle”, says guitarist/songwriter Dan Forsyth. Drawing on aspects of everything from Old-time to 1960’s R&B, the music is crafted to serve the songs. With fast growing audiences singing along at live shows, it’s easy to tell the primary focus is on song. “We recognized early on that one of our strongest points was songwriting. The greatest songs transcend genre and time and this was one of the motivating ideas behind the band at the start”, says banjo player/songwriter Joe Kollar. Trading lead vocals between Forsyth, Kollar and violinist/songwriter Claire Byrne, the group’s stage dynamics are as captivating as the songs. “I give so much of myself when I play because I deem it necessary in order to do the music justice”, says Byrne, who’s violin shredding performances are legendary among fans. Songs or shredding, “There’s a reason people won’t let them off the stage”, says Jess Novak from The Syracuse New Times.

Formed in 2005, the band spent four years playing just about anywhere they could. “We just wanted to be able to play for any crowd and turn heads”, says banjo player Joe Kollar. “We played everywhere. Coffee houses, bars, churches, rock clubs, Bluegrass festivals and the streets…a lot on the streets. We didn’t make any money, but what we learned was invaluable”.

After the release of their Debut CD Rally Day in 2009, the band has spent most of the last three years on the road. With club and festival appearances alongside of artists such as Bela Fleck, Rusted Root, Del McCoury, Brett Dennen, The Wailers, Railroad Earth, Rubblebucket and Donna the Buffalo, Driftwood is making serious waves on the East Coast scene. In the last three years they’ve played over 475 shows. With the release of their second CD A Rock & Roll Heart in 2011, the band landed spins on a slew of great radio shows and stations such as WFUV’s Sunday Breakfast with John Platt (New York, NY); KZSU (Stanford, CA), WCBE (Columbus, OH), WNRN (Charlottesville, VA), WUNC (Chapel Hill), NC and WDVX (Knoxville, TN).

In November 2012, Driftwood started work on their third and latest CD. Despite a grueling tour schedule and very little time at home, the recordings were finished in the summer of 2013. The self-titled new disc, Driftwood, was recorded in a church outside of Ithaca, NY with Grammy-winning engineer Robby Hunter, and was released on December 3rd, 2013.

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