plan Portland debut at One Longfellow Square

It is always a neat thing to find new artists and new music and when I learned of a new quartet called The Farewell Drifters coming to One Longfellow Square Friday, Jan. 31, I wanted to know more. It’s made up of brothers Joshua and Clayton Britt, Dean Marold and Zach Bevill, and they’ve been making music for eight years now and are getting ready to release their Compass Records’ debut album. I reached Bevill at his Nashville home recently and asked him the opening question.

Q: Have you guys ever performed in Maine before?

Bevill: Just sporadically — once, maybe twice. One time we performed at the Boothbay Harbor Theatre and we also did a festival up at Saddleback in the summer … it was beautiful there!

Q: When it comes to music, my thing is close vocal harmonies, pop/rock and Americana.

Bevill: That’s kind of our thing, too.

Q: What is a show of your like?

Bevill: There’s a lot of energy and we’re always switching instruments and it’s also full of a lot of harmony singing. There’s always something different happening. We have a pretty wide range of influences so there’s probably a little something in there for a lot of different types of people.

Q: What are some of those influences?

Bevill: We’re really into 60s’ music, for sure — the Beach Boys and The Byrds — sort of the folk/rock movement that came out of the 60s. But we also grew up in the 90s so we were listening to alternative rock, and then in college we sort of discovered Americana music and started messing around in that. I guess you could say that our sound is just sort of a mish-mash of all that different kind of stuff. It’s always hard to describe — that’s probably one of my least favorite things that I have to do.

Q: When is the new album coming out?

Bevill: The new album is coming out on January 28. We’re really excited about working with (Compass Records) — it’s been going great. We’ve been an independent band for our whole career releasing two albums on our own label. Allison Brown and her husband, Gary West, started Compass Records and it’s a very musician-friendly record label because it was started by musicians. They’re not trying to tell us what kind of music to make or trying to fit us into a mold — they find artists that they like as they are and partner with them. You see, we’ve never worried about labeling, we’ve never worried about genres and we’ve always just made the music we’ve wanted to make, and then worried about what was going to happen with the music after the fact and tried not to let that influence our creative process.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the folks reading this article?

Bevill: Just that we’re really looking forward to coming to Maine and that we hope that if we get stuck in some snow and ice that someone will help us! Oh, there’s one more thing I’d like to add, if that’s alright. It concerns the evolution of us as a band. In songwriting we’re always trying to dig deeper into ourselves and be more honest in every song. When you start writing songs you just try to write something that sounds good and then you write something similar to something else you hear — you learn by imitating others. We’ve really tried, especially in the last couple of years, to go more into ourselves and write lyrics that are meaningful to us, and the songs that really mean the most to us are the songs we find mean the most to our fans, too. That’s the biggest validation of artistic expression. It’s things like that that make what we’re doing worth it.

Lucky Clark has spent four-and-a-half decades writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.