Continental Drifters Vermilion (Razor & Tie)

SXSW Records

Record Reviews

Continental Drifters

Vermilion (Razor & Tie)

Released last October, Vermilion made quite a few critics' year-end Top 10 lists. This included being named Best Album of 1999 by Offbeat Magazine, the music paper of the Continental Drifters' hometown, New Orleans. It's the band's first new release in many years, and it hits a home run on every track. Full of heart and wit, Vermilion is as finely crafted, solidly played, and passionate as rock gets these days. This should come as no surprise, as the Drifters are a supergroup of sorts. Peter Holsapple (dBs), Vicki Peterson (Bangles), and Susan Cowsill (Cowsills) are the most recognizable names in the band, but bassist Mark Walton (the Dream Syndicate), guitarist Robert Mache (Steve Wynn Band), and drummer Russ Broussard (Bluerunners) are equally important. Displaying the band's impressive range of talent, from the sweet harmonies of opener "The Rain Song" to the seductive "Heart, Home" and the buoyant "Way of the World," each song shows a different side of the band without becoming the album becoming rambling mess. The Continental Drifters are a musical combo of the type that rarely exists anymore, and as portrayed on Vermilion, one that benefits from all its pieces. (Saturday, Mar 18, Jazz Bon Temps, midnight)

****

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