Drewcifer, the side-project that features Andrew Altman of Railroad Earth, Andy Falco of The Infamous Stringdusters, Dave Butler of Guster, and Kevin Kendrick of A Big Yes and a small no, released their first ever single this week, the rock song called “Jesus Was A Drifter.” You can stream the video, via Drewcifer’s YouTube page, here below this article. The release comes after a recent announcement from the band about a brief run of performances, which will happen this week at Stanhope House in New Jersey on June 6, Stage One in Fairfield, CT on June 7, and then The Bluepoint Brewey in Patchogue, NY on June 8.
“Jesus,” is the first off-stage collaboration for Drewcifer, and Altman, who handles bass as well as lead vocals, gave The Poke Around some insight behind the song, starting with the recording process.
Andrew Altman: “This is the first thing we’ve done a “studio” version. The process was the now-ubiquitous DIY internet collab. We have plans to go into an actual studio to record more songs so that we can eventually release an EP but our schedules were all so crazy leading up to these shows that this was easiest way to make it happen. I played the song by myself, then Dave did drums, it came back to me for bass, and finally Kevin and Falco kind of did their stuff at the same time but at separate locations. I edited it all down and Reed Black at VHS sound in NYC helped me finish the mix.”
As the title implies, the song describes Jesus as a hitchhiker on the road, and it has some pretty mystical lyrics and some cool imagery throughout. Altman expounded a bit as to the underlying inspirations behind them as well.
Andrew Altman: “Really I just wanted to tell a story and I started out with that first line as an interesting juxtaposition of ideas. Jesus, assumed by many to be the son of God, and a drifter, assumed by many to be absent of direction. Well not all who wander are lost right? Some who wander are seeking some kind of meaning in their life. There is the common thread in the two ideas if you look at them from a certain angle. From there it’s just your imagination. I love songs that explore places that you can’t go by plumbing the details of your own life and feelings. I love to write those type of songs as well but they are limited to what you have seen/done/felt and what you feel the world should know of them.”
In the live setting, Drewcifer has gotten together for rare, standalone performances for a few years now. Given it’s four musically prolific members, the band has not surprisingly delivered a number of unique, memorable shows. Something even the most dedicated of fans might not know, however, is the origins of this project.
Andrew Altman: “This group started two years and the name was supposed to be a little bit silly because the original lineup was going to include three Andrews. Myself, Andy Falco, and Andy Goessling. We were two weeks out from the shows when Andy G. called to tell me about his cancer diagnosis. It was hard to understand where it was all going to lead and he gave us his blessing to continue on since everything was already in motion. We tried to hook up with every obvious choice for the lineup. Keyboards, Horns, even some guitar players but no one was available due to the short notice.”
Drewcifer ended up being the two Andy’s joining forces with Guster and Marco Benevento drummer Dave Butler, along with a fourth in famous Brooklyn musician Kevin Kendrick. Altman told us:
Andrew Altman: Joe Russo actually suggested we try Kevin, despite the fact that vibraphone is an unusual rock-band instrument, and we had nothing to lose so we went for it…Kevin is an incredible player and makes our lineup very unique in our world.
The three-night run of Drewcifer kicks off this Thursday in Stanhope, NJ. Altman and Kendrick both gave a last note to The Poke Around about their excitement for these performances:
Andrew Altman: “We have such long stretches between shows that you get to see how everyone has evolved as player and that makes the way we play and interact different every time and I like to see those changes.”
Kevin Kendrick: “I’m looking forward to playing Long Island with Falco. He gets so much hometown love that it’s awesome to behold. I’m also looking forward to playing our first show now that we have a song released. There’s always something cool about playing original material that the audience has had a chance to listen to on their own.”
Stream the video for Drewcifer’s debut single “Jesus Was A Drifter” by heading here.