Search - Continental Drifters :: Vermilion

Continental Drifters
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

Their roster reads like a one-shot all-star combo: ex-dB Peter Holsapple, Susan Cowsill (of those Cowsills), and Vicki Peterson, the former Bangle. But the Continental Drifters are for real, an all-embracing, seemingly eff...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Continental Drifters
Title: Vermilion
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Razor & Tie
Original Release Date: 10/12/1999
Release Date: 10/12/1999
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Style: Folk Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 793018284820, 829410310369

Their roster reads like a one-shot all-star combo: ex-dB Peter Holsapple, Susan Cowsill (of those Cowsills), and Vicki Peterson, the former Bangle. But the Continental Drifters are for real, an all-embracing, seemingly effortless marriage of rock, pop, and country unveiled in an awesome songwriting spectrum. Recorded near an isolated bayou in the band's Louisiana homeland, Vermilion has no MVP among the three heavy hitters. Each writes alone and paired with another: Peterson and Cowsill's stunning harmonies carry "The Rain Song"; Holsapple offers a Neil Young-styled romp in "Don't Do What I Did"; Peterson contributes the highway-blues rocker "Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway"; and "Drifters," by Holsapple and Cowsill, boasts this chorus: "We are all drifters / Singers and sisters / Brothers and lovers and mothers and confidantes." All those, yes, and a damn fine band, too. --Scott Holter

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CD Reviews

Still the PERFECT album
rockchalk-mbs | America's Heartland | 12/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Wow, there's so much more to say than in my first "review". This group features members that were once in, or have played with the likes of, the dB's, the Cowsills (and here I'm supposed to say, yes, THOSE Cowsills), Bangles, Dream Syndicate, Lydia Lunch, REM, Hootie and the Blowfish, Tom Petty, Cyndi Lauper, Jolene, Steve Wynn and too many more to remember them all. That's an incredible pedigree. All of the songs on this album evoke memories or feelings that run the gamut, from heartbreak to joy to everything in between. Other than the ones I mentioned before, there's "Daddy Just Wants It To Rain", Peter Holsapple's wonderful family story that hits you square in the heart (every child of the 50's or 60's will see their own family in this song), Vicki Peterson's "Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway", a rollicking 'driving' song with seriously dark undertones, not to mention the longest title on this or any other album. "Anything", which harkens back to the classics of the folk rock 60's with its accoustic guitars, mandolin and great harmony vocals by Vicki and Peter, the wonderful "Drifters", the band's title song, led by Susan Cowsill's fabulous voice, and "Way of the World", featuring the melding of Vicki and Susan's voices in some of the best two-part harmony around. There's the rocking "Don't Do What I Did", Susan's "Spring Day in Ohio", "Darlin Darlin", and "Meet Me in the Middle", a great song to sing along with, once you get all the words down. I LOVE THIS BAND, they're great musicians/singers/songwriters (absurdly talented, one reviewer noted), and they're wonderful people. This group did not garner mountains of critical acclaim based solely on their past histories, it's simply that they are one of the most talented bands working today. More people should be hearing their music."
Salvation, Looziana-style
Bill Loehfelm | 07/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Can any more accolades be bestowed upon this wonderful band? Every rock n' roll fan who winces at Top 40 radio and the latest music charts needs to own this album. Blending stellar songwriting,a criminal amount of vocal prowess and musician ship, Vermilion is as complete a work as you're likely to find anywhere; every songs shines. Where does one start? Roaring, red-light district electric guitar, rain shower mandolin, Hammond organ churning like the Mississippi, a rhythm section that's one part '68 Chevy Nova, one part ex-lover's heartbeat and one part locomotive. Vocals and harmonies to leave the angels and devils smiling and shaking there heads. All of it blended like the finest gumbo. The opening cut "The Rain Song" is a plaintive and powerful, mid-tempo lament. "Way of the World", "Meet Me in the Middle" and "Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway" both speak and rock with hard-won experience and authority. The spectral "Who We Are, Where We Live" lingers long after the last chord has faded, as does the beautifully romantic "Anything", though in a different way. "Don't Do What I Did" rattles the walls. Featuring three vocalists, four songwriters and seven members the Drifters are a tribute to the power of sheer talent, dedication and a unified vision. If they come play ANYWHERE near you - GO. They are soul-leveling performers. Take a nap before the show, you'll need it. The Continental Drifters are more than a band, live or recorded, they are an experience. As a New Orleanian, I am torn between wanting to selfishly keep them here and wishing them the massive success they deserve."
Excellent - roots rock album!
Anonymous | New York | 06/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is great album, great fun. I was skeptical at first because I always associated Susan Cowsill with "I Love the Flower Girl" but this album is great rock and roll record. I loved the duets with Vicki Peterson and Susan: Way of the World and Where we Live. Watermark and Chris Columbus shows just why Vicki Peterson was the Bangles' best songwriter (though not vocalist) and if that band had any success it was due to Vicki's edgy, rock and roll sensibilities. Since Vicki does not have a strong voice the combos with Sue Cowsill are well advise. The Rain Song is a bit trite lyrically but the harmonies save it from boredom. Drifters tells the story of the band with a somewhat philosophical and pessimistic note "We are born alone/we're alone when we go/ so while we may as well just sing a long." Also philosopical is Way of the World with its a++ kicking middle "What were you're expecting/ it's not what you had planned!"Meet me in the Middle is also fun with its advice "don't go to extremes..."The album doesn't break any new ground musically; it's basically traditional rock and roll. Weak cuts: Heart, Home. Silly lyrics about flying angels. Vicki's voice sounds weak and thin here too though she sounds great on Watermark.Despite its shortcoming this is a great record, great fun, diverse, smart and celebratory. Too bad they'll never be this good, now that this lineup has disbanded."