On new album “Love, Dreams, & Foolish Things,” Wilmington band Driskill has successfully blurred genres, leaving their folk sound behind for a mélange of alt-country, soul, gritty rock and gospel. The album — actually two EPs recorded separately in 2017 and 2018 and pulled together — reflect changes the trio has made since their 2016 debut, “Country Blues.”
It’s easy to equate Wilmington’s folk-rock band Driskill to another group of North Carolina’s Americana sons. Ethan Driskill (vocals, guitar, banjo) cites The Avett Brothers’ early years of college touring and unpolished tracks of albums like “Four Thieves Gone” (2006) as a heavy source of inspiration for combining Driskill’s own elements of punk, bluegrass and quick-spitting lyrics.
In the age of americana, former folk musicians are bartering acoustic guitars for amplifiers. In the midst of the crowd, you will find DRISKILL with a banjo, guitar, and set of drums. Once upon a time, this was merely a solo act from Ethan Driskill. Imagine a banjo, guitar, and kick drum all attached to one man. Oh, how lonely! Fortunately, in 2015, JD Williamson came to the rescue with both an acoustic and electric guitar strapped to his back. The duo consistently played the state of North Carolina, recorded 14 songs in an attic, and released the songs in 2016 as an album called “Country Blues.” The popularity of the duo compelled the masses to their performances and nearly burned Wilmington to the ground.
In the spring of 2016, something much more dangerous brewed when Joel Wise brought his drums to accompany the folk music makers. This americana powerhouse became too dangerous for one city to strap down, so they soon spread their music throughout the east coast. Their short spurts of touring calmed in 2017 when they spent most of the year writing and recording their latest work, “Love, Dreams, & Foolish Things.” The double-EP sets it’s focus inward - questioning the things that drive and motivate us as people who chase love, dreams, and foolish things. The new album (double-EP?) was released on February 23, 2019 with much critical acclaim. Their new sound has been compared to blending of the Avett Brothers’ non traditional banjo with Dawes’ smooth rock harmonies.
DRISKILL has shared stages with artists such as: Rayland Baxter, Christopher Paul Stelling, Driftwood, and Tyler Ramsey from Band of Horses. They have also been featured on WECT TV6, Country Fried Rock, 98.3 The Penguin, and Noisetrade.