Richard Leigh Songwriters Festival

Meet the Artist Driftin' Westward

A rag-tag group of musical misfits, led by a charming wordsmith who's hell bent on bringing his brand of Appalachian music to the masses. Driftin' Westward brings a diverse arsenal of musical arrangements and enthusiastic performances where ever they go. Founded by award winning songwriter K.T. Vandyke in 2009, the band in it's short tenure has taken off performing all over the Appalachian region, and the eastern United States leaving entranced and captivated audiences in their wake. The group has shared the stage with such acts as Rhonda Vincent and The Rage, Pokey LaFarge, Blackberry Smoke, Larry Keel, If Birds Could Fly, and many more.

In 2013 Vandyke was took home 1st place in the Richard Leigh Songwriters Competition. His song "Huck Finn" took home Best of show.

Vandyke credits various aspects of traditional musical genres native to his modest upbringing in the Appalachian region that were pivotal in his development as a musician and songwriter. He blends numerous influences ranging from heart thumping progressive rock'n'roll to the soulful application of blue's and jazz, without sacrificing his roots. The band founded its sound through the study of artists such as Bill Withers, Darrel Scott, Frank Dean Martin, Ray LaMontagne, Nickel Creek, The Black Crowes, Old Crow Medicine Show among many more including a plethora of classical composers such as Yann Tiersen, Chopin, and Gustavo Santaolalla. These various influences are put on display through the melodic compositions orchestrated by Driftin' Westward by incorporating foot stomping rhythms, ear pleasing melodies, ass-kicking harmonies, and deep insightful songwriting that will make you reevaluate placing the band within the category of a single genre.

The group released it's debut The White Coat EP at the end of 2011, and hasn't stopped since. Concocting a boisterous list of original material that's sure to raise eyebrows of any critic. The debut release was produced by Grammy Award winning David Castle of Castle Recording (Best Bluegrass Album for his work with The Clinch Mountain Boys, Jim Launderdale and Ralph Stanley for the album Lost In The Lonesome Pines). The short, but moving EP demonstrates the potential of Driftin' Westward's musical muscle and entices one to ponder what's to come in the future.

From: Bristol, TN/VA

Genre: Appalachian

Online: Official Website | Follow @driftinwestward | Facebook | YouTube

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