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Introducing: The Channel Drifters

posted September 15, 2016, 12:03 am by Carlita | Filed Under Artist Development, Bio, Introducing | comment Leave a Comment


Exploring New York based quartet The Channel Drifters’ new self-titled album, one can’t help but grin. Hybridizing the pop and folk genres, Mike Mahony, Nick Barone, Ryan Harden and Melissa Mahony each bring something different to the sonic table, creating undeniable band chemistry and crisp harmonies that could be destined for mainstream radio any day now. It’s obvious the collaborative songwriting process works, with each member putting their individual signature on each track. Cutting across decades, melding 70’s Laurel Canyon era, 90’s Lilith Fair and a tinge of blues rock guitar, places The Channel Drifters in a unique position. Hailing from the Hudson Valley provides rife natural inspiration as guitarist Mike Mahony mentions they’re “about an hour away from NYC, just far enough away to be surrounded by wilderness, and the Appalachian Trail is literally in our backyard.” Being in this type of environment lends itself to seeping into their songwriting. Fellow guitarist Nick Barone also points out the Hudson Valley “is the home of the most notorious outdoor musical festival of all time, Woodstock. As a guitar player, just knowing you live only an hour from where Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana made a stamp on musical history is pretty cool and it provides a certain energy and influence.”

Music initially entered each band member’s lives at different points, from early memories of listening to the radio on car rides with parents as Mike recalls, playing Queen’s “Greatest Hits” on cassette like guitarist Ryan Harden or “singing since talking” like vocalist Melissa Mahony. In fact, Melissa loved musical theater and opera so much, she thought she might pursue a career in either once upon a time. Definitely reflecting her vocal training in the band’s songs, we’re certainly glad there was a change in plans and she also fell in love with the ukulele instead. When considering the band’s musical heroes, several enduring icons come to mind, ranging from Paul McCartney, Kurt Cobain, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, BB King, Damon Albarn, Eric Clapton and Dave Grohl who yielded a pretty incredible WTF moment for Nick who got a chance to speak to him about guitar playing once at a wedding. Along these favorite artist lines, if they could listen to at least five albums for the rest of their lives, classic albums like The Beatles’ “Abbey Road”, The Counting Crows’ “The Desert Life”, Weezer’s “Pinkerton”, John Mayer’s “Continuum”, The Head and The Heart’s self-titled album and Radiohead’s “Kid A” make the cut.

Although these admirable selections remain planted in certain genres, surprises lurk into their personal musical collections. One might find Halsey, Cher, N’Sync, Earth Wind and Fire, The Prodigy or Death which reflect a varied range of tastes. With each band member listening to different styles of music, they influence and learn from one another. Although they’ve just released their debut, new music is already in the works as they’re working on a sophomore effort and have no plans to remain “out of sight”. If they remain focused, there’s no doubt this band is destined to play a large festival “beneath the sun”.


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