Drift Mouth
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Drift Mouth

Columbus, Ohio, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Columbus, Ohio, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Americana Rock




"Little Patch of Sky"

Drift Mouth’s singer/songwriter/ guitarist Lou Poster’s father was a West Virginia coal miner for 37 years. When he retired around 2006, Poster presented him with a recording of covers and originals that celebrated a career that not many can do, and even fewer can excel and retire from. On the strength of that project, after years of playing in cowpunk band Grafton, Poster, along with drummer Brad Swiniarski formed Drift Mouth and set about stripping their music down to its West Virginia/Ohio roots.

With their Wild Frontier full length debut, ‘Little Patch of Sky,’ Drift Mouth burst out of the gate with the full-tilt rock and roll of ‘Wake You Up.’ Poster’s vocals meet somewhere between the matter-of-fact delivery of James McMurtry, the Bottle Rockets’ Brian Henneman and Drive-By Truckers’ Mike Cooley, yet as proven during the chorus of the ferocious ‘Angelene,’ he has a strong upper range, which makes you wish he’d use it more throughout the album. However, like the others mentioned, the authority of his delivery and his strong songwriting makes up for whatever vocal limitations are displayed.

Drift Mouth hits the sweet spot between the guitar crunch of Crazy Horse and Drive-By Truckers and the lyrical storytelling of the best hard country of Appalachia. ‘Starling’ glides along like a long-lost song from Florida southern rockers the Outlaws, while ‘The Ballad of Frank Hayes’ tells the tale of a horse race with an unexpected outcome. Single ‘Franklin County Nights’ is a driving rocker that recalls better times yet refuses to wallow in regret.

On the downside, ‘The Prettiest Girl of All Time’ gets a bit mawkish, and there’s a crawling weeper called ‘Porch Cat’ that waxes sentimental about…well, the title gives it away (the Bottle Rockets handle such material much better). Still, Drift Mouth’s debut is packed full of crunch and swagger, and just the right touch of grit in its production. ‘Little Patch of Sky’ is a promising debut and a perfect argument against anyone who believes the tired old phrase, “they don’t make good rock and roll anymore.”

Yes, they do – and ‘Little Patch of Sky’ is the proof. - Americana UK

"Drift Mouth at Rumba Cafe"

Grafton’s Lou Poster draws on mid-’90s Columbus memories and ill-fated horse jockeys for Americana act’s debut full-length

Several months after Lou Poster moved to Columbus from Fairmont, West Virginia, in 1995, he rented a two-bedroom apartment at Third Avenue and High Street in the Short North. Back then, the crime-ridden neighborhood barely resembled the hip, pricey enclave of today. Poster paid $245 a month in rent.

On the street in front of the apartment, Poster often ran into a guy he and his friends called “Mr. Everything,” who would ask passersby if they needed anything — drugs, loans, girls.

One night, as Poster was coming home from working the night shift at UDF, he got off the bus and saw flashing lights all over Third Avenue. Mr. Everything had been shot on the sidewalk right outside the apartment. Poster walked by his body, briefly locking eyes with the dead man. Then, as he ascended the steps to his apartment, pigeons were roosting at the top of the staircase, and their glowing eyes seemed to mirror what he’d just seen.

Years later, Poster began to process those events in light of a friend he lost to a heroin overdose, which led to the song “This Part of Town,” the closing track on Little Patch of Sky, the new album from Poster’s band, Drift Mouth. “I don’t care too much, anymore, for this part of town,” Poster sings in a baritone drawl that’s core to Drift Mouth’s dark Americana and unrecognizable from the off-kilter scream he employed for years in previous band Grafton.

“I was working on my car one day and this Johnny Cash song came on the radio, and I started singing along with it,” said Poster, nursing a hangover at a Downtown bar on a recent afternoon alongside Drift Mouth drummer and longtime friend Brad Swiniarski. “My girlfriend at the time was like, ‘Is that you? You should do that!’ I didn’t know I had that kind of voice.”

Though Drift Mouth has only been around for about four years, the band’s origins can be traced back to a CD of coal-mining songs Poster made as a retirement gift for his father, who worked for Consolidation Coal for 37 years in West Virginia. The exercise brought him back to the music of his youth.

“My mom’s father was a big bluegrass, country and Western swing fan. So I knew all those songs. I loved that stuff as a kid, but then when I became a teenager, I got turned on to punk rock and rock ‘n’ roll,” he said. “But even Grafton was a punk-country band. It was in there; it was just buried. There’s no getting away from it.”

″[Poster] is exploring his identity and his roots in this music,” Swiniarski said. “He’s digging. He’s looking for something in his songwriting. He’s exploring.”

After putting out a single and an EP, Drift Mouth will celebrate the release of its debut LP on Saturday, March 31, at Rumba Cafe, alongside a trio of exceptionally strong opening acts: Sam Brown, Todd May and Feversmile (featuring Brown, Dan Cochran and Sean Beal). Dead Canary Records is releasing Little Patch of Sky, but the record recently got picked up by Wild Frontier Recording Company, an imprint of Philadelphia’s Creep Records; Wild Frontier will distribute the vinyl and also press a CD version, due May 25.

Many of the tracks on Little Patch of Sky started out as short stories Poster wrote and then adapted into songs. Others seemed to get beamed directly into his brain, like mournful tune “The Ballad of Frank Hayes,” which tells the true story of the song’s titular character, a horse trainer who dreamed of being a jockey. When Frank Hayes finally got his chance, on a horse with 20-1 odds, he managed to win a steeplechase, but he died mid-race. Somehow his body remained in the saddle until the finish line.

“I was listening to sports talk radio one day, and the DJ is telling this story, and they’re laughing like it’s a joke, and I got tears in my eyes. This poor son of a bitch who just wanted to be around the race, and always wanted to be part of the game, and he finally gets his chance and loses all this weight to ride this horse, and then he dies,” Poster said. “He gets his shot, and then dies before he can understand that he won. ... That story hit me pretty hard.”

Poster saw a piece of himself in Frank Hayes. “I’ve been around music my whole life. I’ve been a bar owner. I’ve been in a band. I ran a record label,” said Poster, who once owned Cafe Bourbon Street and the Summit and in the early 2000s took over Derailleur Records (now Dead Canary). “With anybody who’s passionate about something, whether music or something else, you’re gonna be around it all the time, and if you get a crack at it, then go for it, but know that that’s not the point. The brass ring will show up if you’re doing it the right way, and the brass ring is not money or success or anything like that. It’s the completion of your task.” - Columbus Alive

"Drift Mouth - Little Patch of Sky"


The son of a third generation West Virginia coal miner, Lou Poster’s latest group, Drift Mouth, comes about their Americana sound naturally. After years of playing in the punk country outfit, Grafton, Poster has jettisoned off the punk influences for Drift Mouth and relies solely on classic country and Americana influences for Little Patch of Sky.

The result is a pretty satisfying collection of often melancholy character sketches. Poster’s deep vocals are foreboding, so when it’s just him and an acoustic guitar, the songs tend to blend into each other, the one exception being the powerful, closing track, “This Part of Town,” a deep nod to Springsteen. Elsewhere the band is at its finest when it mixes in more electric and slide guitar (especially on songs like “West Virginia Hitchhiker” and “Franklin County Nights”).

The genesis of Drift Mouth dates back more than a decade ago when Posner brought in drummer Brad Swiniarski to help him record a song for his father, who was retiring from his job at the coal mine. Over the years, he’s added in players – Drift Mouth now a six-piece – and refined their sound, but the band has managed to keep their authenticity intact. - Blurt Magazine

"Drift Mouth - Little Patch of Sky"

What is it about young punks growing up to be old folk storytellers? Maybe it’s that the punks live a fast life through their teens and 20s and by the time they hit their 30s they need to slow down and reflect and thank their lucky stars they are still alive. I’ve always found country/folk to be like coffee or bourbon – something that can’t be appreciated until you’re older and just like these punks who grew up to become introspective adults, I didn’t really start listening to country/folk – or should I say I didn’t start liking that genre of music – until I was well into my 30s.

Lou Poster told the Alive this week that, as a kid, he was exposed to country, folk and bluegrass music but upon entering his teens – as teens are wont to do – he gravitated towards punk rock and didn’t come back to his roots until a few years ago. Poster’s Grafton was a High St regular in the late ‘90s, kicking out noise, bluesy, punk rock with some ‘70s hard rock influences. It was abrasive, in your face music – the kind you either wanted to let blast your eardrums by standing in front of the stage or the kind you wanted to retreat to the corner of the venue that was farthest away from the band so that you wouldn’t end up bumped and bruised by the end of the set.

Having been through the trials and tribulations of adulthood, Poster’s musical output has shifted from fast-and-furious to slow-and-easy and his vocals have dropped a few octaves – nearly unrecognizable from his punk days. From that same Alive article, Poster said that he was absent-mindedly singing along to a Johnny Cash song when he discovered that he could sing in a different style and get away with it. And thus, the seeds for Drift Mouth were planted.

I’ve been listening to Drift Mouth’s Little Patch of Sky for a few months now and my first thought was, “When Uncle Tupelo broke up, if Jay Farrar had moved to Columbus for a fresh start and stumbled upon a Greenhorn gig at Little Brothers, Son Volt might have sounded like this.”

Of course, the Greenhorn influence on Drift Mouth’s music comes from guitarist Mark Spurgeon who was responsible for the guitar sounds of one of Columbus’s loudest bands of all time and his style blends well with Poster’s deeper vocals.

There’s a classic High St/Stache’s sound on songs like the rocking “Wake You Up”, “The Straw Thief’s Way” and “Franklin County Nights” (close your eyes and it’s 1993!). And for all the flannel shirt and jeans rockers, there’s rocking chair, front porch slowburners like “The Ballad of Frank Hayes”, “The Prettiest Girl of All Time” and “This Part of Town”. And while the music style has changed, lyrical content hasn’t – there are plenty of references to women, relationships, smoking and drinking! - Columbus Calling


"The Ghost of Paul Weaver" b/w "I Suppose" - 7" vinyl-only release
"Franklin County Nights"  CD only EP
"Little Patch of Sky" LP/CD



Drift Mouth is a Garage Americana trio from Columbus OH founded by frontman Lou Poster, who wrote and recorded their first batch of songs as a retirement gift for his father who worked 37 years in a West Virginia coal mine. The name "Drift Mouth" itself is a reference to the horizontal entrance and exit of a mine, which when viewed from the outside looks like a black pit, but from the inside appears as a little patch of sky. Like a few other bands of their ilk, they are capable of playing in many different settings, entertaining both intimate listening room acoustic audiences and full-blown rock crowds.

Band Members