Driftwood Soldier

"John Henry" - Driftwood Soldier - 2017 Tiny Desk Contest

Driftwood Soldier plays gutter-folk music, a proprietary blend of bitter ballads, fallen gospel, and thumping blue rants on mandolin, bass guitar, and assorted junk foot-percussion.

It was 2013 when bassist Bobby Szafranski first lent his velvet touch to the back-handed poetry and full-throated ruckus of mandolin-wrestler Owen Lyman-Schmidt’s solo work. Since then the duo has been leapfrogging their way up and down the East Coast bringing their unlikely sound to bars, living rooms, roof tops, and back alleys.

Scavenger’s Joy, Driftwood Soldier’s 2015 debut, established that musical range for audiences everywhere, with two thirds of the songs receiving radio play on dozens of radio stations around the country including WFUV, WNCW, and WXPN, where Bruce Warren called the duo “a bluesy version of Nick Cave with a nod to Tom Waits.”

In early 2017, they followed the breadth of Scavenger’s Joy with the focused intensity of Blessings & Blasphemy, a concept EP exploring the tension between spirituality and dogma by reinterpreting gospel traditionals alongside anti-religious originals.

This Spring, Driftwood Soldier is bringing both records and their liver-shaking live show to some of their favorite spots in the great Northeast. Don’t miss the chance to hear this new beast howl!

“A bluesy version of Nick Cave, with a nod to Tom Waits.”
Bruce Warren, WXPN

“Gutbucket-styled, blues-informed Shakey Graves-esque jams.”
John Vettese, The Key