Fret Drifters

cme imageHailing from Southern Oregon, The Fret Drifters are acoustic guitar wizards known for their joyous high energy shows and their virtuoso "anything goes" approach to playing. Featuring renowned finger-style guitarist Andy Casad and the dynamic Nick Garrett- Powell on lead guitar, vocals, and mandolin. The Fret Drifters dazzle and captivate crowds of all sizes with an innovative and uniquely jaw-dropping style you will find nowhere else and not soon forget.


About the Service

The Fret Drifters DuoThe Fret Drifters create a multi-textual soundscape utilizing just two guitars. Drumming on the body of one guitar while mesmerizing two-handed tapping on the neck of the other guitar make this fusion of organic grace, brilliant rhythms, and contagious melodies of The Fret Drifters a truly one of a kind act to see! 

Developing their techniques independently, Andy Casad and Nick Garrett-Powell both specialize in the extremes of eclectic guitar techniques like two-hand 8-finger tapping, slap-pop guitar and self-accompaniment drumming on the guitar body.

Celebrated finger style guitarist Andy Casad is joined by lead guitarist and vocalist Nick Garrett-Powell where they create new musical textures on guitar through any means necessary. Playing together as The Fret Drifters since 2010, they've performed as the opening act for Tommy Emmanuel, Eric Johnson, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Craig Chaquico, David Grisman, Trevor Hall, Cas Haley (NBC's "America's Got Talent,") and Leroy Bell (NBC'S "The Voice,") and many more! The foot-stomping and room shaking energetic boys put on a powerful and diverse show for all audiences while demonstrating how much fun you can have beating the crap out of your guitar!

The Fret Drifters DuoGuitarist Andy Casad was shopping for strings at Guitar Center when he met sales rep and fellow guitarist Nick Garrett-Powell.

"He (Garrett-Powell) asked me what kind of strings I needed and what kind of music I played," Casad recalls. "I said, 'I kinda just beat the crap out of my guitar,' and he smiled and said, “That's what I do too.” We went back to the showroom where they keep the acoustic guitars, and we had a li'l jam that sparked everything." At the time, Casad was desperate for a new guitarist for his duo, The Fret Drifters. His former guitarist, Ben Comer, had left for college, and Casad needed someone to fill in for several scheduled gigs, including opening Floater at the Rogue Theatre and for Michael Franti at Britt. Garrett-Powell was a godsend and picked up where Comer left off.

"We got bored playing standard chords," Casad says. "During our live shows, in addition to eight-finger tapping, we're head banging and dancing and moving to our music. Whatever we're feeling, we're playing."

Earlier this year, the duo submitted a video of their recent single, "Love Your Lover," to the International Musicians Exchange and, from the 15 acts that competed, were selected to perform at the Bruthen Blues and Arts Festival next February in Australia.

The forthcoming album will feature instrumental and vocal tracks, characterized by the duo's rapid-fire riffs and signature percussion techniques, with elements of contemporary folk, blues, pop and roots music. In concert, the duo plays a similar mix of styles, including new arrangements of songs by Robert Johnson, the Steve Miller Band and Van Morrison.

"Once, I took a jazz piece that I wrote, and we put a Nine Inch Nails cover to it," Casad says. "You never know what you're going to get at a Fret Drifters' show."

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Audio and Video

Download Name Play Size Length
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Fret Drifters

5.7 MB 4:07 min Fret Drifters live video Fret Drifters 2013

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“Nothing but love!” is the memorable phrase you will hear during any encounter with The Fret Drifter’s front man Andy Casad, whose talent equally matches his well mannered and friendly demeanor. This is also the feeling an audience will get when The Fret Drifters play to the ears and eyes of the widely respected Britt Festival and other popular Southern Oregon hot spots.

The Fret Drifters are most notably popular for their intricately beautiful and musically technical pieces that leave many musicians tossing their lesson plans out the window in frustration. The combination of precision percussion and mandolin lay the foundation for Andy’s unique blend of guitar techniques that include finger picking, two handed tapping, and the use of his guitar body as a hand drum. More often than not, all three techniques are used simultaneously or back to back, creating not only an entertaining visual spectacle, but the illusion that there are 3 guitarists on stage. Despite a majority of their recognition stemming from instrumental acoustic compositions, The Fret Drifters have been known to surprise their audience with perfectly placed songs featuring the well rounded vocal ability of Nick Garrett-Powell.

As a musician and fellow music lover, I believe there is no reason to not be peeling your jaw off the floor and tapping your foot after a performance by the dynamic acoustic trio known as The Fret Drifters. Stay on the look out for their next performance, you won’t want to miss out!” 

Ivory Harp review 


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