Hailing from Livingston, MT, rootsy Americana act Band of Drifters will open for Kip Moore at KettleHouse Amphitheater on July 29. 2021. It’s always an extra treat to see local music at the Amphitheater and this should prove no different.
The band is lead by guitarist, singer-songwriter Ian Thomas, who’s shared the stage with artists like The Avett Brothers, Taj Mahal, John Hammond, Cyril Neville, Corey Harris, Sam Bush, Shovels & Rope, The Wood Brothers, Dr. John and more. Relix Magazine said “Songster Ian Thomas combines varied influences from the strangest roots of America’s canon to deliver incomparable compositions with complexity and beauty.”
We wanted to catch up with Ian and see what the band’s been up to, so he was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
It looks like Kip Moore is on it’s way to a sell out which means there will be close to 4,000 people at the Amp… is this one of the larger shows you’ve played? What would you say the most comparable show you’ve played would be?
Pretty close, but I’ve done a few festivals that were in that range. I think 2,500 is probably the largest crowd I’ve ever played for in a single-show venue.
We LOVE seeing Montana acts at our venues. How’s it feel to playing a big show in your home state with a bunch of locals as well as folks traveling from out of state?
It feels great! I love playing for local audiences and it’s always great to play in front of new people, whether they’re from near or afar.
We think roots Americana/country music is especially fitting for outdoor venues. Are you a fan of playing outside?
I prefer playing outdoors, almost always. I love a good, smokey honky-tonk but nothing beats an outdoor venue on a beautiful evening. Ask me again in February and I’ll have a lot more love for indoor shows!
Do y’all have any new music in the works?
We do. We actually just finished a Gordon Lightfoot tribute record that we’re releasing in September. And we’re going to start recording an original studio record in the fall.
Any notable moments, highlights or inspirations for you as an artist over the past several months?
It’s been really inspiring just to get back to work again. The Covid era was interesting, to say the least. In some ways it was a reluctant blessing. But getting back to playing live music again has been more than just refreshing. It’s almost like starting anew and all the rules are different. I feel like both bands and audiences are renewing their vows.
Were you playing any live music over the pandemic or are you just getting geared back up? What’s it like finally getting to be able to play big shows again?
Similar to the last answer – it feels great! And it’s busier than ever. We had a few shows last summer – some outdoor events and private parties, but not much else.
So you’re from Livingston, but it sound like you also spend time in Tennessee… how do you split the time between states?
I used to travel back and forth across the country half a dozen times a year. I’ve slowed that down as of late, spending more time in Montana for a variety of reasons. But I still bring some of my Tennessee band members out here for tours. And I’m planning a return trip there, too. Last trip I had planned to go there was cancelled for Covid.
Do you have other shows lined up for 2021
We’re doing a lot of private events this summer, which is keeping our radius small. Thankfully, a lot of that work came to us before I knew what was going to happen with public shows this year. But we have a handful of public shows and more keep getting added to the schedule all the time.
Anything else you want to share?
Well, I could chat a lot more, but I just finished changing the starter on the bus and am just barely on time for our show tonight, so I should probably wrap it up. But we are really looking forward to playing at the KettleHouse Amphitehater. At the moment, this is our only show in the Missoula area this summer. Hopefully that will change!
Tickets to the Kip Moore show on July 29th are currently still available, but are moving quickly. As mentioned, it’s looking like this one could sell out, so we suggest grabbing tickets sooner than later.
Whether it sells out or not, it’s going to be a packed house at the Amphitheater, which should make for a memorable experience for everyone. We’re really looking forward to Band of Drifters getting the night started!