Premiere: “Drifter” Offers a Melodic Road Trip with Jack Sledge

Jack Sledge © Giancarlo D'Agostaro
Jack Sledge © Giancarlo D'Agostaro
Jack Sledge’s latest single “Drifter” is a musical and lyrical recount of a dreamy roadtrip from the Deep South up to the North East.
Stream: “Drifter” – Jack Sledge

Most of us, if not all, have had the chance to take a life changing trip. Whether it be long and drawn out or short and quick. There is something about being displaced from your every day life and allowing yourself to dream of other things. The perspective gained from these journey’s is irreplaceable and extremely priceless. Jack Sledge encapsulates this notion with his latest western bluesy-rock song and video, “Drifter.”

Notes of a Drifter EP - Jack Sledge
Notes of a Drifter EP – Jack Sledge

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Drifter,” the lead single off Brooklyn-born, New Orleans-based singer/songwriter Jack Sledge’s upcoming EP Notes of a Drifter  (out April 3, 2020). Sledge puts it best, ”I wrote this song after three road trips, between New Orleans and Maine, in less than 6 months. I’d also been listening to ‘Promised Land’ by Chuck Berry, so I was thinking a lot about travel and idealizations of the West. Those things are essentially about escape. As much as I had a character in mind, like in ‘Promised Land’, it’s more of a dreamscape than a true narrative.”

“Drifter” begins with music akin to an old-western movie, melody matching mood matching lyrics is a trifecta the best of stories hits. Jack Sledge tosses his bag into his beat-up, perfectly ready to road-trip, Jeep. The music shifts slightly from western into a bluesy rock theme, the perfect setting for Sledge to tell his story.

His bright and confident vocals shine,

Sold my wreckage at the top of a hill
I drove to Amarillo, TX in a Coupe de Ville
Crossed the white desert in a matter of days
I heard rattlesnakes talking in a funny way (a funny way)
Jack Sledge © Giancarlo D'Agostaro
Jack Sledge © Giancarlo D’Agostaro

Oh’s and Ah’s draw out a necessary space between verses, dusk is evident in the video, progress on the journey is being made,

Parked my car at the edge of town
I heard whispers of suspicion all around
Saw my reflection in a fire so high
I couldn’t see the faces
on the other side (the other side)

The mood of the music shifts yet again, tilting more towards rock before leaning back into it’s blues base after the chorus,

Of what I can remember everything went dark
Day turned into night
She had pout me to bed in her
husband’s loft and began to cry 

The Oh’s and Ah’s start to harmonize, reminiscent of The Head and The Heart, and exactly the kind of tenor that makes a trip pleasant. Sledge continues on throughout the verses and the sun rises and sets throughout his video.

Neon lights in the distance said please
I was running from something coming after me
Smell of salt water and the sound of the waves
I was finally at the ocean that was far away (so far away) 

Jack Sledge’s EP, Notes of a Drifter will be released on April 3. Along with the story for the drifters of the world that is, “Drifter” the EP covers Sledge’s childhood living in Brooklyn in the ’90s with Oklahoman parents, which is what has produced this unique sound of Americana blues that’s so difficult to ignore. Take a listen, enjoy, and maybe thinking about taking that trip…

Stream “Drifter” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

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Stream: “Drifter” – Jack Sledge

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Notes of a Drifter EP - Jack Sledge

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📸 © Giancarlo D'Agostaro

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