Kerosene Drifters: Blazing New Music Trails
A husband-and-wife duo are hitting the high notes on the local music scene as the Kerosene Drifters, picking up more fans and performances around Texas.
Founding members Korey Manuel and Dana Chavez-Manuel said their love of music brought them together, leading to the creation of a band that even caught the ear of a retired Spurs player.
“Kerosene Drifters was first established as ‘Korey & Dana,’ a side project acoustic duo in 2011,” said Chavez-Manuel. “In 2014, Korey decided to leave J.R. Castillo & Unwound (a local band) in order to pursue KD full time, which then became Kerosene Drifters. We quickly increased the number of acoustic shows Kerosene Drifters played, and within the past year have greatly increased full-band shows.”
Rounding out the lineup is guitarist Richard Propes and drummer Chad Newman.
The Manuels describe their sound as “Drifter Rock,” which combines several styles.
“It’s hard to come up with one or two words that describe it because it’s kind of a mixture of a bunch of genres,” Korey Manuel said. “It’s rock, blues and country all mixed together with elements of roots rock, blues rock, folk rock and Americana.”
The group is the real deal, said a songwriter who works with them.
“Being an original music artist can be a thankless job and at times very difficult to find the motivation to keep chasing that dream,” said Lee Wenner, who has collaborated with the band on songs. “Kerosene Drifters is an inspiration. They are some of the hardest-working musicians you will ever come across.”
Kerosene Drifters has enjoyed some great opportunities in the last six months, including a performance for former Spur and NBA champion Brent Barry during a launch party of the San Antonio Angel Network in Alamo Heights.
“He saw us playing at a local venue and asked us to play for his party, which was pretty incredible,” Chavez-Manuel said. “At the end of the night Brent brought out his guitar, as he … is a budding musician, and jammed a couple of tunes with us.”
Kerosene Drifters got a big break May 27, opening for Reckless Kelly at The Roundup in Boerne. The band also held a well-attended CD release party for their first album at Cavern Music House in Garden Ridge on June 10.
In addition, the group also strummed tunes live June 14 during an appearance on the KABB show “Daytime @ Nine.”
The passion for all things musical began early for the couple.
“I grew up in a family of singers and musicians,” Manuel said. “My grandparents and their kids sang gospel music and even made a couple of gospel records. Although I wasn’t pushed into it, I was encouraged to sing, to play an instrument, to pick out harmonies at an early age.”
“I loved music as a little kid,” Chavez-Manuel added. “I was always singing, performing for my parents, and in awe of my family members who played guitar. Some of my fondest childhood memories of music are when my dad and his sisters would gather, each playing guitar and singing in beautiful harmony. They’d hand me a guitar as a small child and I’d strum along.”
The band’s philosophy includes a belief that music is an important form of art and self-expression, with the power to change the world.
“’Music is the universal language’ is a phrase we’ve all heard, and for good reason,” Chavez-Manuel said. “Most people have an appreciation for music on some level, whether it’s simply a background pleasantry or a vessel that is able to move emotions deep within you.”
She added, “If we can help even one person become inspired, motivated, feel love, put a smile on their face, then we’ve won the good fight.”
Her husband echoed the sentiment.
“To me, music feeds the soul and the spirit in a way that few other human creations can do,” he said.
The band continues performing at local venues of varying sizes statewide. The Manuels said it remains crucial for communities to support area artists.
“Locally is where every great musician started,” Chavez-Manuel said. “If you have music in your soul and you want to share it with the world, you have to start somewhere. Local bands can offer a breath of fresh air from the same ole stuff you hear day in and day out.”
by Bain Serna
August 29, 2017
Kerosene Drifters Release New EP
Newlyweds and musical partners Dana Chavez and Korey Manuel recently released their self-titled EP, which features "Have a Little Faith" and "Redemption Song". Esteban talks with KD and learns what Grammy-nominated band they recently opened up for.
by Daytime @ Nine
June 15, 2017