The all-star roots-pop outfit the Continental Drifters
was formed in Los Angeles in late 1991 by ex-Dream Syndicate
bassist Mark Walton
and expatriate New Orleans musicians Carlo Nuccio
(drums) and Ray Ganucheau
(guitar); after enlisting guitarist Gary Eaton
and keyboardist Danny McGough
, the group played each Tuesday night at the Hollywood club Raji's and attracted a fervent local following. Over time, the Continental Drifters' roster swelled to include a number of auxiliary players including ex-dB Peter Holsapple
, his wife Susan Cowsill
and former Bangle Vicki Peterson
; after McCough left the group, Holsapple
assumed keyboard duties full-time. Their debut single, "The Mississippi," followed on Bob Mould's S.O.L. label in 1992; Cowsill
and Peterson soon joined on a permanent basis as well.
When Nuccio and Ganucheau decided to move back to New Orleans, it was decided that the Continental Drifters
would continue on, with various members flying cross-country to attend gigs; when that idea proved too costly, Jacobs, Holsapple
all relocated to the Big Easy as well, and although Eaton
eventually quit the group, Peterson ultimately followed to Louisiana too. Ganucheau soon exited, and guitarist Robert Maché was recruited as his replacement; this lineup recorded the Drifters'
self-titled 1994 debut LP, which earned significant critical acclaim. After's Nuccio departure, new drummer Russ Broussard
signed on; by 1997 the Drifters
had yet to land a major label contract, so they recorded the single "Christopher Columbus Transcontinental Highway" for the tiny Black Dog label; the full-length Vermilion
followed in mid-1998. Holsapple
ended their romantic partnership in 2000 when they divorced, however they continued to work together in the band.