MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Driftwood’s “Every Which Way But Loose”

“When I wrote it, I was listening to a lot of Eric Clapton’s Slowhand,” says Dan Forsyth of Driftwood’s new single, “Every Which Way But Loose.” “I love the production on that album, and I was putting it on the record player four or five times a day.”

Given the title of the Binghamton, N.Y., folk/rock quintet’s new single, we can’t help but wonder if Forsyth was also channeling the offbeat bravado of the 1978 Clint Eastwood film of the same name—pet orangutan Clyde and all. If Hollywood were ever to consider an update (though we’re not holding our breath), this catchy, uncomplicated gem, with its easy sway, would make the perfect theme song.

“There aren’t any straight-up Clint references, but the song is a bit of a homage to the movie,” says Forsyth. “I’ve always loved the saying, and I thought it would be a great title.”

“Every Which Way But Loose” is the first teaser for Driftwood’s upcoming self-released album, December Last Call, its first in five years. Recorded in the basement studio of a home owned by the parents of Driftwood cofounder Joe Kollar, it’s due out March 22. Driftwood was conceived in a basement in 2005, when Forsyth and Kollar were looking to stray from their jam-band roots with a more varied acoustic side project. Along the way, they gathered up violinist Claire Burns, upright bassist Joey Arcuri and drummer Sam Fishman, touring and recording at fairly steady pace for the past 19 years.

After heading out of town to record 2019’s Tree Of Shade with Simon Felice, Driftwood was more than ready to “grow the tracks from scratch” for December Last Call. COVID lockdowns made self-production both a luxury and a necessity, according to Forsyth, who wrote “Every Which Way But Loose” on the fly years ago.

“It was a late-entry candidate,” he says. “Most of the album was recorded when I introduced it. But the recording went down really quick and easy—and the fun stuck to tape. So it made the cut.”

We’re proud to premiere Driftwood’s “Every Which Way But Loose.”

—Hobart Rowland