Cache Valley Drifters
An outgrowth of informal picking sessions, the Cache Valley Drifters continue to bring a modern outlook to bluegrass and country music. Although they disbanded for more than a decade, between 1979 and 1992, the group has been steadily making up for lost time. Their performances are as likely to include bluegrass-ized interpretations of songs by Paul Simon, Leon Russell, and Cream as they are to feature tunes by the late country folksinger Kate Wolf or traditional hill country material. The Cache Valley Drifters’ association with Wolf is natural considering that the band’s longest-standing member, Bill Griffin, toured with her backup band and produced her last recordings. Griffin had previously been a sideman on albums by Earl Robinson, Pete Seeger, and Odetta and a series of national radio spots with the late Burl Ives. Mike Mullins was added to the Cache Valley Drifters in 1992 and plays guitar and mandolin and sings with the group. The brother of banjo player Tim Mullins, who played with the band from 1972 to 1973, Mike has been active in acoustic music since the 1980s when he played guitar in the Phil Salazar Band. In 1990, Mullins joined with ex-Cache Valley Drifters member Cyrus Clarke to form the Acousticats. Bassist/vocalist Wally Barnick, who played with the Cache Valley Drifters from 1975 until 1979, has worked with the group since their re-formation. Building an early reputation for their rich vocal harmonies and virtuosic musicianship, the Cache Valley Drifters were encouraged by the support they received from bluegrass guitarist Dan Crary, who helped them secure their first recording contract.