The Drifter Kings are a contemporary blues band who perform original and creatively arranged cover material in a wide range of styles from Piedmont to Delta to Chicago.
They were winners of the 2009 River City Ohio Blues Competition and they represented the Blues, Jazz, and Folk Music Society of Marietta at the 2010 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee, where they went on to become a semi-finalist act.
The Drifter Kings' debut CD, "Diamonds On The Desert Floor", was produced by Alligator recording artist Michael Hill. The CD was nominated by the Blues Foundation of Memphis, Tennessee as a top-5 finalist at the 2011 International Blues Challenge and has been receiving airplay on stations across North America, South America, and Europe as well as being honored as a “pick to click” on Sirius/ XM’s “B.B. King’s Bluesville”. It was also featured as a winner of Blues Revue Magazine’s “Sponsor the Bands Contest” in the May/ June 2011 issue.
In the past, they have opened for Candye Kane, Roomful of Blues, Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater, Little Ed and The Blues Imperials and Tab Benoit to name a few.
Guitarist/Lead Vocalist Ben Zeff is a Sacramento, California native with over 20 years of professional playing and performing experience. After receiving his Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Studies from Sonoma State University, he headed east to pursue a Master's Degree in Music at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. Ben has performed and/or recorded with such notable musicians as Lenny Pickett (SNL and Tower of Power), Randy Brecker, Darmon Meader (Manhattan Transfer) and numerous other nationally recognized artists. Ben joined The Drifter Kings shortly after relocating to central Ohio.
Bassist Josh Wigal started playing the bass when he was fourteen years old and is the newest member of The Drifter Kings. A Central Ohio native, he has toured much of the USA, opening for notable acts including the rap/metal band Stuck Mojo and country music artist Phil Vassar. Josh has played and done session work with some of the finest acts in the region and brings with him a fresh sound drawn from a variety of musical influences, we are pleased to welcome him to the band.
Doug Oscard is a founding member of The Drifter Kings and comes to the project with a musical pedigree. Originally from New York City, Doug started playing drums when he was 10 years old and studied with studio/Broadway drummer Roger Mancuso. After graduating from Ohio University, he studied and was managed by the world-renowned studio drummer Gary Chester. As a full-time working musician in New York City, Doug played on many national commercials, Broadway, off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway shows. He was signed for three years to Carrere Records, a subsidiary of Warner Bros./Reprise Records with the NYC band The Method which toured Europe. He has toured most of the USA with acts such as Luther Allison, Johnny Winter, Big Bill Morganfield, Bo Diddley, Joe Weaver, Joey Dee, Gary US Bonds, Zoot Sims, Jeremy Steig, Bobby Lewis, Alex Chilton (The Box Tops), Eddie Brigati (The Young Rascals), Johnny Rivers, Little Anthony (The Imperials) and many more.