I first met Dana Chavez Manuel and Korey Manuel of the band Kerosene Drifters when I was a producer on the television music competition show "The One - Indie Music Battle" on REELZ. In preparation for the premier of the show, thousands of music videos were submitted in the hope of being selected to be featured on the show. Yet, even with a plethora of music videos review, Kerosene Drifters and their high-energy song "Barb's Wired" ear-wormed its way into my brain. That, to me, is the mark of a great song...it's memorable.
Apparently, our television viewership agreed, as week after week, "Barb's Wired" was in the top 4 of the rankings. This was no small feat, especially when you look at the caliber of talent that Kerosene Drifters was up against -- some being represented by well-known management companies and powerhouse PR agencies, boasting large social media followings which easily could have stacked the votes for those artists' videos. It only goes to show, when you are indie, your fans matter. Each week of the competition, Kerosene Drifters' fans showed up and cast their vote for "Barb's Wired," keeping the multi-dimensional, multi-talented husband-and-wife duo in the top rankings...
...I have recently caught up with Dana and Korey of Kerosene Drifters, and the timing couldn't have been better as they have recently dropped dynamic new singles, the prelude to the release of their 2nd album, which is slated for Fall of 2021. "Redemption" which features Korey's driving vocals, was released on May 28, 2021. An intriguing, up-tempo storytelling track with a western flavor and a dark mood, it draws the listener in, taking them on a raucous ride that will leave them breathless from the sheer adrenaline rush.
Dana does the vocal honors on "Bad Mojo," a lusty song that is reminiscent of such powerful female presences in music as Elle King and Grace Potter. It's a sexy and flirty brash track that celebrates ballsy women. Much like the predatory Black Widow spider, the song lures you into its melodic web and holds the listener captive. "Bad Mojo" drops on June 25, 2021, thus, it will be available on all music service outlets when this issue of ION Indie Magazine goes live..."
-Kiki Plesha, "The Fairy Rock Mother" /
ION Indie Magazine
Kerosene Drifters are an American folk-rock band with something of a Celtic feel to their music – Redemption is their latest release.
By Jane Howkins
Redemption is one of my favourite songs of the year so far – I loved the folk-punk feel of the track and the driving rhythm is fantastic. The lyrics have a storytelling feel to them (which suits the genre of music very well) and I loved the Celtic aspects. It’s quite rare to hear this style of music nowadays, so it makes a very welcome change to me! Check out Redemption below – hopefully you’ll love it as much as I did!
"Great, talented, professional musicians who know how to put on a crowd pleasing show. Their engaging style is contagious and their show is like a jukebox of all my favorites. Highly recommend for any occasion, audience and venue."
- Dennis Gelbaum / ramp it up entertainment
June 19, 2020
"You both were AWESOME! The emotion, the passion, the energy, THE FUN! (The show) WAS FANTASTIC!"
- Phinesse Demps / Owner & Publisher of Indie Soul Magazine
June 12, 2020
"Kerosene Drifters impressed me from the first time I heard their music.
Great vocals, strong musicianship and hook-filled songs make this duo worthy of your time."
- Gene Foley / Foley Entertainment
January 17, 2019
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
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