“J.B. plays first order honky-tonk music, a rare commodity these days. Check him out while they still allow his kind to walk this land.”
- Bill Kirchen
Virginia native J.B. Beverley has spent most of his life playing music. From his humble roots in the Washington DC underground, to the hundreds of thousands of miles he has logged fronting the banjo-driven honky tonk band J.B. Beverley & The Wayward Drifters, J.B. has cultivated a diverse and unique style that is all his own. A self-described "musical half-breed", Beverley has made his bones in both the roots-country and rock worlds, showcasing a variety of talent, and never compromising the integrity of either.
After fronting a handful of punk rock bands (The Bad Habits, The Little White Pills) in his teens and twenties, Beverley formed the Wayward Drifters in December of 1999. After five years of regional and later national touring, the band cut their eponymous debut Dark Bar & A Jukebox in 2005. Featuring long-standing band-mates Dan "BanjerDan" Mazer and Johnny Lawless, as well as guests Kenneth Brian (Telecaster), Ronnie McCoury (Mandolin), Donnie Herron (Fiddle), and Andy Gibson (Steel), Beverley came out swinging for the knockout. The album featured thirteen original songs, won several awards (including RAM Radio's Song Of The Year) and even featured a guest vocal appearance by friend and 2005 tour mate Hank 3.
2009 saw the release of the Wayward Drifters' sophomore album Watch America Roll By, which was J.B.'s first-ever venture into the world of engineering and producing. The album was met with rave reviews, and the band found themselves not only touring all over the U.S., but going over to Europe twice in support of it.
When not touring with the Wayward Drifters, J.B. began to record and produce other albums, and the emergence of his Rebel Roots Studio as a notable place to record became concrete. Recording and producing for Jayke Orvis, Owen Mays, Blind Joe, and others proved that J.B. was as talented behind the boards as he was on stage.
2011 saw long-time bass player Johnny Lawless retiring from touring, and the departure of Dan Mazer as he moved to the west coast. J.B. relocated to eastern North Carolina from his longtime home of Richmond, Virginia. It was soon after than he reopened Rebel Roots and reformed the Wayward Drifters with friend and banjo man Buck Thrailkill. While rebuilding both the band and the studio, J.B. began working on a solo album; a musical mixed bag called Stripped To The Root. Featuring 15 songs and ranging from country, to blues, to old time, to rock and roll, 2014 saw Stripped To The Root being hailed Beverley's most diverse and brave album to date. The year culminated with J.B. touring through the spring and summer for Stripped To The Root with Rory Kelly's Triple Threat as his backing band, and saw the emergence of the Wayward Drifters as a five-piece band (with the addition of fiddle and drums) for the first time.
J.B. is currently working on a new and yet untitled Wayward Drifters album, as well as a follow-up to Stripped To The Root. He has also spent several years working part-time on a hard rock side-project called Ghostdance, and is writing a book entitled Chase Down These Blues: Ten Years Of Hardcore Honky-Tonkin' With The Wayward Drifters.
“The world is full of artists who follow the next guy, who look to the most popular at the time to dictate how they will write, perform, and create. There are but a few artists working now that stay true to what they believe, who follow the heart, and look only to their spirits to lead. One such artist is J. B. Beverley. J. B. holds true to a long standing tradition, though honestly a rare one, by setting his own guidelines, path, and truth, while at the same time, holding faithful to his musical heritage. He is the real deal, an unstoppable, musical, virtuous force.”
- John Carter Cash
“J.B. can write one hell of a good song, and not only that, the man and his band can play real good too!”
- Wayne “The Train” Hancock
“J.B. is what scares the hell out of Nashville and thrills the hell out of those who dig balls to the wall attitude in their music, hard twang with roots galore.”
- Dale Watson