New CT based Indie-rock band overcomes challenges of pandemic

Photo of Sandra Diamond Fox
From left, Canyon Sharits, Corey Durkin, Andrew DeNicola, Dylan Cochrane - members of New Milford's Fast River Band

From left, Canyon Sharits, Corey Durkin, Andrew DeNicola, Dylan Cochrane — members of New Milford’s Fast River Band

Fast River Band / Contributed

NEW MILFORD — While quarantined during the pandemic last spring, four local musicians decided to connect virtually to make some music and formed the Fast River Band. The Indie-rock band has its first show at the end of the month.

The show, on March 28 from noon to 2 p.m., is at Daryl’s House Restaurant & Live Music Club in Pawling, N.Y. Admission is free and proceeds from merchandise sold at the show will go to MusicCares, which provides financial assistance to musicians who’ve been impacted by the pandemic. The show will also be livestreamed on the Daryl’s House website and Facebook page.

According to New Milford resident and band member Corey Durkin, 29, one of the biggest challenges of getting the band off the ground has been working around the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

“It’s a different experience to try to approximate the pre-pandemic feeling of hanging out in the studio, and instead we’re doing it on Facetime or on Zoom,” said Durkin, who sings and plays guitar for the band.

He added that losing the “rhythm” and the “magic” that musicians are used to feeling when they’re able to work together in the same room was very difficult.

“Music is very energetic and is all about feel, and so there’s a feeling when you’re with other musicians in a room that guides you creatively towards coming up with new songs and ideas,” he said.

Band members overcame that challenge by exchanging ideas many times over a longer period of time, according to Durkin.

“Remotely, we had to get more creative with sending tracks back and forth to one another, and then allow the other band members the time to digest that instead of on the spot, in the moment,” he said.

More Information

For more information about Fast River, visit, and about the upcoming performance, visit

Aside from Durkin, other members of Fast River are New Milford native Dylan Cochrane on bass and keyboards, Kent resident Andrew DeNicola on saxophone and keyboards, and Westport resident Canyon Sharits who sings and plays guitar.

While the band members, who are all full-time musicians, were involved in projects together in the past, this will be their first show together. Additionally, their debut album, “Fox Trot” at the Rock and Roll Show, comes out June 15.

Durkin described Fast River’s music is “a combination of Jackson Browne up to The Black Keys.”

He said what’s most unique about the band’s music is it blends many genres together.

“We pride ourselves on bringing a lot of different influences to the music so when you listen to our record, it’s not just one genre for 12 songs,” he said.

Theme of hope

All Fast River’s songs have an overall theme of hope, according to Durkin.

“We are all such positive people and that ethos translates into our music on a very cellular level,” he said.

He added the feeling of “the sky is the limit — being able to infuse that sense of ‘Everything is going to be OK and everything is working out for us’ on a grand scale as a human race is something that definitely appears in our music, both consciously and subconsciously.”

One example of the message of hope is their song “Stuck in the Middle,” which is about not taking life too seriously, Durkin said.

“There are different moments that we find ourselves in, that can be perceived as good or bad,” he said. “If I don’t take them too seriously, then that seems to allow for more of the good moments to keep going.”

Another song, “Rest My Bones,” is about the joy of coming back home after traveling.

“All of us in the band have traveled extensively, and when you've had enough adventures you begin to realize that the value of 'home' rises infinitely,” he said. “That song is about the realization of what truly matters, and while globetrotting is certainly fun, the rewards of the safety of having a place, not to mention a person to come home to, are too numerous to mention.”

According to Durkin, writing, recording, and rehearsing is something for which all band members are all very passionate.

“It’s a great creative and artistic outlet for us,” he said.