Bret "TrainTime" Pritchett began his musical training at the age of 7 with traditional piano lessons. At the age of 12 he wanted to change to the guitar but his father forbid it. "The guitar is a damn hippie instrument" he would say. Secretly he bought his first harmonica at the age of 14. His style was influenced by Paul Butterfield, James Cotton, Savoy Brown, Jimi Hendrix, J. Geil's Magic Dick, Muddy Waters, Seigel-Schwall, Jr. Wells, Howlin Wolf, and Luther Allison. While still in High School, Bret moved into his own apartment. To pay the bills he took a job as a dishwasher. The other dishwashers were all adult black men. They would pick him up on their way to work and play BB King on their 8-tracks. Hearing BB, he was hooked on the Blues. He started improvising Blues Lyrics and practicing relentlessly on his harmonica.
At 16 Bret moved to Carbondale for college and became friends with Matt Coulter. A couple years later, at the "Ye Olde Fiddler Convention" in North Carolina, Bret met a 78 year old Blue Grass musician who took the time to teach him some important harp playin skills. Before long Bret was Jammin with local musicians from bands like Big Twist and the Mellow Fellows, Skid City, and Code Blue. Matt took up the guitar and the two of them formed a small band with a good friend Gary Gordon on vocals. The Jams sometimes included a half a dozen guitars. They formed a song list and a style all their own. They played on the street, at parties, and even at weddings. Frankly, they would play anywhere for anybody at anytime. No, we can't tell you the name of the band. Unfortunately, the three went different directions: Minnesota, Florida, and Chicago.
Bret found that losing the band really gave him the Blues. This was when he started playing the classic "Train-Time" Blues Harp solo. Train-Time is one of the few Blues songs a harp player can play alone. Once or twice a year he would get together with Matt for a weekend of jammin. He was invited to play on stage with a couple Jazz bands, practiced with a Heavy Metal band, and took every opportunity to jam the Blues but those times were way too few. He even tried to raise a Blues band. His two sons, 17 and 21 now, have had guitars, drums, and keyboards since they could walk. Then he found a sort of honky-tonk bar with two stages. On one stage they had a solo guitarist and the other stage had a Country band. First the solo guitar player had him up for a few and then he was invited to sit in with the Country band. Playing there became a regular weekly event for the next year or so. Then his house burned down and he lost all of his musical equipment except for the few harps he always had with him. He finally replaced his "Green Bullet" mic and harps but the bar he played at was sold and turned into a "Gentlemen's Club."
A few years ago, in southern Missouri, Bret met up with Matt and they jammed at a state park. Small crowds formed a few times to listen to their 20 or more songs. They handled several requests. This success with an audience was a feeling that Bret wanted desparately to repeat. Bret played with Dale in public for an audience at Chicago's famous "Blues Etc." on a Blues Jam night in '98. Bret got Matt and Dale together to play for a New Year's Eve party " on the Fox" in '99. Dale and Bret started flying to Texas, to meet up with Matt, for jams and gigs in 2000. Bret, Dale, and Matt got together for a spot at the Chicago Blues Festival in 2001. Bret's signature solo, Train-Time, became his nickname: "TrainTime" and the band was re-named the "Blues Drifters."