It’s a creative time for Drake White
By John Benson
Rising country singer Drake White knows he played the Dusty Armadillo before, but for the life of him, he can’t remember the gig.
Well, no harm, no foul because that’s what happens when you’re a new artist who played more than 150 shows annually over the last few years. Nevertheless, White said he’s looking forward to creating new Northeast Ohio memories at his Saturday show at the Rootstown venue.
White said he’s also looking forward to playing songs from his recently released EP, “It Feels Good,” which includes its top 40 title track. There will be new songs – such as the uptempo, Steve Earle-sounding “Raised Right” – that will appear on his upcoming full-length debut due out early next year.
“The album is on its way, but because I love live music and we’re a live-music type of band, I called my record label and said, ‘Let’s just release a live EP where people can start to get the idea of what we are,’” said White, calling from somewhere in Iowa.
“I just really felt strongly about our live performance. We stack up against the best in that record. I just thought by releasing that we’d get people going for more music from Drake White and the Big Fire. And ultimately, it has. We’re selling those things like candy on the road.”
Currently White and his backing band The Big Fire, which were recently named as one of Billboard’s Top 10 Country Artists to Watch, are touring with Little Big Town. After a few solo dates, including the upcoming local show, the group will be out with the Zac Brown Band. Touring with the latter is apropos ,considering White and company boast a similar style and feel that appeals to not only country music fans but also rock audiences.
“At the end of the day, I’m from Alabama, and we were brought up in small towns, but now we’re travelers,” White said. “We’ve been all over the nation and you see all of this music. I’m always searching for new stuff. I’m always searching my rock roots, soul roots, country and gospel roots down to R&B and even some of the electronic music that appeals to me.
“It’s just a creative time for us and for country music in general. I’ll always say that we’re a country band but we’re so much more live. If you come out, you’re going to hear a lot of different stuff. You’ll hear a little bit of my dad’s record collection. A little bit of my mom’s church upbringing, bluegrass, soul and a Jason Mraz flow. So I pride myself in all of that stuff and love to be inspired by my band and the fans.”