There is no simple way to describe Drake White. Raised in Hokes Bluff, Alabama, Drake is reminiscent of an era bygone, filled with soulful cowboys and storytelling troubadours. Drake is no overnight success story, tirelessly playing the bar scene in Nashville for years before a fateful meeting with producer/songwriter Jeremy Stover that catapulted his career into a new stratosphere. Drake joined Willie Nelson on tour in 2011 as part of the Country Music Throwdown and was recently announced as a guest on Eric Church’s Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour. Drake spoke to AMG in anticipation of his show tonight at Smith’s Olde Bar.
Are you working on your debut album for Universal Music?
Yes, we are putting the final touches on it. I’m very excited about this kick ass album. We’ve put a lot of work into it and we are almost finished.
Do you have a song from the new album you cannot wait to share?
It is hard to narrow it down to just one song. I worked really hard to make an album that was whole. I always try to make my songs say exactly what I am feeling. I grew up listening to CCR and Bob Seger, those influences still carry through to today.
You are not an overnight success; this is something you have been working towards for years. Tell us your story.
People throw around the words “overnight success” a good bit when that is not the case. There is always a story in everyone’s career. I have been playing for 10 years, playing acoustic and sometimes playing by myself. I’ve played a lot of venues, a lot of bars, lots of places. I ended up being in the right place at the right time, much like everything in life. I had a guy come in and listen to me at a bar in Nashville and it went from there. We are just really grateful to be where we are right now. We’ve got a long way to go. We’re going to meet lots of people and play lots of shows, just hope that folks respond to the music. We hope folks get a good feeling from it, or a bad feeling, as long as they feel something. If you dig it, cool.
You were asked to join Eric Church & Brantley Gilbert on tour and last year you joined Willie Nelson for the summer.
Yes, we are excited for the Church tour. We’re all different but they’re both killer guys and the tour will be a great experience for us. I have done a lot of stuff with Willie outside of the tour. It was great to hang out with singer/songwriters Randy Houser, Lee Brice and others. There was so much camaraderie. Playing with Willie was such an honor but he is so normal.
When did you decide to pursue music as a career?
I’ll be honest. I was doing it and there was just nothing was going to stop me from playing music. Even if I had to work a local 9-5 gig, I was always going to be playing. I never really made a decision, it has just always been in me. I believe that if you do what you want and love what you do, you only live one time. If you put your head down to the grind, I am a firm believer that things will work out for you. Music has always been something that I was going to do. Whether I play in front of 10,000 people or just by myself, it’s what I was meant to do.
See Drake tonight at Smith’s Olde Bar.