The Music Center at Temple Beth Israel Gadsden, AL
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An Evening with Drake White
Drake White is a God-fearing, river rat, beach bum with a collection of soulful lyrical exchanges that personify his signature style of rockin' country freestyle blues. As a performer with a striking stage presence and unexpendable energy, the story of this exuberant foot-stomping troubadour's musical journey is an energized tale of fate and preparation.
"Being in the right place at the right time, hard work and fate," says White referring to the elements that carved the path leading to his 2012 major label album debut. White met Jeremy Stover, a well-credentialed producer/songwriter, by chance when Stover and songwriter Jamie Paulin stumbled upon one of White's weekly jams in a small Nashville bar in mid-2010.
As the weekly show grew in popularity, Stover and Paulin knew that White's talents were special. Within seven months, White inked a publishing deal with EMI, a record deal with Universal Nashville, representation with major booking and management companies, and landed performing slots on Kid Rock's Chillin' the Most Cruise and Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown Tour. "I just did what came natural and let people respond to it," says White.
White's lyrics spill the truth of the young songwriter's journey. Growing up as the product of a close-knit, middle class, hardworking family in the small town of Hokes Bluff, Ala., White spent much of his youth outdoors working, exploring and reflecting. This freedom found in the openair resounds in the foundation of White's music.
As a singer-storyteller, writing and rhyming were talents that came naturally to White, "As a kid I always rhymed and learned song lyrics really quick. I always had this infatuation with different words and rhyme schemes and trying to fit them together," he says.
While studying at Auburn University, White's affinity for making music grew and took center stage in his life. White burned some major midnight oil balancing his studies and his weekly bar gigs, and had a relentless determination to succeed at both.
After graduation, Drake took a job in Nashville with a general contractor and began fine-tuning his music craft with weekly shows and writing sessions. After two years of juggling work and music, White reached a crossroads and discovered that music proved to be his true calling.
"I know what it's like to get up in the morning and hate your job. I am so, so thankful that God has given me the opportunity to live the life I love. I understand that life is crazy, and you just have to lay everything out on the table and see what happens! It feels good to live in truth and to not have to shave if I don't want to!"
White's organic authenticity explodes from his live and recorded music whether backed by a band or acoustic. His songs are laden with the sounds of his musical heroes. The rock instrumentation influences of Seeger and The Allman Brothers support the lyrical intensity inspired by Otis Redding and Keith Whitley. Couple that foundation with the vocal tonality of Ray LaMontagne and Ben Harper and the captivating stage presence of Cash, Springsteen and Marley, and you get a snapshot of the freestyling, ad-libbing, audience-engaging artist that is refreshingly Drake White.
With this range of influence that decorate his songs, White is certainly not limited to one supreme genre; instead, his music and lyrics weave through country, blues, rock, and reggae to rest under the one ultimate umbrella Music.
As White prepares to release his debut album on Universal Nashville, he continues to follow his faith and grasp the opportunities that light his path across the music landscape.
The Music Center at Temple Beth Israel (View)
761 Chestnut Street
Gadsden, AL 35901