On May 12, 2005, the music world officially met Drew Holcomb with the release of an album called Washed in Blue. The Memphis born singer/songwriter along with his band, The Neighbors (wife Ellie Holcomb, Nathan Dugger and Rich Brinsfield) return to Jackson on Valentine’s Night for a Duling Hall Concert presented by Ardenland.
Holcomb and his band have sold more than 75,000 records, played 1,500 live shows and toured with the likes of The Avett Brothers, NEEDTOBREATHE, Marc Broussard and others. Their music has been heard in television shows like Army Wives, The Cleaner, United States of Tara, and, most recently, Nashville. You’ve likely heard “Live Forever” from the album Chasing Someday in TNT’s Emmy Award winning 2011 Christmas Day NBA Forever spot and on the show, Parenthood. The band’s sixth album, Good Light, releases later this month.
We had a chance to talk with Drew yesterday about his music, his affinity for Jackson and his successes in the music world…
Your music seems to have a “feel good” vibe to it. What inspires your songs?
Honestly that is first time I have heard (us referred to) that way. We never market ourselves as a feel good or positive. Our music certainly has a hopefullness to it, but there is certainly no intention towards any type of singular dimension in our writing.
I write out of all kinds of experiences. We as artists assume that our fans and listeners are multi-dimensional people, capable of great joy and sorrow, great excitement and great frustration. There is a song on the new album, “Another Mans Shoes,” which speaks to the age old idea of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes; I hope that is the case with our writing and our live show.
The band has played alongside Ryan Adams, The Avett Brothers and Marc Broussard. What has been your favorite experience on the road?
While we have loved the many opportunities to open for some incredible and legendary artists, I think our favorite experience is headlining, like the show in Jackson tomorrow night. Nothing in our work is more humbling than people parting with their hard earned money to come hear us play our songs. The reality that people have let our music into their lives gives us a lot of encouragement to keep logging the miles, keep writing the songs and keep records coming out.
You play with your wife on most every date. How is it working with your spouse? Are you a better musician because of her? Is she because of you?
Absolutely. We are both deeply indebted to each other for our work. She is my most consistent editor and voice helping me shape my music and vice versa. We are some of the lucky ones, in that we are able to get along, even spending most of every day together on the road and at home. She is a kind and gracious woman to follow me into this strange career.
You’ve played Jackson many times now, three or four gigs in the last 18 months. Why Jackson? What do you like about this town?
I started coming to Jackson because my best friend from High School (Dallas Ketchum) lives in Belhaven and we would do a house show on his front porch as a way to come and spend time together. That led to us playing shows at Duling Hall. Arden Barnett is a great promoter and heard us for the first time there on the porch in Belhaven.
Your band has experienced a great amount of notoriety with television and commerical placements of your music. Has there been a point yet where you all have said ‘Wow, we’ve made it!’?
In a lot of ways, anytime you can pay your bills doing something you enjoy, you have “made it” and that has been the case for eight years now. The TV placements have certainly given steam to our work by helping us build a bigger following. We have always been a one at a time kind of band. One show at a time. One new fan at a time. One song at a time. Slowing building something that we hope will last a long time.
Ardenland presents DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS with EMILY HEARN tomorrow evening, February 14, at Duling Hall in Fondren. Doors open at 6pm and the show begins at 7:30pm. Tickets are $12 advance and $15 door and available at ardenland.net, Babalu Tacos & Tapas, MorningBell, TicketMaster.com and the Coliseum Box Office. The show is presented in part by Cathead Vodka, Find It In Fondren™ and Henry Weinhard’s.