It’s always nice when you find an artist who’s religious about getting back to his roots. Doubly nice when those roots run through the Plains. So hello, Drake White, AU ’07—nice to meet you.
Birmingham-based al.com music blogger (and fellow Auburn grad) Blake Ells recently spoke to the 27-year old “rising native country star” about his first EP, his upcoming debut for Universal Records, and his gridiron glory days at Gadsden’s Hokes Bluff High School.
Of course, we mostly just want to hear about his time in Auburn.
BE: Were you playing shows when you were at Auburn?
DW: The first show I played was a wing joint. I was playing in a cul-de-sac with a buddy of mine on guitar. I went and got a Martin. He was an impulse buyer. One day, I just said, “Let’s go buy a soundsystem.” So we went and bought guitars, amps, mic stands, and we got in that cul-de-sac and set it all up. I guess 20 or 30 people showed up before the cops showed up and shut it down. The cop, it was a female cop, she told me, “I really like your music, and y’all sound good, but you’re going to have to shut this down.”
So one of the guys there knows a guy that runs this wings place, and the band that night had just cancelled. So we went over there and played. We ended up playing all over that town: Bottcher’s, Highlands, Bourbon Street, Supper Club, Skybar. I guess this was 2003 or 2004.
BE: Which wings place was it?
DW: It was the Wings to Go right before you get to Supper Club. It was nothing, but we learned quick that if you can get the girls the guys will follow. And the owner of the place loved us because we were bringing him business. It started with 75 or 100 people, and it grew to 150 or 200 people, and I had gotten bit by the bug. I started writing all the time and grew a beard, and the rest is history.
If you want to read more of Ells’ interview with White, who happens to be playing The Nick in Birmingham Thursday night, click here. (And after watching this video, you probably will.)
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