Some artists are able to articulate a vision at the very beginning of their career, while others hone their craft over time, growing into their vision as they mature.
“I am definitely in the latter category,” explains Drew Holcomb, a Tennessee-born, duck hunting, bourbon drinking, 1st edition book collecting, golf playing Eagle Scout with a Masters degree in Divinity from Scotland’s University of St Andrews (he wrote his dissertation on “Springsteen and American Redemptive Imagination”) who has spent the better part of the past decade as a professional musician – recording, writing, and touring with his band Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors.
Since releasing their first album, 2005’s Washed In Blue, Drew & The Neighbors (Ellie Holcomb, Nathan Dugger, Rich Brinsfield) have established themselves as a formidable indie act, selling more than 75,000 records, playing more than 1,500 live dates, selling-out headline shows, and touring alongside such varied acts as The Avett Brothers, Ryan Adams, Los Lobos, NEEDTOBREATHE, Susan Tedeschi, North Mississippi Allstars, Marc Broussard, and more. Their songs have been used in countless television shows and commercials, most notably in TNT’s Emmy Award winning 2011 Christmas Day NBA Forever spot, which paired the song Live Forever with a mesmerizing montage of past and present NBA video footage.
The hard work has paid off with the band’s sixth album Good Light showcasing Drew’s signature brand of singer/songwriter Americana in its finest form yet. Recorded live at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Good Light arrives shortly following Drew’s 30th birthday and the birth of his first child, daughter Emmylou (named for – you guessed it – Emmylou Harris), with wife and band-mate Ellie Holcomb. I think about my daughter every time I sing the title track, how I want to sing it over her when she is old enough to start understanding the world of truth and consequence,” says the Memphis native who now calls Nashville home.
“This album perfectly tells the story for a new stage in my life,” explains Drew “On past albums I was searching for my voice, both literally and figuratively. I co-wrote a lot of songs, peppered the music with too many influences, and let too many other voices in my head.”
With this album, Drew dedicated himself to the process of songwriting, stripping away extra layers, ridding himself of past boundaries and expectations. He wrote more than 40 songs for Good Light, mostly alone on his 1934 Gibson Archtop, eventually whittling the selections down to a final 12 tracks.
Drawing from personal experience to craft songs that speak to all of us, Drew explores the universal need to find meaning and joy in the midst of heartbreak and disappointment throughout Good Light. The last song on the album Tomorrow opens with the lyric, ‘Nothing ever turns out like you thought it would.’ It’s a theme that permeates the album.
“I have been through really difficult things,” Drew continues. “When I was 17, I lost my younger brother, and have lived through the grief of that great absence. On the other hand, I have experienced the joy of being married to the girl I always wanted, and have been loved really well by her…Everyone has all these different ingredients; our geography, our family, our interests, the places we have been and the places we long to see, the loves we have found and the loves we have lost. Each of us has a story, and it’s the only one we can tell. With this album I’m telling my story, in the hope that it helps other people tell theirs.”