ABOUT DRAKE WHITE: Every reaction begins with a catalyst, some initial event that sets things on their inexorable course. For Drake White, it goes back to something raw and elemental in his debut album Spark. Save for “Livin’ the Dream,” White wrote or co-wrote the remaining 11 tracks on Spark, working with red-hot producers Ross Copperman and Jeremy Stover through the process. He also brought in his own band for a handful of tracks to capture the energy of his live shows. The first sound on Spark — before the pulse-quickening “Heartbeat” kicks into gear — is the voice of White’s late grandfather speaking from the pulpit. Several of these ghostly transmissions from the past appear on Spark, all extolling the virtues of love, brotherhood and nature. It’s a touch of the surreal that nods at White’s fondness for Pink Floyd’s psychedelic masterpiece The Wall, but also a deeply personal gesture that matches his vision perfectly. White has his own message of finding some harmony amid the demands of modern life, one that goes down easy in the uplifting, Zac Brown Band-assisted Southern rock anthem “Back to Free” and the cautionary-but soulful “I Need Real.” It’s a simple message of not letting oneself be swallowed up by technology and seeking out honest, genuine connections with others. With his gospel-derived, passionate delivery, White seems to have inherited his grandfather’s ability to touch crowds with a sermon — his divine vocal improvisations at the end of the honky-tonk flavored “Story” will undoubtedly get butts out of seats. White stresses that he isn’t a preacher, but doesn’t see a problem with putting his own methods for surviving the world out there. Spark covers an entire spectrum of emotions beyond these statements of character and self-definition. In “Making Me Look Good Again,” White cruises on an R&B-style groove to express his gratitude for his better half, while “Waiting on the Whiskey to Work” finds him embodying a man spun out on love and heartbreak. Then in the tropically-themed “Equator,” he flies south to give his nomadic side a little time to play. Long a respected live entertainer with his (appropriately named) band the Big Fire, White’s climb to the limelight hasn’t been a straight or uncomplicated one. Rather than blowing up right away with a big debut single, he’s toiled on the road for years, giving jaw-dropping performances night after night and making believers one show at a time. In the album’s “Elvis,” White touches on the way hard work plays into the business of making dreams come true. “Rome wasn’t built in a day and Elvis wasn’t born the king,” he sings, acknowledging the long incubation period he’s had in the buildup to this moment. And all the while, he’ll be stoking that original fire until it’s a roaring blaze.
ABOUT BILLY BOB'S TEXAS: Billy Bob’s Texas, the world’s largest honky-tonk, hosts over 200 live music concerts annually, is home to live bull riding, host to private and corporate events, authentic Texas cuisine, and retail store; all in a world class, authentic Western venue in the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards.. Billy Bob’s Texas has won the ACM Nightclub of the Year award 8 times and nominated for the same award 14 times. For additional information and ticket purchases visit www.billybobstexas.com or contact Billy Bob’s at 817-624-7117.