For Drake White, Tour With Zac Brown Band a Result of Years of Hard Work (and a Few Drinks)
Drake White's single "It Feels Good" is just his second, but that doesn't mean he's hurting for experience. The singer says he's been preparing his whole life for a moment — and an invitation — like the one he'll embrace later this month. He's set to open for the Zac Brown Band, playing 10 stadiums, arenas and amphitheaters through November.
“I’m a big fan," White tells Taste of Country of Brown and his band, "and ultimately I wanna do what he does. I wanna pack out arenas every night.” The Alabama native says he's excited to go to school on Brown, learning tricks about everything from how to connect with an audience to how to run a business. He recognizes the "Loving You Easy" hitmakers have traveled a road he's just starting down.
Ultimately I wanna do what he does," White says. "I wanna pack out arenas every night.
It's been nearly a decade since White moved to Nashville with an Auburn University degree, but after a construction job dissolved he truly began to focus on building his music career show by show, song by song. An early record deal with UMG Nashville fizzled out, but his upcoming album on Dot Records seems promising. White says he can't wait for fans to hear the full album, but they'll need to wait until 2016.
For now fans will have to be satisfied with "It Feels Good," plus whatever they hear at live shows or find on YouTube. The singer's style of country embraces gospel, blues and soul. On stage he becomes this leader of the church of country music, bellowing as the crowd breaks into uncontrollable dance. Earlier this year he admitted it's not unlike the famous church scene from Blues Brothers, a 1980 movie starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi.
The tour came together when Brown came to see White and his band the Big Fire perform earlier this summer, after one of three sold out Zac Brown Band shows at Fenway Park in Boston. The Georgian was very complimentary, White says.
“I got to sit down with him and have a couple of drinks with him, and he didn’t say anything about a tour then, but my team had been working with his team to try to make something work,” White shares. Not long after, he was booked for shows in New York, Toronto, Dallas and more. The Citi Field concerts on Aug. 21 and 22 are especially notable. The 45,000 seat venue is three times the size of any venue White has played previously. The singer, who's as calm offstage as he is fiery on, is not fazed or intimidated.
“I feel like I’m prepared for it and I’ve been anticipating this opportunity for a long time,” he admits.
His goal, he says, is to get the crowd ready for the headliner. Along the way he's likely to get a little further down that road the ZBB traveled years ago.
Drake White Tour Dates With Zac Brown Band:
Aug. 21 — New York, N.Y. @ Citi Field
Aug. 22 — New York, N.Y. @ Citi Field
Aug. 23 — Bethel, N.Y.
Sept. 3 — Toronto, Ont. Canada @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
Sept. 4 — Toronto, Ont. Canada @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
Nov. 6 — Dallas, Texas @ Gexa Energy Pavilion
Nov. 7 — The Woodlands, Texas @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Nov. 8 — De Valle, Texas — @Austin360 Amphitheater
Nov. 13 — Tampa, Fla. @ MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater
Nov. 15 — West Palm Beach, Fla. @ Coral Sky Amphitheatre