Drake White has been on a journey since his last EP – ‘Pieces’ – was released nearly two years ago. Soon after its release he collapsed on stage in Virginia, forcing a break in his career. He’d had a haemorrhagic stroke and needed physiotherapy to regain full movement. But now he’s back, with a new EP – ‘Stars’ – released on the 24th April.
If White is down-trodden about his health woes over the past couple of years, there is little sign of it on this EP. Instead he has delivered a tight, 5-track, colourful burst of positivity. ‘Stars’ is all about reaching for the sky, packed with aspiration and appreciation for the good life.
White’s soulful summer vibe throughout this EP wouldn’t be out of place at a Jack Johnson gig. The opening track is perfect for banana Pancake-making, easy listening, Sunday mornings. And although not penned by White himself, ‘Luckiest Man’ is clearly an ode to his wife, who helped him through his recovery.
White is lucky to be here and hasn’t got time to dwell on the past, so the EP continues with a splurge of thanks and gratitude for the simple things in life. ‘Mix ’em With Whiskey’ is a smile-raising cheers to the liquor, and a smooth bluesy sound to match. ‘All Would Be Right With The World’ celebrates the joy in the small things that could give us contentment: if his golden retriever lived to a hundred, sitting by the fireside, and the fish always biting. This song packs a particularly poignant punch given the crazy times we are living in.
White’s vocals are on point in ‘Eat, Drink & Dream’ with the tongue-twisting, fast-paced vocal line. The laid back, casual delivery makes it sound easy. The lyrics are the most uplifting on the EP: “It’s having a little faith when you don’t know where you’re going/ A double shot of courage that’s the magic kind of potion.”
Of course, in this musical fanfare of all the best parts of White’s life, there has to be a nod to music too, and this comes in ‘My Favorite Band’. The beat of the opening has a slightly eighties feel to it, as White heralds the brilliant Cash, Dylan, Springsteen and others. This song is a roll call of musical greats. But the twist is that none of these come close to his wife, his favourite band being the wedding band on her finger. Aw… bit cheesy.
The easy-going nature of this EP is undoubtedly influenced by producer, Jaren Johnston from The Cadillac Three. There is a mix of co-writers, keeping each track fresh, but with White’s unwavering vision holding the whole thing tightly together. Some EPs leave you wondering where the rest of the tracks for the album went, but this is a complete polished little nugget all on its own.
Drake White is no stranger to the big stage either; he’s opened for acts such as Eric Church, Luke Bryan and Little Big Town. You would bet that an act as determined as White is itching to get back out there with his infamous band, the Big Fire. He’s all set to prove that while events of the past couple of years might have influenced this EP, they won’t define him.
- Luckiest Man (Ben Burgess, Josh Kerr, Alysa Vanderheym, Cary Barlowe)
2. Mix ‘Em With Whiskey (Ryan Beaver, Rodney Clawson, Adam Hambrick, Andrew DeRoberts)
3. Eat, Drink & Dream (Drake White, Tommy Cecil, Greylan James)
4. My Favorite Band (Drake White, Ross Ellis, Dan Fernandez, Michael Whitworth)
5. All Would Be Right With The World (Drake White, Tommy Cecil, Matt Alderman)