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Aug 21, 2015

Memphis’ Drew Holcomb to rock the river on TD stage next week

Greenville Journal

By Vincent Harris – 
Updated August 20, 2015
Source: Greenville Journal

 

Memphis, TN singer/songwriter/guitarist Drew Holcomb is a Bruce Springsteen fan; that much should be obvious from his incisive lyrics and his ability to bang out a ragged rocker and  pen a heartfelt ballad with equal skill. So it was a thrill for Holcomb and his band, The Neighbors, recently when they played the Stone Pony club in Asbury Park, NJ, where Springsteen got his start.

“Man, it was awesome,” Holcomb says of the Stone Pony show. “We actually played the (outdoor) Summer Stage because we were on this bigger tour, but all day we were in the Stone Pony hanging out, and it was so cool to be in a place that has that much history, especially for an artist that’s such a personal favorite of mine. It was definitely a benchmark day.”

Holcomb, who will play the Peace Center’s TD Stage with The Neighbors on Aug. 27, has had a lot of benchmark days recently. He became a father for the second time in July, and his most recent album, Medicine, has garnered some of the best reviews and sales of his decade-long career.

Holcomb, an independent artist without a major label, has built his fan base mostly through old-fashioned hard work (in the form of a heavy touring schedule) and partially from the appearance of his songs on television, including the series finale of House, M.D., How I Met Your Mother and Army Wives.

Since Holcomb essentially finances touring and recording on his own, he says that even smaller milestones in his career seem vital.

“It’s the little things like people buying your records or people on college campuses raising enough money to bring you in to play,” he says. “It makes you appreciate the steps it takes to make that wheel turn. It keeps you grounded.”

The flip side of the less lucrative indie business model is that it’s allowed Holcomb & The Neighbors to build a strong fan-base.

“If you’re an independent act and you’ve got loyal fans, you’ve probably earned them,” he says. “So there’s a certain trust between the artist and the fan where you can make the music you want to make because the music is what won them over in the first place. Whereas if you sign to a major label and have a hit on the radio that doesn’t sound like something your fans are used to, then they’ll call you a sellout. When you’re an independent act, there’s no one to sell out to, because you’re doing it all yourself.”

Holcomb co-produced Medicine with Joe Pisapia (k.d. lang, Guster), and he says that his production style is often influenced by voices from the past.

“In a lot of ways, I’m the product of the records I love,” he says, “So I know that I want the drums to sound really live and warm, because the records that I love sound like that. They feel like they were recorded by musicians sitting in a room, not recording separately to a click-track. There’s a humanity that I wanted to capture on the Medicine record particularly. We wanted to perform it live (in the recording studio). So we put ourselves in that box, but the reason that we did it is that we wanted to feel the songs.”

In a musical climate that increasingly caters to short attention spans by focusing on singles, Holcomb is a firm believer in the full-length album.

“I think music fans are still looking for complete records,” he says. “And if every song on the album doesn’t work towards making an album complete, then you have more work to do.”

For more show info, visit peacecenter.org.

SO YOU KNOW:
Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors
When: Aug. 27, 8 p.m.
Where: Peace Center TD Stage, Rock the River Summer Concert Series
Tickets: start at $25