It’s been three years since Drake White released “Livin’ the Dream,” a radio hit whose mix of old and new traditions — the descending chord progression worthy of the Beatles, mixed with the rapid-fire vocal delivery of a modern-day country single — seemed appropriate for a star who didn’t mind looking to the past for cues. This December, though, White is warming his hands in front of a different sort of fire.
Drake White and Big Fire Live hits digital stores on Friday, bringing with it a four-song tracklist of live performances captured during the songwriter’s recent tour. There’s plenty of crowd noise and fan interaction sprinkled throughout, with White — a voracious live performer who considers each performance a chance to swell the ranks of his “Appalachian soul funk feel-good army” — playing ringleader to his own kind of oddball, musical circus.
“All Would Be Right With the World” kicks off the EP with equal parts imagination and intimacy. Here, the bulk of White’s touring band takes a breather while the man himself strums the guitar, delivering a song that “represents a glimpse into the things that fill my tank.” While the audience cheers along, White dreams up a world in which fried chicken isn’t full of fat and cold beer isn’t full of carbs, delivering each line of “All Would Be Right With the World” as though it’s the 21st century redux of Harry McClintock’s “Big Rock Candy Mountain.”
“From more boat rides to fireside stories to the imaginary world of healthy fried chicken and cold brews,” White tells Rolling Stone Country, “this song is truly [me] waving a white flag on the rat race and realizing we all want the same thing at the end of the day: the freedom to pursue our own version of our own heaven.”
As for the decision to release a live EP, White says it’s all about the crowd. “The audience is like another instrument. The crowd noise is a much a part of the song as the song itself,” he says. “Spontaneity and imperfection are two ingredients in the gumbo that give it that spice, that fire.”
Here’s the track list for Drake White and the Big Fire Live:
- “Raised Right”
- “All Would Be Right with the World”
- “The Coast Is Clear”
- “It Feels Good”