Drake White promises an upbeat performance

Drake White performs Friday, May 13 at 7 p.m. during the Boss Hog Cook-Off.

Drake White performs Friday, May 13 at 7 p.m. during the Boss Hog Cook-Off.

After recovering from a stroke, country soul singer Drake White promises Burke County a revivalist type show that will bring inspiration.

“I had a pandemic of my own before the pandemic came in,” he said of the August 16, 2019 stroke caused by Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM). Paralysis on his left side required rehabilitation and seven brain surgeries in order to walk and perform again. “This show and this record are dedicated to that resilience of the human spirit.”

White said shows during the last few months are different than pre-pandemic times. People are excited to get out and do things again, after suffering from the loss of loved ones and isolation.

“It’s really special seeing what music does for people and how it helps them get through it,” he said.

White performs Friday, May 13 at 7 p.m. during the Boss Hog Cook- Off festival. His newest album, The Optimystic was released March 11. Listeners can expect to hear his Appalachian roots expressed in his music. He grew up singing gospel songs in the foothills of Northeast Alabama. His inspirations include Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band. Bluegrass and soul seep through his melodies.

“Everything my dad listened to was just pumping through the speakers,” he said. “It’s hard not to be influenced by the Appalachian Mountains when they are part of your blood.”

White didn’t decide music was his destiny, however, until after high school and during his education at Auburn University where he pursued a degree in engineering.

“I’ve been a storyteller all my life in some capacity,” he said and pointed out that entertaining around campfires evoked encouragement to pursue his musical dreams. As he began increasingly performing in pubs, he began to feel a sense of purpose. After graduating, he moved to Nashville.

He says his personal struggle and near-death experience give him the authority to speak about adapting and overcoming. His single, “Hurts the Healing,” is the heart of his new album. It is inspired by going through rough times and coming out on the other side.

Burke Countians can expect to have a good time and to get involved in his performance. He promises a good band and a good time celebrating resilience through the sounds of southern rock, soul, country and funk.

“I am a bird dog man,” he said. “See you in the Bird Dog Capital of the World!”

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