October 19, 2015
“Here We Go,” an optimistic, groovy folk song from Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors is among an emotional mix of others that exemplify what their latest album, “Medicine” is all about — the comforting, entrancing, healing power of music.
“Music, it makes you feel good, makes you feel understood,” Drew Holcomb croons in the third track of the album, released this past January.
The album was inspired by stories they’ve heard over the years, from friends, family and fans alike. It all comes together to create a poetic, intimate biography of the human experience.
“We make music for other people, not just for ourselves,” says Holcomb.
“Medicine” became an instant hit with fans, and is what Holcomb describes as one of their most successful albums to date.
After starting off the year with the album’s release, the Nashville folk/rock ensemble dove straight into a roller coaster of a summer — supporting their longtime friends NEEDTOBREATHE for 38 dates on the Tour de Compadres; putting on the Moon River Music Festival in Memphis back in August, which they headlined.
And, in the mix of it all, Drew Holcomb and his wife Elle, had their second child. She has stepped away from the band to take care of their daughter and now newborn son.
“He’s doing great,” said Holcomb. “It really was a summer I’ll never forget.”
Take a glance at comments and tagged posts on their social networks, or go to one of their shows and see their fans’ faces in the crowd. Fans all radiate positivity and give praise for what Drew and his crew are doing, what they are helping people feel.
“Our music really hits home in a lot of people’s hearts and lives,” said Holcomb.
Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors started and grew from familial roots, and their songs have always been more grounded and more personal. As they have grown as a band, so has their impact. Fans have transformed into more of a family, and now this new family has come full circle to shape their songwriting.
“I’ve always felt the audience was like the extra member of the band,” said Holcomb. “It made sense for me, as a songwriter and as an artist, to let those two things bleed into one another.”
Even before the crowd got ahold of “Medicine,” Holcomb knew there was something special about the album right from the beginning. The recording process for this album was much easier to swallow this time around for Holcomb, opposed to previous recordings.
After writing such authentic songs, he wanted the recording of the album to have the same sort of genuineness. So, instead of piecing together elements to create the songs, Drew brought the whole band in everything at one time for a more live-performance vibe.
“We literally started a song, and worked only on that song until it was completely finished,” said Holcomb. “We actually recorded it a lot faster doing it that way.”
Fourteen songs in only eight days, in fact. Recording the album this way felt more relaxed, more cooperative — like they were recording it right from the stage.
“This record has glued everybody together and we’ve been able to refresh in exploratory ways,” said Holcomb. “I think the band is feeling as good as we’ve ever felt,” said Holcomb.
Now, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors are embarking on the Medicine Tour, an 18-date bout of their own to round out the end of the year.
As a man who has known first-hand the medicinal power of music, he enjoys performing his own to anyone who needs it. If “Medicine” had its own prescription label, Holcomb says he would inscribe one simple phrase: “It’ll cure what ails you.”