How do you discover new music? The radio? Friends? Reddit? Recommendations at the record store?
Ever discovered a new band while checking out a girl? I did. I found myself staring at one of the cute girls at work wearing a tight t-shirt and noticed the words “Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors” stretched across her chest. I asked about the band and she played me part of a song from YouTube. I remember thinking that I liked the sound, but I didn’t investigate them any further that day.
Fast forward a couple of months and I see this album listed as a preorder on PledgeMusic, so I ordered it. I knew that I liked their sound and anything recorded at the Ryman Auditorium is going to sound exceptional.
Listening to Live at the Ryman is the first time I have heard more than 30 seconds of this band. Personally, I like the sound. I like it a lot.
If you didn’t know any better you could easily mistake Live at the Ryman for an album by The Avett Brothers because Drew Holcomb’s vocals are very similar to the Avetts. However, The Avett Brothers lean more to the bluegrass side of folk rock with a lot of high energy mixed in their songs while Drew Holcomb is on the country twanged electric guitar side of folk rock.
Also, this record is the antithesis of high energy; Live at the Ryman is a sit back and relax type of album. You want to listen closely and feel the emotion. I understand now why the hot girl at work is a fan.
The lyrics are deep and intelligent. The music is not overpowering. There is a quotability factor that is very appealing. Plus, he brings his wife on stage with him for a few songs and that is just sweet.
Any musician worth his salt has a high respect for the Ryman and you can hear Drew Holcomb’s respect for the venue coming through on this album.
Live at the Ryman will fit in nicely with my records from Jason Isbell, Margo Price, Alabama Shakes, Butch Walker, Shovels & Rope, and more.
My favorite track: Nothing But Trouble