Hokes Bluff, Alabama singer + songwriter Drake White is a country music soldier. After collapsing on stage in 2019 due to a hemorrhagic stroke, the smooth-singing songsmith is divulging his story. His new project The Optimystic, out today, is a promise of hardships, sanguineness, and compelling love told by way of auditory sonority. He details those hardships of undergoing a multitude of life-saving operations and then was confronted with the task of building strength back in the left side of his body and learning basic functions all over again. Assiduously, the Muscle-Shoals singer sported his rose-colored glasses and looks right on forward.
“50 Years Too Late,” written with Leith Loftin who released a version of the song on his collection Mississippi Homegrown in 2011, depicts being born in the wrong generation. His music gives off an accurate representation of just that as he habitually mixes background-looking country makings in his current music. The singer craves a simpler time and sets up the scene for the rest of the album.
“American Thunder” trails off of the album-opener with a heavy dose of rock n roll depicting the beauty of his girl that gently eases into the record’s third composition “Rainbow State of Mind.” The song written with Dan O’Rourke is overdosing on optimisim. It’s brimming with a shy dose of rhythm and blues and all around feel-good vibes. White sings, “When you give up control, you’ll find that pot of gold. And you’ll get the rainbow.”
“Hurts the Healing,” written by White, Allison Veltz Cruz, and Aaron Chafin, is perhaps one of the best songs that White has written. The song came out in June of 2021 and depicts that maybe, just maybe, the hurt is supposed to hurt real bad as apart of the healing process. He says, “I think, line for line, it is probably the best song I’ve ever written, as far as writing goes. It is my song, it says exactly what I was feeling. I just think there was some magic.”
White also pays homage to some of the most important women in his life such as his mother, and his wife Alex who supported him althroughout his recovery in “Power of a Woman” and sees the legacy of a mentor in “Legends Never Die.” “Can’t Have My Dog” channels White’s cheeky side and sings that you can have anything you want of his, but you can’t have his dog. The final song on the collection is a 1988 recording of his father, whom was a choir director, singing his rendition of classic “Amazing Grace.”
“I’ve had to keep a good sense of humor about it because of all the things that have come our way and all the obstacles that we’ve had to jump through. It’s been a life changing perspective shift for sure. I was always an optimistic dude, but this was the test. You don’t really know if you’re optimistic until you go through something you have to battle.” White talks about thre meaning of his project, “All I wanted to do is write about the experience so I could share it with my fans and put it into music. That lets you know really quick that I didn’t think of dying. I didn’t think of not being able to walk. I didn’t think of, ‘Oh, I’m not sure about kids,’ or ‘I’m not sure about my future family.’ I thought, ‘where’s my pen at and how can I get this on paper?’”
White will be kicking off the second leg of The Optimystic Tour this spring with opener Kasey Tyndall.
DRAKE WHITE - THE OPTIMYSTIC Track List
1. “50 Years Too Late” (Drake White, Leith Loftin)^
2. “American Thunder” (Drake White, Erik Dylan, Randy Montana)*
3. “Rainbow State of Mind (Feat. The Woods)” (Drake White, Dan O’Rourke)*
4. “Pawn Shop Rings and Double Wide Dreams” (Drake White, Allison Veltz Cruz, Jonathan Singleton)^
5. “Giants” (Drake White, Allison Veltz Cruz, Phil O’Donnell)^
6. “Hurts the Healing” (Drake White, Aaron Chafin, Allison Veltz Cruz)^
7. “It Takes Time” (Drake White, Chris DeStefano)+
8. “Power of a Woman” (Drake White, Lindsey Hinkle, Kelli Johnson)^
9. “Legends Never Die” (Drake White, Jeremy Bussey, Adam Sanders, Ron Womack)^
10. “Can’t Have My Dog” (Drake White, Kelli Johnson, Ava Paige)^
11. “Angel Side of You” (Drake White, Allison Veltz Cruz, Eric Paslay)^
12. “Free” (Allison Veltz Cruz, Connie Harrington, Zach Kale)^
13. “The Optimystic” (Drake White, Kelli Johnson, Lauren Weintraub)^
14. “Amazing Grace”
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