The first time Vector Management’s Trey Wilson saw Drake White And The Big Fire play in 2011, it was in a small Nashville bar to a crowd of about 12, including the friends Wilson brought and White’s parents.
The country singer’s ability to light up even that small room impressed the manager. A year later Wilson needed a support act for his client Blackberry Smoke, so he reached out to get White on board, and eventually took on the act’s management duties.
White And The Big Fire then got a break while in Boston, when Wilson and some friends arranged a meeting between White and Zac Brown, knowing the two would hit it off. And they did. After performing and going hunting together, Brown offered to lend support if White ever needed it. The latter responded by asking Brown to take him on tour.
Good on his word, Brown did just that this year and the result has been the introduction of White And The Big Fire to the world. The newest single “Livin’ The Dream” has hit the Top 20 rotations of country radio, and the label-debut LP, Spark, dropped earlier this year.
White And The Big Fire also toured with Little Big Town in 2015 and just wrapped a run with Dierks Bentley.
“If I had to embody Drake White, I would say he is as authentic as they get,” Wilson said. “[And] Drake White wins live.”
Onstage White is backed by Adam Schwind on drums, Philip Pence on bass, Matt McDaniel on guitar and Jon Aanestad on fiddle. His booking agent, Brett Saliba, and Wilson both say White’s real gift is in how he works each crowd.
“I’ve never seen anybody work as hard as this guy,” Saliba said. “He is without a doubt one of the greatest live performers I've ever seen.”
Saliba actually grew up with Wilson and put in the call for him to check out the young guy making waves in a small Nashville bar those years ago. He said the touring plan is to book headline shows in the markets White played earlier this year with Zac Brown Band and Bentley.