hen Drake White began his set, he appeared to be a lot like those musical partiers, Kenny Chesney and the late Jimmy Buffett. Dressed casually and looking super relaxed, he came off like a jovial party host, exemplified by the upbeat "Livin' The Dream."
However, the night took a sharp serious turn by the time he got to "Hurts the Healing," where he spoke from the heart about his relatively recent stroke and its recovery process. Then when "The Coast Is Clear" came along during his performance, he morphed into the Alabama church boy of his youth, preaching his music like his minister grandfather once did. This concert explored the many sides of White's musical personality, all of them good.
Along the way, White mixed in a few covers, too, including Willie Nelson's "Whiskey River" and Otis Redding's "Hard To Handle." He's a strong singer and is fully in his element performing live. The Roxy is a small, intimate venue, which allowed White to sometimes speak to fans standing right up at the front of the stage.
While clearly a country boy, White is also very much a soulful soul singer, too. Backed by a talented group of musicians, White gave this school night audience plenty of both good time and serious songs. About midway through, he thanked the audience that prayed for his recovery, and it's easy to see why so many care so much about this artist's well-being. He simply comes off a very likeable guy.
Opener William Clark Green put across a very different vibe. Sporting two electric guitarists in his band, Green rocked a lot harder. With his long blonde hair, he also appeared more like a Seattle grunge singer than a Texas country artist. His songs ranged from the moody "Baker Hotel," to the fun and funny "She Likes the Beatles," which uses iconic rock bands to help distinguish the differences between how men and women think and act. The band also inserted a couple of Eagles covers into the set. "Life in the Fast Lane" seemed perfectly appropriate this night, as it must have at least been partially inspired by night spots along the Sunset Strip, such as The Roxy.
These men may have represented two sides of the country music coin, but it was difficult to not appreciate what each brought to the table, with a wider range of emotions than one might have expected.