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LRH Live: Drake Milligan
November 17 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Catch B-105 at LRH Live to see Drake Milligan!
Direct Support: Alex Hall
When country music newcomer Drake Milligan moved from Fort Worth to Nashville, he didn’t just come here to sing. He came to listen. At just 19 years old, armed with an appreciation for the history of country music, Milligan listened in co-writes and recording sessions, where songwriters taught him how to tell a story, legendary producers taught him how to use the mics and studio as a vehicle for his voice, seasoned musicians were willing to back the new guy, and his country music heroes shared insightful advice on how to seamlessly shift from the studio and the stage –letting things snowball from there. Now at 23 years old, having taken in all that wisdom, he’s ready to introduce himself to the world with the release of his debut EP, Drake Milligan. It was Milligan’s intent to pen every song on his first release, but he knew that he’d be better off if he didn’t go at it alone. “Word got around, and I was invited into more and more co-writes, and finding my own sound was what that was all about.”
“I wrote for the last three years. I write every day. You realize when you get to Nashville that you have to write thousands of songs before a really good one comes out,” he says. That’s where his heroes came in. Milligan was able to book writing sessions with industry legends like Bill Anderson (Brad Paisley, Conway Twitty, George Strait), Dean Dillon (Chris Stapleton, George Strait, Kenny Chesney), Monty Criswell (Josh Turner, Trace Adkins, Tanya Tucker), MarvGreen (Billy Currington, Brooks & Dunn, Lonestar), Paul Overstreet (Blake Shelton, Randy Travis, Ronnie Milsap), Terry McBride (Easton Corbin, Garth Brooks, Hank Williams Jr.) and Brice Long (Jon Pardi, Gary Allan, Randy Houser).
“The reason I came to Nashville is because all of my heroes are here. All the guys who wrote and played on my favorite songs are still so good. They wake up every day and want to write the best song they can. I wanted to learn something from every write. Writing with those songwriters was a rite of passage for me,” Milligan says. “Seeing how excited Bill and Dean and the others are about writing songs was so inspiring to me.” “We all get here with a different set of influences. Mine were mainly George Strait and Elvis. Along with a lot of Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, and George Jones. That’s what my mom and dad listened to, so my earliest music memories came from that,” he says. “As I was writing, I learned that the best sad songs are bittersweet and even a little hopeful. I love that tradition in country music: how sad songs can help you feel understood. That’s the magic, because not everything in life is sunshine and rainbows.”
Once the songs were written, it was time to find a producer. Milligan enlisted the award-winning music producer and industry iconTony Brown(Brooks & Dunn, George Strait, Vince Gill) and songwriter/producer Brandon Hood. Brown first discovered Milligan’s talent as a performer when he saw him portray Elvis Presley in the 2017 CMT TV series Sun Records, an adaptation of the Tony-winning musical Million Dollar Quartet.
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