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Drew Holcomb was unusually productive during the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean he enjoyed being stuck at home. He delivered a regular Kitchen Covers series, which eventually turned into a larger livestream project and even a three-volume vinyl set, but it just wasn’t the same as getting up in front of thousands of screaming fans. “One night I was reading people’s comments and interacting with them,” he recalls, “and I kept thinking, This should feel better. I looked at my wife and just started crying. It didn’t feel right singing to a computer screen.”
“Dance With Everybody,” Holcomb’s new single with longtime backing band The Neighbors, arose from that experience. It’s a riotous barn-burner of a song, a heartfelt valentine to the fans he can’t wait to see in person again. “I wanna dance with everybody who came through that door!” he bellows to the nosebleed seats, as The Neighbors, along with members of the National Parks, kick up a boisterous celebration complete with R&B horns, bluesy guitar licks, and ecstatic whoops and hollers.
“It’s the artist talking to the crowd,” Holcomb says. “I was looking forward to being back in a room with people. This song seemed like a way to get the crowd involved and celebrate the fact that we get to do this again.”
Holcomb penned what he calls an “ode to the audience” with Old Crow Medicine Show frontman Ketch Secor. “Our kids go to the same school, so we became good buds. We’d drop them off at 8 o’clock in the morning, then go back and write together until around 11 — which is really early for songwriters. We wrote ‘Dance With Everybody’ in less than two hours. We knew immediately that it was something special.”
“Dance With Everyone” will likely end up on Holcomb’s next album, which he hopes to finish this fall. The sudden rush of freedom and the promise of getting back out on tour resulted in a burst of creativity and a steady flow of new songs. However, given its subject matter, he decided to unleash “Dance With Everybody” sooner rather than later.
After hosting and playing the Moon River Festival in Chattanooga, he’ll kick off a new fall tour that will take him and The Neighbors into the new year. “I’ve been thinking about ending the show with ‘Dance,’ maybe rush out into the crowd,” Holcomb says with a laugh. “I just hope everybody can get a little lost in the song.”