Talk about a third wheel.
When Drew and Ellie Holcomb leave Memphis and hit the road for their "You and Me Tour," it's like inviting several hundred people to join them for dinner and a movie.
"Honestly, it feels like we are dating again because we don't get to sing together that often," Ellie says in a phone interview. "A lot of times we are headed in two different directions."
The two will return to Chattanooga and the Walker Theatre for a show Saturday, Feb. 2, that she proudly points out sold out in 36 hours. That's about 28 hours slower than did the Moon River Festival, which Drew co-founded and moved to Chattanooga last September.
The two performed in the Walker as part of a pre-festival VIP show and again later during the festival at Coolidge Park. Both said they were overwhelmed by how well they were embraced by the city during the event.
In addition to moving Moon River to Chattanooga, where it could draw a bigger crowd than it could in Memphis, Drew turned over producing the festival to AC Entertainment out of Knoxville. It was the right decision, he says.
"Honestly, as the months roll on, I look back and continue to be more nostalgic and wowed by it. It was so well-received I really have to pinch myself," he says.
"Dreaming it up and, in a way, letting it go so it could go to these new heights was very fun, and I am very proud of it."
Just after singing with her husband on Saturday night back in September, Ellie drove back to Memphis on Sunday and gave birth to their third child, Rivers, on Monday morning. It was a child-themed month for her.
"We didn't know this was going to happen," she says, "I had written a kid's book ['Who Sang the First Song?'], so we did the festival, recorded a kid's record ['Sing: Creation Songs'] and had a kid, all within a month of each other."
Just a few weeks later, she joined Drew and his band, The Neighbors, for their annual Christmas show and recorded three new songs for the You and Me Tour. She laughingly says she is a "sometimes Neighbor."
The new songs can be found on an EP called "Electricity." Drew says the title track was written several years after a show on a college campus. He was inspired to write it after the college's activities director told him he didn't like his music because "I write too many love songs. It was a pretty rude and offensive conversation actually.
"The thing pissed me off because the thing about it was these songs I write are not just pleasantries to nothing. They are actually about my life and therefore about my wife."
They also recorded "On the Road Again" because he says the family went on tour with Willie Nelson for about a year and a half "and the kids just fell in love with him."
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.