Chattanooga continues to grow in importance for Drew and Ellie Holcomb, the Americana duo who will perform Wednesday, Feb. 12, at the Tivoli Theatre. On Tuesday, the lineup for the Moon River Festival in September was announced.
Memphis is home for the Holcombs. It's where Holcomb co-founded the festival before moving it here three years ago. Knoxville is where the couple met while students at UTK, but Chattanooga holds a special place in their hearts.
"We definitely have a few cities that we put on the schedule first, and Chattanooga is one of them," he said.
The feeling is apparently mutual as the couple's annual show had to move to the larger Tivoli after outgrowing Walker Theatre.
"So much so, that we decided to bring a couple of my bandmates on the tour," Holcomb said. "Nathan [Dugger] will be on piano and Rich [Brinsfield] will be on the upright bass. It's still going to be kind of the acoustic show from previous years."
Holcomb said that part of the reason for bringing Nathan and Rich along is so they can play songs from their newest album, "Dragons," which has connected with fans well enough that its songs already feel like old favorites.
If you go
› What: The You and Me Tour: An Evening with Drew & Ellie Holcomb presented by Elliott Davis
› When: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12
› Where: The Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.
› Admission: $31, $41, $45 & $55
› Online: tivolichattanooga.com
› For more information: 423-757-5580
"We will be playing a lot of those on the tour and at the Tivoli," he said.
For this album, Holcomb said he did more co-writing than he usually does, and that he wrote nearly 100 songs in a much shorter period than he has for past projects. Among his co-writers on the album are Natalie Hemby, Lori McKenna, and Zach Williams of the Lone Bellow, who also appear on the record.
He calls the record one of the more personal he's written having drawn on his own experiences as a son, father/husband, cousin and grandson. Several of the tracks have a "seize-the-day" message.
"'End of the World' is kind of a tongue-in-cheek song for people who want to tell you the world is about to end. We all still have lives to live."
"Dragons" is about a dream he had about his larger-than-life grandfather, who Holcomb said reminds him of the character in the movie "Big Fish" whose stories seem almost too tall to be true.
Holcomb moved just a few houses down from his grandparents after the birth of his brother, Jay, who was born with special needs and required a good deal of care. "You Never Leave My Heart" is about his brother, who passed away several years ago.
"I spent a lot of time with my grandfather. He was kind of this seize-the-day type of character. He was a surgeon in World War II, then a missionary surgeon in Kenya in the '70s. Then he lived in Memphis most of his life, a duck hunter, a taxidermist and a scratch golfer.
"I think in these trying or divisive times we live in, family is so important."
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.