By Donna Thornton/News Editor
Hokes Bluff native Drake White and his band The Big Fire are busy performers. Their September gigs include shows in Los Angeles, New York, in Boston (with Toby Keith) and other points in between.
And on Sept. 28, White has put together the first annual Drake White’s Big Fire Revival at Foggy Hollow Farm in Webster’s Chapel.
White, who Billboard Magazine included in their Top 10 list of Country Artists To Watch in 2013, said this show will not only fulfill his dream of putting on a “mini-Bonnaroo” type festival in the community where he grew up, it will help some long time friends achieve a dream of their own. Proceeds from the benefit this year will go to Micah and Brandi Harbison, who are saving and raising money to adopt a child from China.
The Harbisons are long-time friends, White said. He and Micah have known each other since they were about 14, and spent type hanging out at Foggy Hollow Farm. Glenn Williams, the man behind Foggy Hollow, and his wife were Drake and Micah’s Sunday School teachers for a time.
Recently, White said in a phone interview, he was talking to Micah and learned that the Harbisons, after years of trying to have a child, were trying to adopt. He learned – to his surprise – that money was their stumbling block so far.
“These children are orphans,” White said. “I would have thought people would be happy for them to have a good home.” But no feelings override the financial element of foreign adoption. Harbison said they need about $28,000 to adopt a child from China – a little girl who they will name Dannie Rae, after Micah’s late uncle Danny Harbison and Brandi’s late grandfather.
After talking to Micah, White said he told him: “If there’s anything I can do, let me know.” Micah asked for and received White’s prayers.
“About a day later I thought, ‘I know exactly what I can do,’” White said.
He contacted the Harbisons and suggested the benefit concert, and checked with Williams. He learned that the fall bluegrass festival normally held at the farm in the fall was off this year.
“It was just a God thing,” White said. “I can’t think of a better thing to use my music for than giving (a child) a good, healthy, Christian home.”
For the Harbisons, the concert is a chance to make a large step down a long road. They started working toward adoption while they lived in Tennessee. When they moved back to Glencoe last year, the had to start the process over. Both had just turned 30 – a requirement for the adoption, so they really started to pray about it, Micah said.
“Everytime I think about it, it’s like a dream come true,” Brandi said. “It’s something we’ve been thinking about for years and now we’re finally making progress, thanks to Drake.
“Adoption is a very long and extensive process to go through but it will all be worth it when they hand us our little girl,” Brandi said. “There are millions upon millions of orphans in the world and we feel so blessed that God would choose us to be able to make a difference in the life of one.”
White plans to return to Foggy Hollow Farm each year making the fundraiser an annual tradition supporting various efforts in the Etowah and Calhoun County communities.
The festival should be a true community event, featuring local venders and musicians including The Foggy Hollow Band, Kelly Johnson, Hokes Bluff’s Brooke Danielle Band and Opelika Alabama’s own Adam Hood who was awarded Lonestar Music’s Best Singer-Songwriter, Folk in 2012. White will also call on other friends to jam throughout the night keeping the evening spontaneous musically.
“I want to create a laid back atmosphere full of music, food, family, camping and fun while raising money to give a child a wonderful home,” explains White.
Event organizers will open the farm at 12 p.m. on Sept. 28 for concertgoers. Leading up to the nighttime show will be plenty of family friendly activities including live entertainment for kids at the children’s stage, including an Aesop’s Fable show from Harbison’s father.
Tickets are on sale now at Gadsden Music, Baker Music and online at http://www.crowdsurge.com/Drake-White/. Standard admission tickets are $20 in advance; $25 on the day of the show. VIP packages are $50 and include a before-show meet and greet; photo and t-shirt. Children under 12 are admitted free.
For more information and a full schedule of events visit:
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