Northern Michigan Attractions: Meet Singer/Songwriter Drew Hale

Northern Michigan Attractions: If you haven’t yet heard Traverse City singer/songwriter Drew Hale—nominated as one of three best local singer/songwriters in the Traverse Magazine and Red Hot Best of Northern Michigan contest—you’ll want to take notice. He has ears turning all over the North. We’re thrilled to announce that Drew is performing at the May 17 Red Hot Best Bash at Turtle Creek Casino in Williamsburg (near Traverse City).

Read on to find out more about Drew Hale!

I grew up in El Paso, Texas. From about the age of 5 I have been singing and playing music. I picked up the guitar for the first time at the age of 11, wrote my first song at about 12, and subsequently started a band called AltarMotive with my friends Josh Webb, and Ezra Jurado. We began as a punk band, and played mostly at our church youth group. We played together all through jr. high and high school, and slowly began to change into a more mature, polished group of musicians. Our style became more eclectic, our influences became a bit more refined, and we eventually recorded an album entitled "What We Have Inside Us," which earned us some FM and internet radio play, and a couple of songs featured on TV via the CW’s One Tree Hill, and CBS’ "Ghost Whisperer." We did a few small tours and spot dates, but no major success as a band. It was a very confusing and frustrating time for us.

In early 2007, After about 11 years together, I decided it was time to venture out on my own, and I left the band to begin a solo project. My wife and I moved up to Michigan in July of 2008 to take a job, and I soon began writing and arranging songs for myself, and released my first "homemade" ep entitled "Latch On, Let Go" in the summer of 2009. The 6-song ep did surprisingly well and began to stir interest in Traverse City and the surrounding areas. In the year following the ep’s release, momentum began to pick up, and more and more people began asking when I was going to record again. Finally, in January of 2011, the decision was made to return to the studio. I enlisted the help of friend and drummer Grant Floering to record and mix the cd at his home studio in Traverse City.

The new album, "Eyes Closed Tight" will be released in mid-May, and is a culmination of the experiences of the last 10 years. Eyes Closed Tight is all about taking that "big step." Leaning in "with eyes closed tight," and kissing "life as I know it goodbye." It’s about that twist in your gut when you stand on the precipice of change, looking down at the canyon below with your foot dangling over the edge, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that taking this step means leaving the point of no return, and the end of everything familiar, but throwing caution to the wind, closing your eyes, and moving forward.