by John Ellis
With Medicine, Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors continue to confirm pretty much everyone’s strong suspicion that the mainstream music industry has an agenda that has very little to do with actual music. How else can it be explained that possibly this past decade’s most enjoyably accessible band without sacrificing true artistry and musicianship is still “indie” with an almost non-existent radio presence? Don’t misunderstand; I know indie bands that would give their non-guitar strumming body parts for Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors’ level of success. Successful tours (including headlining sold-out shows at the Ryman), songs featured on commercials and popular TV shows, and lots of ink spilled about them in publications like Relevant, Paste, and Rolling Stone Country have put the Nashville based band on the radar of many people, but success in the form of major label backing, radio airplay, and corporate sponsorships have alluded Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors. If Medicine doesn’t change that, the band’s continually growing popularity among people who actually like music may very well become a new market paradigm that hastens the toppling of an incredibly myopic and top-heavy music industry. In other words, Mr. Important Music Executive who’s not reading this, for possibly your own survival reasons and your continued ability to pay the mortgage on your Malibu beach house, do not sleep on Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors and the band’s latest album, Medicine.