Drew and Ellie Holcomb bring legacy of Christian Folk to Calvin


Joshua Swanson

The duo played to a crowded CFAC on Tuesday.

Drew and Ellie Holcomb have been creating music for more than 15 years. The Nashville-based Christian folk couple has created music together and apart, and has been touring their musical legacy with the “You and Me” tour for the past two years. When the duo continued their tour at Calvin on Tuesday night, the CFAC was full, with music lovers filling up all the seats into the balcony. 

The night started off with an energetic sing-along by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, titled “Family.” The Holcombs prompted the crowd to sing along to simple lyrics like “Family, laughing in the rain/ Family, it ain’t always pretty/ Family, can drive you insane.” The crowd was enthusiastic, with loads of cheering throughout the night. Before the song, Drew told the audience that “You’re a part of the family too.” The Holcombs are a folksy, Christian, family-oriented duo whose accessible music is inspired by their hometown of Nashville, singalongs, and Dolly Parton, whom Drew jokingly referred to as “the 13th disciple.” 

Ellie played the electric mandolin and harmonized, while Drew played the acoustic guitar and harmonica while singing the melody. The two were joined by “the Neighbors,” Nathan Dugger on the piano and guitar and Rich Brinsfield on the upright bass. 

One of the most well-received songs of the night was a cover of Sting’s “Fields of Gold,” a sacred love song. The audience held its breath as Ellie and Drew harmonized, “You’ll remember me when the west wind moves/ Across the fields of barley/ You can tell the sun in his jealous sky/ When we walked in fields of gold” which gave a sense of country bliss. Ellie’s full-bodied harmony perfectly complemented Drew’s folksy voice, evocative of the Lumineers. 

The couple also sang a heartwarming piece called “See the World,” which Drew wrote for their four-year-old. The chorus went, “I can’t wait to watch you see the world with your own eyes.” Halfway through the show, Ellie invited her sister, Carly Bannister, onto the stage to play a song from her album. Bannister is also a musical artist, and the youngest of 5. Her warbling, strong voice enraptured the auditorium as she sang her newest song, “Easier Said than Done.” 

Another highlight of the night was an energetic, rocking rendition of Drew Holcomb’s “End of the World.” Many audience members joined in, singing every word loudly and with excitement. For the last part of the concert, the Holcombs took requests. The last song of the night was “Dragons” from Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors’ most recent album. The final lyrics left the audience with energy and hope: “Go slay all the dragons that stand in your way.” The evening ended with a standing ovation.