Drake Milligan Wants To Make The Old Sounds Feel New Again With His New EP ‘Jukebox Songs’

Drake Milligan
Drake Milligan

Bringing that classic country sound.

If you’re not already familiar with Drake Milligan, you may be familiar with his sound – and not just because he portrayed Elvis in the CMT series Sun Records.

Drake may only be 25 years old, but his music evokes the sounds of classic Texas country guys like Marty Robbins and Bob Wills, with a little bit of Merle Haggard’s Bakersfield Sound thrown in for good measure.

And in an interview with Whiskey Riff, Drake admits that’s intentional – because that’s what he grew up listening to:

“Being in Texas you listen to a lot of George Strait. My mom’s got some good records, she’s got some of Waylon’s outlaw records.

Merle Haggard was big for me. I remember my dad always had a CD in his car that was 15 number ones…

Alan Jackson was real big too. Those early Alan records…real big for me.”

But despite growing up in Texas, Drake knew that he wanted to move to Nashville to pursue country music because of the songwriting culture in Music City:

“I grew up loving the country music scene, watching guys like Kevin Fowler, Roger Creager, Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers, Pat Green…those were always the concerts I was going to growing up.

I really just wanted to become a songwriter, and I knew that the songwriters were here in Nashville. The co-writing culture I think is a lot different here than it is in Texas, where you kind of pave your own way and a lot of those guys write their own stuff, and may find a writer here and there but really doesn’t have that co-writing culture like they do in Nashville here.

And it just made sense to me. I wanted to become a part of that and learn from those, what we call “lunch pail songwriters,” guys that wake up and write every day for a living.

I wanted to learn how they craft songs and how they do it and keep ideas flowing and all that, so that was really what I wanted to do, was learn from them, and Nashville was the place to do it.”

Drake released his debut album, Dallas/Fort Worth, in 2022, and immediately showed off his “modern throwback” sound with songs like “Sounds Like Something I’d Do” and “Over Drinkin’ Under Thinkin’,” which would sound as much at home on an old jukebox in a dusty dive bar as they do on today’s country radio.

And with his new EP, Jukebox Songs, that dropped today, Drake says that’s what he was going for:

“My goal with finding songs or writing songs for this project – I want to find stuff that feels classic. That would fit in alongside a Neon Moon or some of my favorite jukebox songs, songs you would find on a dusty old jukebox in the corner of a Texas bar…

My thing is always trying to incorporate those older sounds and trying to somehow make those feel new. When you listen to it you go, I know this is a new song, this sounds like a new song, but it feels old. It has that nostalgic feeling to it. So that’s where that Jukebox Songs comes from.”

@whiskeyriff Country as can be. #whiskeyriff #countrymusic #drakemilligan ♬ original sound – Whiskey Riff

Well if that’s what Drake was going for, it’s safe to say he nailed it with the new EP.

There’s plenty of steel guitar on songs like “Don’t Leave Me Loving You,” and songs like “What I Couldn’t Forget” or “Jukebox Songs and Barstool Beers” would be right at home in those Texas dance halls as the cowgirls and cowboys two-step on the dance floor.

It’s a fresh blend of Texas country and ’90s country that few in today’s music have really managed to nail – or even try – like Drake has.

And yet it somehow feels classic…just like an ol’ jukebox song should.

“Jukebox Songs and Barstool Beers”

“Don’t Leave Me Loving You”

“What I Couldn’t Forget”

“I Got a Problem”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock