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David Nail Feature in Country Weekly Magazine
“I Didn’t Give Up”
Story by Bob Paxman
August 31, 2009
Through years of struggle and uncertainty, David Nail kept hammering away—and his perseverance is paying off.
David Nail finds it both amusing and amazing that people want to keep congratulating him. “I ran into Charles Kelley from Lady Antebellum one night recently,” David recalls, “and he was just congratulating me all over the place. I had just gotten married and I though that’s what he was referring to. But he was talking about my song ‘Red Light’ and it being such a hit.”
Somewhat bashfully, David admits that he’s trying to learn how to accept those kind words he hears so frequently now. “I’m having to learn how to react to them because I wasn’t necessarily expecting this to ever happen,” he says.
But there’s little wonder why folks want to throw plaudits his way. David’s tale of ups and downs is well- known around the circles of Music Row. He moved to Nashville from his hometown of tiny Kennet, Mo., and scored a label deal almost immediately, which rarely happens in Nashville. He recorded an album in 2002 that never saw the light of day after his producer, who was also an executive with the label, exited the company.
Now, seven years later, he’s released his first album for the same label group, I’m About to Come Alive. On top of that, “Red Light” currently in the top 30, appears to have enough momentum to become a bona fide smash.
Certainly, there’s something inspirational there, a lesson in fortitude and perseverance. “I don’t know that it’s a testament to anything but desperation,” he laughs. “I don’t know what Plan B was going to be or even if there was a Plan B.”
At one point this past spring, David had to lay out that not-so-pleasant scenario for his future bride, Catherine. “We had several conversations about what do we do if this doesn’t happen,” David confesses matter-of-factly. “That’s a very humbling experience to prepare for the possibility that things might not work out.”
David candidly admits to some feeling of self-doubt during that seven-year interim between albums. The downtime was tough to explain to family and friends back home in Kennet.
“When I left right after high school to come to Nashville, they all knew that I was in Nashville to make records and write songs. And it seemed like every time I went back home, I was having to explain what it was I wasn’t doing. I went through about two and a half years of pretty significant depression.”
He visits that often-painful period in a song that he wrote from the album titled “Missouri,” pronounced as “misery” in the chorus. “It came about from that time I was struggling,” David recalls. “The play on words just presented itself and it kind of fit. It’s pretty emotional.”
These days, David is finding much more to smile about. “Being married has really changed my outlook,” he says. “My wife is very supportive of me and she is starting to understand the music lifestyle more each day. It’s great to have someone in my corner like that.”
And it appears that a fortuitous alignment of timing and perseverance is finally paying off. “I didn’t give up and I always felt that if the window would open up just a hair, we could get something going,” David says with a relieved laugh. “And it looks like we are on the right track.”