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David Nail Review at examiner.com
NEW MUSIC TODAY: David Nail prophetically titles CD in stores
August 18, 2009
David Nail's new CD on MCA, I'm About to Come Alive, couldn't have a more fitting title. The Missouri born singer/songwriter is certain to be poised for success with his latest effort. Red Light, his current single from the project, is currently #25 on Billboard's Country Chart and #37 on their Heatseekers chart with no signs of slowing down. Like most overnight sensations, however, a look at David's journey so far, reveals there's no such thing as an overnight success.
His official bio reveals he, like many young men growing up in the South, was drawn to sports. "I think I was expected to play in college, but as I grew older I became more interested in music," the singer revealed on his website. His bio goes on to tell of how, after several schools had approached him to join their baseball teams, his coach urged him to make up his mind about what he planned to do. According to his bio, out of the blue David said, "Do you know anybody in Nashville?"
What followed was an initially unsuccessful first trip to Nashville followed by a return to the comforts of home. Reading this, I was reminded of a similar story related by my friend Patsi Bale Cox in her recent book, The Garth Factor, about Garth Brooks and his undeniable affect on Country Music. Not unlike Brooks, Nail eventually decided to return to Nashville and pursue his dream. He eventually landed a deal with Mercury Records in 2002 and recorded what was to have been his self titled debut. Produced by Keith Stegall (best known as Alan Jackson multi-award winning producer) and John Kelton (one of Nashville's most respected producers and engineers, having worked with everyone from Alan Jackson to Faith HIll), David's first single, Memphis hovered just outside the Top 50 spot. A shake-up at the label resulted in David's self-titled debut being shelved.
Fast forward to 2007, David signed to MCA, a sister-label of his former Mercury home and part of Universal Music Group, and has recorded what is his official debut CD. I'm About to Come Alive, produced by Miranda Lambert's producers, Frank Liddell and Mike Wrucke, starts off with the beautifully melodic piano-heavy Mississippi. The beginning piano, accompanied by David's rich vocals put me in mind of another song about a southern state, Ray Charles' version of Georgia, and that's a good thing. Mississippi, like Georgia, speaks of a city dweller longing for their country home.
The project's title track is next. Originally recorded, but never released as a single, by pop rockers Train for their 2003 album, My Private Nation. David's version slows the tempo from the original and his twang works well with the instrumentation and backing vocals.
David's current hit, Red Light follows. Red Light is a simple and literal narrative of a relationship coming to a stop, literally at a red light. The beat of this song is slightly more up-tempo that the first two tracks, which matches the subject matter of the song perfectly.
If Mississippi is about missing the comforts of a small town, the next track, Again, tells the opposite story. While the first three tracks on the project were written by others, David teams with award winning songwriter, Scooter Carusoe or this track. Carusoe penned Faith Hill's Mississippi Girl, ironically enough. The slightly quicker beat of the track again matches perfect with the story of the song, that of the uncertainty of the future and the choices we make. This song is a great showcase for David's vocals. When he sings, "All I know is what I'd give today to feel that way again," you believe him.
The next two tracks, Clouds and Summer Job Days continue the theme of reflection and days gone by. Clouds, again, co-written by Carusoe and Nail, allows the listener to drift away with another song David must have written while taking a moment to escape the rush of the city. The lyrics reveal taking a moment during a traffic jam to reflect on a lost love. Summer Job Days is just what you'd expect, a look back at a time when the only thing that mattered was keeping a job long enough to enjoy an easy summer.
Strangers On A Train, written by Carusoe and Aimee Mayo is one of the hottest tracks on the project by pedigree alone. Mayo is one of the most prolific songwriters in this town, having written hits for pretty much every artist I have ever worked with, including Faith Hill, hubby Tim McGraw and my favorite, Kellie Pickler. As if the writing team of Carusoe and Mayo weren't enough, another highlight of Strangers is the inclusion of Miranda Lambert as duet partner. What a joy to have Miranda's voice showcased on a beautiful love song, rather than the all-too-familiar angst ridden revenge tune. Put it on repeat, it's right up there with Mayo's Faith and Tim chart-topper, Let's Make Love.
The next two songs, Looking For A Good Time and This Time Around are a bit more of the same. Pleasant mid-tempo country-pop. Turning Home and Missouri end the CD on the strengths on which it begins; thoughtful reflective lyrics delivered by a voice that is soothing, genuine and 100% old-school country. An interesting note: Turning Home was co-written by Kenny Chesney.