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David Nail Feature - CMT.COM
David Nail Says "Galveston" Changed His Life
By Alison Bonaguro
November 16th, 2009
When I get a chance to interview a country artist, I try to ask questions about what's happening right that minute. How's the single doing? What's the live show like? That kind of thing. But some singers tend to grab my hand and take me down memory lane. Like David Nail. One little question on Friday night (Nov. 13) about how he got his start led me down a path that revealed Nail is not just another country singer who claims all he listened to growing up was Merle Haggard. His musical muse? Glen Campbell. "Glen Campbell changed my life," Nail told me during an interview on his bus.
"I heard him do 'Galveston' on a TV show, and his voice was so smooth and had so much range," he said. "So I went to my local Wal-Mart and they had one CD. I bought it and took it on a road trip and listened to it over and over." His favorites after that trip? "Dreams of the Everyday Housewife," "Where's the Playground Susie?" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix."
Before that country epiphany, Nail admits to singing in his bedroom to New Kids on the Block and picking up an old guitar of his dad's when he was in seventh grade. "It only had the bottom two strings, but I was able to pick out '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.' I thought I was a genius. I was like, 'If I can do this with two strings, imagine what I can do with six?'"
Even before that, he got his first taste of how hard he'd have to practice to get better. "When I was about 8, I started taking piano from Mrs. Crow (Sheryl Crow's mother -- Nail and Sheryl Crow are both natives of Kennett, Mo.). I practiced so little, though, that I never got any better," Nail admitted. "So for three years I always opened the recitals because the worst kids always went first."
So maybe the piano wasn't for him. But if his "Red Light" hit is any indication, all that time honing his vocals to be as smooth as Campbell's has certainly paid off.