This site requires the Adobe Flash Player. Download here.
San Antonio Express-News: Singer Nail hits 'big time' with current tour
Singer Nail hits 'big time' with current tour
By John Goodspeed / Special to the Express-News
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Country singer/songwriter David Nail has been on some pretty big tours, including Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum, but nothing like Taylor Swift's Speak Now Tour.
“It's a little overwhelming so far. The size of this is pretty big time as far as the number of buses and tractor-trailers,” he said from Lubbock last week before the first concert with Swift. “I'll tell you what it's really like in about six hours.”
The Missouri native, who decided to go with music instead of baseball while in college, moved to Nashville and scored a record deal in 2002. But his debut album did not go far. It was never released after a shake-up at the label.
But the singer, known for loading his distinctive vocals with powerful emotions, kept slugging away, coaching baseball before switching to MCA Nashville and recording another album in 2007, “I'm About to Come Alive.”
It produced “Red Light,” a Top 10 broken-heart song that put Nail on the map with an Academy of Country Music award nomination for single of the year.
“That was a big song for me. That was a No. 1 song that wasn't a No. 1 song,” he said. “It was the first time in the history of that category that a song that wasn't a No. 1 song was nominated. It was melodically a very unique song. It sounded different and fresh compared to the other stuff out there.”
His debut album also spawned “Turning Home,” a soulful reflection on hometown memories that earned Nail a nomination at this year's Grammys for best male country vocal performance.
“That song was brilliantly written. As far as diving into the emotional aspect, it was easy to capture the lyric,” he said. “It was the first song I'd found where I could close my eyes and see myself in all the lyrics.
“Of course, I try to do that with all my songs, but lyrically, ‘Turning Home' just struck a chord with listeners.”
Nail put his meager radio success together with what he learned from audience reactions to songs to hone his selection of tunes and sounds for his next album, “The Sound of a Million Dreams,” which will be released Nov. 15.
“On the road last year with Lady Antebellum, I saw consistently which songs work and the songs that people gravitate to, even songs they haven't heard before,” he said. “I wanted songs that, when people heard them for the first time, they would automatically be intrigued and wonder what they sound like live.”
It seems to be working. The new CD's first single, “Let It Rain,” is at No. 17 this week as it churns up Billboard's country chart.
At the AT&T Center, he will sing that song, his other hits and tunes from the new album in a stripped-down, acoustic segment that Swift asked him to do after she saw him perform that way.
“It's definitely going to be a lot more personal and more intimate, which is a rarity at the size of venues we're playing. It will be very organic and showcase the vocals and the lyrics.”
The ex-slugger hopes the switch-up will be a home run with fans.