David Nail has a foot in both the country and pop worlds. His R&B-flavored voice merges vocal pop with contemporary country sounds, offering a throwback to the countrypolitan stylings of the 1960s. It's the launching point for intricate arrangements and sincere lyrics.
Key Facts about David Nail:
- David Nail was born on May 19, 1979, in Kennett, Missouri.
- In 2002, the singer's intended debut album, David Nail, was shelved by his record company.
- As a young man, Nail was a gifted baseball player and was offered several sports scholarships. In the end, however, he decided to pursue a musical career.
David Nail Quote:
(on song selection) "Imagery is so much a part of what draws me to the songs I record. I pick songs with cities in their lyrics or the names of girls because I want you to know exactly where I’m coming from and what I’m talking about."
Glen Campbell, Elton John
David Nail was born and raised in Kennett, Missouri, where his father was a band director and influenced Nail's musical sensibility.
False Start in Music City:
After moving to Nashville for the second time in the early 2000s, David Nail inked a record contract with Mercury Nashville Records. It led to the release of the single "Memphis." While the song didn't break the top 50 on the country charts, it was a modest success. But problems at his record company meant that the singer's intended first album, David Nail, ended up never being released.
Debut Album, Take Two:
Unsurprisingly, Nail switched record companies. In 2009, he released I'm About to Come Alive on MCA Nashville Records. The album featured the title track (a cover of a song by Train), "I'm About the Come Alive," "Turning Home," and the Miranda Lambert duet "Strangers on a Train." The debut also included "Red Light," which turn out to be Nail's first hit country song -- peaking at #7.
Relationship with Kenny Chesney:
The debut album also led to attention from music awards: "Turning Home" received a 2011 Grammy nomination for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. The song was co-written by country star Kenny Chesney; this made Nail skeptical about ever being able to record the tune.
"I fell in love with the song long before I knew Kenny Chesney had written it," Nail told The Boot in 2010. "In fact, if anything I was a little saddened by the fact that he did write it, because I just assumed that it was borderline impossible for me to have the chance to record it. And we actually suffered through a couple of different Chesney records waiting to see if he was in fact going to record it."
"Let It Rain":
Clearly, when it rains it pours. And in 2011 Nail was put on the road for mainstream country success with the ballad "Let It Rain," the preliminary single to his sophomore effort The Sound of a Million Dreams. In early 2012, the tune reached #1 on the country music charts -- topping out at a more-than-respectable #26 on the pop charts the same week.
The Sound of a Million Dreams:
The album The Sound of a Million Dreams was released afterwards in 2011, with a slew of guest appearances. Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum) showed up "I Thought You Knew," which he also helped write with Dave Haywood. Lee Ann Womack guested on "Songs for Sale," "Catherine" featured an appearance by singer-songwriter Will Hoge, and "Desiree," written by Keith Urban. The opener number, "Grandpa's Farm," was the most countrified effort of the album.
Key David Nail Songs
- "Grandpa's Farm"
- "Let It Rain"
- "Red Light"
- "Strangers on a Train"
- "Turning Home"
Selected David Nail Discography
- I'm About to Come Alive (2009, MCA Nashville Records)
- Sound of a Million Dreams (2011, MCA Nashville Records)