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David Nail is a precocious character. The son of a music teacher and born with a natural love for Elton John, Glen Campbell, Stevie Wonder and the Beatles, he just assumed this was the music the entire world was listening to and nothing else. Thus the Missouri artist's songs have a timelessness akin to the Great American Songbook, and beneath his southern twang, an emphasis on the big, bold chorus and universally affecting imagery-- rain, the radio, piano keys and human relationships. The Sound of a Million Dreams is almost literal, it speaks to the millions of people feeling Nail's spectrum of emotions all across the continent. Perhaps this is why the music is so appealing; there is something about David Nail's honesty that supersedes being stuck in one genre, place, or time, no matter how easy it is to describe the songs in simple terms. Most importantly, beneath every inflection is Nail's personal journey, coating the songs in an authenticity that is imperative to music that is free of the bells and whistles of today's over-feathered pop production, no auto-tune or military-grade bass drops to distract from the core. With nothing to hide behind but an acoustic guitar, David Nail is more than happy to share his rugged soul with the audience, and his West Village Barber Shop-set performance feels as natural as a conversation with a friend.

Transcript

I have to say this is the first barbershop that I've ever played in, and what better place to, I guess, cross the barbershop off your list than in New York City.
Let it rain, let it pour, if she don't love me anymore, Just let it come down on me
Wakin' up in the sand, sunburn on your nose You scream and squeezed my hand when your East Kentucky toes hit the Atlantic
Summertime in Brooklyn mustard on your lip I knew I loved you by the bottom of the fifth, I never planned it A million perfect moments go rushin' through my brain Our first trip to the ocean, your first time on a plane When you look over your shoulder, Baby, you can choose To remember me, however you want to That's how I'll remember you
The dress that you were wearin', soakin' up the stains I can still see your mascara but I can't recall the pain of what came after But you were even beautiful tellin' me goodbye Maybe my version of the truth is just a lie What does it matter? What does it matter? A million perfect moments go rushin' through my brain Every time I smell October you're standing in the rain When you look over your shoulder, baby, you can choose to remember me However you want to That's how I'll remember you
I've forgot the bitter, the winter's just a blur I savor the sweet as if the summer's all we were And ever will be, oh, and I still see A million perfect moments go rushin' through my brain Every time I touch the ocean, anytime I taste the rain When you look over your shoulder, baby, you can choose to remember me However you want to To remember me, however you want to That's how I'll remember you That's how I'll remember you
I grew up listening to all different kinds of music.
My father was not a country fan.
He didn't have a whole lot of country records, so I'm not the kid who grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry and all that.
I grew up listening to Elton John and the Commodores and Lionel Ritchie, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, stuff like that.
And it wasn't until I guess I probably because a teenager that I realized that that music wasn't current.
I just assumed everybody listened to those musicians.
And then I guess in the early '90s when country music just took over the world, it seemed like everybody was a fan and there was a guy by the name of Garth Brooks that everybody kind of fell in love with and that introduced me to the country side of things.
But unlike most people that just stuck with the current country music artists, I started to look back and say, "Okay, well it's 1992, I like this.
What was country music like in '82? What was it like in '72?" And so I just became a little bit more obsessed with it than the person that just listened to it in their car.
And the title of my new record is "The Sound of a Million Dreams.
" When it came time to title this record, that's something that I've always taken a lot of pride in, I've always felt like it was very important.
I bought a lot of records growing up based on the title or the way the record looked, the packaging and stuff.
And I always just felt like that that was the easiest way to maybe someone who has never heard of you, doesn't know anything about the record, to give them an inclination of, "Hmm, I'm kinda curious as to what this means.
It's kinda interesting, intriguing.
" This record's a lot different than the first record.
I feel like that it represents a lot of the influences I had and a lot of the different styles of music I listened to.
And so a lot of people will say, "Oh, that had to have been the obvious choice because it looks so good on the packaging and it sounds so good, it's memorable.
" But in reality, it was something that I wondered about for a while and that I feel like it tied the theme all together.
Seger was singin' words I could believe in And Mainstreet was my street that night So I called up Samantha and asked her the chance Of us runnin' out 'neath the moonlight Well she's not with me now She can always be found When I rewind the radio dial And like it was then I feel her on my skin And I'm back there for a while So I labor for hours because I know the power Of a song when a song hits you right Poured my soul into stories of life Hopin' someone will hear one tonight Maybe my voice will cut through the noise And stir up an old memory And out of these piano keys Comes the sound The sound of a million dreams
My 18th summer I was a cocky up and comer Crankin' up Born To Run Turn left out the drive with the pistons open wide And I came back a prodigal son My spirit was broken, she threw the door open I love you not I told you so When I hear momma tried I still break down and cry And pull to the side of the road And I labor for hours because I know the power Of a song when a song hits you right Poured my soul into stories of life Hopin' someone will hear one tonight.
Maybe my voice will cut through the noise And stir up an old memory Out of these piano keys Comes the sound The sound of a million dreams
And I labor for hours because I know the power Of a song when a song hits you right Poured my soul into stories of life Hopin' someone will hear one tonight Maybe my voice will cut through the noise And stir up an old memory And out of these piano keys Comes the sound The sound of a million dreams
The sound of a million dreams
I am the son of a band director.
My father was the band director at Kent High School for 31 years.
He's a brilliant man for a lot of reasons.
But I think, most importantly it wasn't until I played a lot of sports and I would go in to play against people.
And I'd be like, "Hey, so what instrument do you play in band, or are you in choir?" And I found out really quickly that it wasn't always the case.
That the quarterback or the best basketball player was in the fine arts program.
And my father along with our choir director always just had a way of making that the cool thing to do.
And I think a lot of people found an interest in music that way because it was accepted there.
And had I not grown up in that environment, I'd most likely probably would've been delayed in my love and my interest for music.
It's hard to find the perfect time To say something you know is gonna change everything Living with the shame, it ain't nothing like the pain that I saw on her face Now me and my pile of things That she threw out the window Drowning next to me Those seven years of good can't hide the one night I forgot to wear that ring So let it rain let it pour If she don't love me anymore Let it come down on me Let it come down on me Every word, let it hurt, even more than I deserve Let it come down on me Let it come down on me Let it rain
The last thing I remember was the unfamiliar taste of someone on my lips It's too late to turn around When the shades start coming down The guilt you feel The last thing on your mind So let it rain, let it pour Iif she don't love me anymore Let it come down on me Let it come down on me Every word, let it hurt, even more than I deserve Let it come down on me Let it come down on me Let it rain
Let it rain, let it pour If she don't love me anymore Let it come down on me Let it come down on me Every word, let it hurt Even more than I deserve Let it come down on me Let it come down on me Let it rain Oh, let it rain Oh, let it rain
Just let it rain Oh, let it rain Let it rain down on me.
Oh, let it rain Yeah, let it rain Let it rain down on me
"Let It Rain" is the first single.
It's the second top ten song we've had.
The first top ten that I've had as a songwriter is a song that I wrote with Jonathan Singleton who wrote my first hit, "Red Light.
" It's a song that, to be honest with you, right when we began playing it, I don't even know if it had been released to radio yet.
I really felt like that people were reacting to it live.
And coming off of two years on the road, that's something that was very important to me, was songs that were going to translate live.
That just had an energy behind them.
And so I knew that given the opportunity, commercially, that I felt like it would do well.
And it has.
For whatever reason, my songs always kind of turn out to be like the little engines that could.
They just move rather slowly but consistently and steady.
And this song has been the same and it's changed my life.
I think that if I had a goal for my music and for the songs that we play and the songs that were releases, I just remember listening to music when I grew up.
And just being subconsciously led to my room and laying on the bed and just listening to song after song after song, to the point to where I would literally starve myself in high school from the money my parents would give me for lunch and for dinner so I could go to Walmart and buy another record.
Sometimes buy someone that I never even heard of.
That's where my love of album covers and titles come into play because I would buy so many records based on that.
And I just hope that obviously when someone tells you the specific song's affected them and in a specific way, a lot of times in ways that you never intended or expected it to happen, that's always a flattering thing.
But obviously the common answer would be you'd hope to be somebody like Garth Brooks who just inspired an entire whole group of people that would probably have never entertained the thought of listening to country music to do that.
I've always said that I just want people to walk by a random window as I'm doing interviews.
I feel like if my songs keep doing wonderful things, I'll keep having the opportunity to do interviews in random places with random people walking by.
She rides away Questions in the dark She rides away

Artist Bio

It seems that good ol' boys and girls are everywhere country fans look these days. And while that rough-hewn sound and image has clearly established its place in the genre, it's refreshing to encounter an artist who stands apart from the crowdin look and style, but especially in his music.

Enter David Nail. With Sinatra-like levels of poise and class, the rare gifts of natural melody and soul, and a voice as enveloping as a Cumberland River fog, the Missouri native is a modern-day country gentleman. He's Jim Reeves crossed with Elton John. Garth Brooks meets Stevie Wonder. Glen Campbell blended with Michael Bubl.

The musical result of those mash-ups is a rich sound that hearkens back to Nashville's Countrypolitan days, when artists like Campbellone of David's heroesadded a dash of sophistication to country music.

"My father was a band director for 31 years and he listened to all sorts of music, including a lot of old-school Elton John. I just loved the big, lush feel of those records," David explains. "Glen Campbell was a huge influence on me for the same reason: the arrangements, the elaborate production, the dramatic songs. Those influences all come out in what I do."

This is specifically true on David's vibrant new album, The Sound of a Million Dreams. "A lot of the sounds that I try to emulate and use for inspiration are from a time when pop music was called that because it was popular," David says. "And who doesn't want to have popular music?"

The Sound of a Million Dreams is Nail's follow-up to 2009's I'm About to Come Alive, which yielded the Top Ten hit "Red Light" and was also listed by Esquire Magazine as one of 50 Songs Every Man Should Be Listening To. David also received an Academy of Country Music nomination for Single Record of the Year for "Red Light." Furthermore, Nail scored a Grammy nomination for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for "Turning Home."

Much like I'm About to Come Alive, The Sound of a Million Dreams is cinematic in its scope, with lyrics and melodies awash in imagery. In the evocative "That's How I'll Remember You," it's snapshots of baseball-game dates in Brooklyn with an ex-lover. In the swirling "She Rides Away," the titular girlfriend makes tracks in a rusty El Camino. And in the album's yearning first single "Let It Rain," a contrite husband seeks forgiveness for "the one night I forgot to wear that ring."

"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," says David. "I love painting those pictures."

And with the album's title track, he just may have painted a masterpiece. Written by Scooter Carusoe and Phil Vassar, "The Sound of a Million Dreams" expertly sums up David's belief in the power of music, namely the power of a song, to create memories. It references classics by Seger, Springsteen and Haggard, all pegged to different milestones in the narrator's life.

Nail connected with the message so deeply that he chose "The Sound of a Million Dreams" to represent the album.

"I've always felt that an album's title was the most important thing besides the music. It automatically gives someone an idea of what to expect," says David. "If you had to tell the story of me to this point, that song really sums it up."

But the lyrics on The Sound of a Million Dreams, whether David's or those of his co-writers, only tell part of the story. The rest unfolds thanks to David's incomparable voice. Bourbon-smooth, full of emotion and always in control, it's an instrument in and of itself. And the singer-songwriter knows when to let it loose or rein it in.

"I don't want somebody to think I'm a great singer because I can sing a Stevie Wonder hit and do all the licks," he says modestly. "With this record, I wanted to find the best songs that I could sing as best as I can, but at the same time, songs that I could sing effortlessly. And by 'effortlessly,' I mean emotionally, not technically. There's a difference between singing a song on key, and singing a song that makes a person instantly feel something."

Still, David views the album as a stepping stone of sortshe hopes his recorded work will draw listeners out to his live show, where the real vocal magic happens. While recording The Sound of a Million Dreams, he paid close attention to how the songs might sound when performed live. It was a pivotal difference from the way he and co-producer Frank Liddell structured I'm About to Come Alive, and an approach partially adopted from being on the road with Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum. (Lady A's Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, incidentally, contribute a song to the album, the soaring "I Thought You Knew," co-written with David and Monty Powell.)

"I had the chance to see some bigger productions and the art of putting on a show," David says of those high-profile tours. "I learned how songs are so much bigger live and I had that in the back of mind while making this record. When people hear these songs, they'll anticipate how grand they're going to sound onstage." This is proved with the album opener "Grandpa's Farm," a sultry honky-tonk shuffle that is equal parts Little Feat and the Rolling Stones.

Ironically, the record's first song could end up being David's concert closer.

"That'll be a song that you wouldn't want to follow with another," he declares. "With 'Grandpa's Farm,' we'd leave as big as an exclamation point as we can."

The same can be said for The Sound of a Million Dreams as a whole. It's a definitive statement that David Nail has arrived and is committed to releasing his brand of mature country musicsongs that are built around personal stories, transcendent vocals and a sense of class.

"That will always be the basis of what I do on a record and what I try to do live. If you're looking to get rowdy and hear a lot of screaming and hollering, you'll be disappointed," he says with a laugh. "This record yields a different kind of enjoyment. And there are all kinds of songs. It really does epitomize the sound of a million dreams."

And for fans of sophisticated country music, it's a million dreams come true.

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David Nail

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