It seems 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 crowd—in 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 Bublé.
"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."
David's hits include his debut single, "Red Light," as well as "Let It Rain" and "Whatever She's Got." He received an Academy of Country Music nomination for Single Record of the Year for "Red Light" and scored a Grammy nomination for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for the song "Turning Home."
"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. "I want to find songs that I can 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."
David is committed to releasing his brand of mature country music—songs 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.
“I just loved the big, lush feel of those records.”