David Nail

Country Spotlight: David Nail: Let Him Reign

January 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm , by

Photo: David McClister.

After occupying the country radio charts for a marathon 48-week stint, David Nail has finally been rewarded with his first, well-deserved number-one song: “Let It Rain,” the first single off of his The Sound of a Million Dreams CD. Now that he’s top of the heap, though, don’t expect him to lose the perspective he’s been given on his rise to that position. “There have been a lot of times over the course of my career that it didn’t look like I’d be able to make a record, much less have two out and get to travel the country and tour with people,” the Missouri native told me on a recent visit to the Journal. “My short-term and long-term goals are always one in the same. I hope to do something today that allows me a tomorrow. I hope to do something this year that allows me another year. I do not take things for granted.”

Case in point was his reaction to his Grammy nod last year for his vocals on “Turning Home,” off of 2009’s I’m About to Come Alive. “I can’t remember anything in my life being more unexpected,” Nail says of the moment he got the call about his nomination in the Best Male Country Vocal category. “It was just a whirlwind. I remember literally dropping to my knees and just being overcome with surprise and emotion. I kind of teared up a little bit, went and hugged my wife and said, ‘Baby, I’ve spent a long time trying to get people to like what I do. And evidently the people in this town like what I do.’ ”

Hear Nail sing three stripped-down songs for the LHJ staff after the jump.

His fans across the country aren’t complaining much, either. If you follow him on Twitter you’ll see that he not only talks the talk, he (excuse the word and phrase play) twalks the twalk of gratitude by maintaining one of the most engaging and appreciative conversations with his supporters—the Nail Nation—of any artist through that medium. Entertaining proof of this came when someone recently pondered about whether Nail himself actually signs the promo CDs that go out. Nail, in turn, tweeted back a photo of the stacks he was signing at that very moment as he watched TV, no doubt doubly endearing himself to anyone who might have been having the same doubts. (The bonus, by the way, of following Nail on Twitter is that you’ll get such in-depth college and pro sports analysis that by sheer osmosis you’ll be qualified for most on-air positions at ESPN.)

So, with a killer voice, his first number-one under his belt, a nation of loyal fans and a second album chock full of high-charting potential, Nail seems poised to make Nashville’s all-star team in 2012. That turns to speculation over what the follow-up single to “Let It Rain” will be, so in an homage to Nail’s athletic leanings (and, well, because I’m a dork) I couldn’t help but create my own next-single sports bracket for what I’m thinking/hoping for in terms of his second release. Check my brackets out after the jump and let me know if you agree. You’ll also find the video of Nail’s in-office LHJ performance after the jump, as well as to his takes on everything from where he fits into the current Nashville music scene and what charitable effort he’s passionate about, to why Taylor Swift reminds him of Garth Brooks, and more.

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Country Spotlight: Joe Nichols

July 21, 2010 at 11:14 am , by

He may have scored big with the success of his chart-topping country single “Gimmie That Girl,” but Joe Nichols certainly knows what we here at Ladies’ Home Journal have been touting on our cover for years: “Never underestimate the power of a woman.”

“Absolutely! I agree with that motto because I’ve seen it first-hand,” Nichols told me when we met during this year’s CMA Music Festival down in Nashville. The deep-voiced singer was gearing up to perform at his official fan club party at the Country Music Hall of Fame when he revealed that the most powerful lady in his eyes is his wife, Heather Singleton. “She’s a very strong woman. She’s tough as nails,” says the Arkansas-born singer, who’s been open about his past substance abuse treatment and Heather’s role in helping him to face his demons. “I’ve seen her take a very impossible situation—me—and work with it. She’s actually tough enough to look me in the face and say, ‘No, you’re not going to get away with that.’ So intestinal fortitude—she’s got a lot of it. And I think a lot of my success, especially my latter success, is because of her.”

If that’s true, Heather just might be Nichols’ lucky charm. “Gimmie That Girl,” off his Old Things New CD, dominated the top position on country radio earlier this year for three consecutive weeks, helping to land him guest appearances on The Tonight Show and The View. And Nichols’ gut tells him that his new brand new single, “The Shape I’m In,” is ready to climb the charts as well. “It feels like a good song,” he says. “I listen to it and think, I would buy a record because of this song. The lyric is a very likable lyric that doesn’t offend anybody. It’s about a guy that comes out of a breakup and says, you know, I’m hanging in there, I’m doing alright and getting better.” It doesn’t hurt that the single is written by the same team—Rhett Atkins, Dallas Davidson and Ben Hayslip—that penned its chart-topping predecessor. “The combination is there again for more success,” says Nichols. “Hopefully the fans react the same way.”

Have you heard “The Shape I’m In” yet? Think it’ll be as big as “Gimmie That Girl”? Either way, read on after the jump to find out Nichols’ takes on LHJ’s Can This Marriage Be Saved? column, fellow country artist David Nail’s baseball skills, his fertility-treatment hijinks and his message to anyone that couldn’t make it down to see him at CMA’s Music Festival.

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Country Music Spotlight: David Nail

January 26, 2010 at 3:53 pm , by

DavidNail_Andrew SouthamFor my money’s worth, David Nail’s I’m About to Come Alive was the most interesting and addictive CD to come out of Nashville last year. Maybe it was how much fun it is walking around NYC with “Again” or “Red Light” blasting out of my iPod. Or how “This Time Around” — with its chorus of “I’m a little bit older, a little more figured out”— helped me get over my ridiculous fear of turning the big 4-0 last August.

Well, when Nail visited NYC in December, I was thrilled to meet him for a few drinks and thank him for the lyrical gut check. The CD, after all, served as kind of my own personal soundtrack to my post birthday months of 2009, and it’s one of the few discs I continually replay from beginning to end. Nail walked me through how passionate he was about the CD’s sequencing, and how every version he toyed with started with the Ray Charles-inspired “Mississippi” and ended with the intensely personal “Missouri,” a breakup song so raw and honest (“Every day that you forgive me, is just another one you’ll waste”) that it literally stopped me in my tracks when I first heard it.

During our visit, David also gave me the inside track on what the CD’s third single (debuting on country radio this week) might be. If you haven’t heard it on your local radio yet, find out what it sounds like — and two random and amazing things we here at LHJ admire about this rising star — after the jump.

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