David Nail brings country show to NY State Fair (Exclusive Interview)

David Nail brings country show to NY State Fair
Interview by Michael Aaron Gallagher

David Nail. Photo by David McClister.
David Nail. Photo by David McClister.
Known for his songs, “I’m About to Come Alive,” “Red Light,” “Turning Home” and “Let It Rain,” Grammy-nominated country singer David Nail (Universal Music Nashville) will bring his show to the New York State Fair on Sept. 2, as he plays a free concert at 2 p.m. on the Chevy Court stage.

In a recent interview, Nail talked about his upcoming show in Syracuse and some of his memories of going to the fair when he was growing up.

Q: Have you been to the Syracuse area before?

A: I have not and I’m actually really looking forward to it. I’m a huge sports fan, so obviously being very aware of the history of Syracuse and the University there. I’m excited to finally cross that off my list.

Q: What are some of your favorite fair memories growing up, and do you have any fair favorites?

A: I grew up in a very, very small town in Southeast Missouri. It’s funny, growing up where I grew up I just assumed that every fair was around the same size as ours. I was very naive and didn’t travel around a whole lot so I just assumed that everybody just kinda had a small county fair such as the one we had. It wasn’t really until I began traveling all over the country singing and playing a lot of these places that I realized how small and I guess elementary might be a bad word – just very basic that ours was. I’m the kinda guy that just likes to make the circles because a lot of the rides scare me. I’m not a big fan of heights. As far as favorite memories, I can remember trying to impress a girl in junior high and thinking that I could man up and swing the ferris wheel. And I remember we – as they were loading people on – we were about five I guess buckets or carriers up and I finally yelled down to the guy and said, ‘You know what man you’re going to have to let me off here. I’d rather be embarrassed with this girl seeing me scared of heights than have to participate in this whole ride however long it may be.’

Q: When you first step out on stage, what are some of the thoughts going through your mind in the those first few moments?

A: Remember all the words – would be the first. And then, I think that we always just try to treat every show as something different. I think that as far as I’m concerned, I tend to be a little neurotic if I’m thinking too much so I just embrace the moment and I don’t like to really see a whole lot of what’s out there prior to walking out there so it’s usually something different every time. And I kind of prefer it to be that way. I don’t like things to be too routine oriented because I feel like that sometimes come across – whatever you say up there, whatever you do up there can come across as a schtick. That’s something that I’ve always tried to avoid.

Q: What’s your favorite song to perform on stage right now and can you tell me a little bit about the backstory behind it?

A: Right now it’s a song I wrote about my wife. It’s simply called ‘Catherine,’ which is her name. I wrote it, I guess a few months before we got married. We had tried to write our own vows and shortly thereafter she realized you know you’re a songwriter this is probably not very fair, not a very fair thing to do you kinda make your living making words sound good and I on the other hand am not so. I told her that night I would sit down and just try to write the first thing that came to my mind most sincere things – it eventually became a song. That was kinda my gift, the original hand written lyrics to my groomsman. I never really had any music and when I tried it would come out very corny and then one day in sound check me and the guys were just kinda messing around and I started singing it – more or less the structure of how we play it now. It’s just a very basic chord progression but there’s so much space that it allows a lot of creativity from the band guys behind me so it always goes somewhere different.

Q: When you meet someone new and you tell them what you do for a living, what are some of the things people ask you about?

A: It’s always, somewhat difficult to explain to people who don’t already know some of your songs or who you are but I tell them the truth… I moved to Nashville 12 years ago. The good Lord only blessed me with a couple of different talents and so I’ve tried to pursue those and as best as possible and you know as crazy as it is every day I kind of question how I’ve been able to make a living doing this but believe it or not that’s how I’ve done it. And it’s what I believe I was born to do and I feel like the good Lord blessed me with the ability to do this and I’m going to do this until he has to pull me out of town.

Q: Is there anything you want to say to the fans about your upcoming concert at the New York State Fair?

A: I hope that at the end of the day you walk away and say I really like that guy, he’s seemed pretty genuine and I just hope that at the end of the day they think that it was good music and hopefully they’ll remember the name in the future and go out and buy the record and listen to it and give it a chance.

David Nail brings country show to NY State Fair
Copyright 2011 by Michael Aaron Gallagher

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