A long cited influence on the Kennett, Missourian, seeing the man known for “Galveston,” “Wichita Lineman,” “By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” and “Gentle On My Mind,” who is now faced with advancing Alzheimer’s Disease, provided inspiration and a sense of connection for the young man who’s already been given a Grammy nomination for his own vocal abilities.
“Obviously some of his ability comes from muscle memory,” says the man who was an accomplished baseball player earlier in life, “but the heart, the soul that he brings those songs, that comes from some place deep inside. That – even with teleprompter – is why he is an artist who made such a mark, and who continues to influence people like me all these years later. I didn’t experience him on the radio, I found him… and Glen Campbell – who I found some time in the 90s through a Greatest Hits I played top bottom again and again – defines what it means to be a singer.”So great was Nail’s desire to experience his idol, that the often subdued musician left his wife Catherine – celebrated on his brand new Turning Home’s restrained ballad of the same name -- home on her birthday to attend the show.
James Keach, a noted film producer/writer/director whose work includes “Walk The Line” and “The Long Riders,” is currently at work on a documentary about the former CMA Entertainer of the Year. When he heard about Nail’s reverence for Campbell, Keach offered a last minute invitation to sit for an interview for the as yet untitled project, which is next heading to New York City to capture Campbell’s Jan. 7 show at Town Hall and interview leading specialists from the Mayo Clinic.
“When I turned the guys in my band, who’re even younger than me, onto Ghost on the Canvas (Campbell’s final recording), they didn’t really know who he was,” Nail says. “Now it’s something every one of them is suggesting we play on the bus. He hasn’t just survived, he’s remained an artist who makes a mark, which is something I think anyone who does this should aspire to.”
Nail, who last year saw an Academy of Country Music Single of the Year nomination for “Red Light” and Grammy Vocal nod for “Turning Home,” is hoping to see yet another dream come true – as “Let It Rain,” the sweeping ballad about owning the consequences of one’s mistakes, is poised to possibly become the first #1 in a career that David Nail has spent a lifetime trying to build.
“It’s been a year of incredible firsts... the Academy of Country Music nomination, the Grammy nomination, singing ‘America The Beautiful’ at the World Series 7th game, performing with Train, getting to tour with Taylor Swift and Lady A, who’re coming into their own dreams, too, in such a powerful way. I called my album The Sound of a Million Dreams because that’s how it feels – and every day, it seems like another one comes true… And certainly that’s what having a #1 record would be.”