Glen Campbell is one of David Nail’s musical heroes. So when Glen played live at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Tuesday, David jumped at the chance to see his idol live – even though it was his wife Catherine’s birthday. Catherine gave her husband a free pass and stayed at home while David took in Glen’s show. The tour stop was part of Glen’s farewell tour after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last year.
“Obviously some of his ability comes from muscle memory,” David said. “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 album I played top to bottom, again and again – defines what it means to be a singer.”
When film producer/writer/director James Keach, the man behind Walk The Line and The Long Riders, heard about David’s admiration for Glen, he offered David a last minute invitation to sit for an interview that will be included in an as-of-yet-untitled documentary on the country music legend.
“When I turned the guys in my band, who’re even younger than me, onto Ghost on the Canvas (Glen’s final recording), they didn’t really know who he was,” David said. “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.”
David’s latest single, “Let It Rain,” is sitting at No. 2 on the country charts and is poised to possibly become his first No. 1. It is the lead single from his recently released sophomore album, The Sound of A Million Dreams. Heading into a new year, David is looking back on 2011 as a year of 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,” he said. “And every day, it seems like another one comes true. And certainly that’s what having a No. 1 record would be.”
Once Glen’s show was over though, it was time to go home to Catherine. “I can finally say I saw one of my biggest influences live,” David tweeted, “now home to tuck the birthday girl into bed!”