Bill DeMain is certainly no stranger to the Nashville music community. As a musician and songwriter, along with Molly Felder, their band Swan Dive created some of the best pop music ever to come out of Music City while in the process achieving major stardom in Japan and Korea. He is also a Grammy-nominated music journalist who is now heard on BBC Radio as its Nashville country music correspondent. He also conducts the erudite Walkin’ Nashville tour which is a must-do experience for any local or tourist. Bill’s also still actively playing and recording music. You can see him along with Luella perform with Crackerboots most Saturday afternoons (5pm to 6:30pm) at the Family Wash. He also has a brilliant new record out called Transatlantic Romantic which you can purchase directly from Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After a recent extended lunch together where we talked non-stop about music, Bill agreed to be the first victim in this new feature answering some Nashville-centric questions for us.
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
I’m from Mendham, New Jersey. I moved to Nashville in August 1988 to pursue music and songwriting. I feel lucky that after thirty years, I’m able to make my living through all kinds of music-related pursuits – songwriting, playing in a band, journalism, historical walking tour.
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
First record was “I Hear You Knocking” by Dave Edmunds on 45, purchased at Bantam, a store in Mendham. The last record was Dark Matter by Randy Newman on CD, from Amazon.
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
First: Yes at Madison Square Garden, 1975. Last: Lindsay Buckingham and Christine McVie at the Ascend, 2017.
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
Chet Atkins, Owen Bradley.
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
Fido, Nonna Pizza.
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
The Everly Brothers’ self-titled first album in 1958.
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
David Mead, Daniel Tashian, Kim Richey.
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
Family Wash, The Basement, Rudy’s Jazz Room.
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
I’ve just released a new solo album, and will be recording with my side project band Crackerboots this fall. Also, playing on a record of songs I co-wrote by Charlie Faye & The Fayettes, from Austin.