Photo by Heidi Ross
Except for the one I got from the nephew of the King of Nigeria, the best e-mail I received last week was the one with the exciting news that one of my all-time favorite singer-songwriters was back in business. David Mead has released his first solo record since 2011’s “Dudes.” We also have not seen David play Music City as a solo artist in over six years, and he tells us that is soon to change.
Not totally silent, David has released two records since then with Elle Macho, his rocking trio with Butterfly Boucher and Lindsay Jameison. This somewhat tongue-in-cheek, leather-clad combo has also managed to play the occasional local gig which kept up our hopes of someday seeing another David Mead record.
The new one is entitled “Cobra Pumps.” This marks his seventh record since his solo debut in 1999 after serving time as a member of local pop band Joe Marcs Brother. David’s 2004 LP “Indiana” was a career high. Its opening track “Nashville” is a beautiful ode to our lovely city. It also holds the distinction of having been covered by Taylor Swift in concert at the Bridgestone Arena. Too bad she didn’t put it on record and provide David with a lifetime of mailbox money!
Distribution of the new record started last Saturday. It is free, and you can sign up at www.davidmead.com to get a new track each day. If you can’t wait, it’s all available right now at Spotify and Apple Music. If you do go the daily download route, be sure to look at the bottom of the message for the bonus material to grab as well.
It is an honor to give these eleven questions to one of my favorite artists. With a voice so beautiful and songs so well-crafted, David Mead is perhaps a man out-of-time who would have been huge in the 70s. This is not to say that he’s not respected and appreciated, its just that he deserves a whole more. Thanks David for your return!
David will be doing an album release show at The Basement (West!) on March 22. See you all there.
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
I was born in Syosset, NY. I moved here with my family in 1986 after my dad was transferred by his company, 3M. Which is a funny round-a-bout to the fact that I am endorsing the use of Post-It© notes in my new album release campaign.
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
First: REM’s Murmur on CASSETTE at Turtle’s in Birmingham, AL. Last: The Milk Carton Kids Prologue on vinyl at their gig in Nashville.
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
First: Olivia Newton John, Atlanta, 1974-5? Last: Doran Danoff, Nashville, last week.
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
Coffee: Portland Brew, 12 South. Pizza: Pizza Perfect, 21st Ave. Coffee and Pizza are two digestibles that must offer quality, consistency and a certain sense of nostalgia. These places aren’t the newest or the shiniest options in town, but they offer all three in spades.
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
I’m going to stretch a little and claim Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water as a Nashville record, even though only parts of it were recorded here. It’s the only one of my top five of all time that was done here.
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
Sorry, I have no idea- it’s been years since I did anything but pack up my shit, go home and straight to bed after a show. I’m told Athens on 8th Ave. is good. And, I’ve always had a soft spot for Cafe Coco off Elliston Place. Also, it’s good to know that there’s always a Waffle House open somewhere.
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
OOOOH! Good one. Although they wouldn’t call me in a million years! But, in a parallel universe: Daniel Tashian, Joe Pisapia and Josh Rouse. There are obviously too many to choose from in the 615, but these guys were fellow architects of what Joe has dubbed the “Nashville Melancholia” and I would love to hear them all do their thing again.
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
Almost all of them are good for different things. I like big band shows at 3rd and Lindsley; the stage is huge and so are the dressing rooms. My trio Elle Macho does well in smaller rooms like the Basement (West) and The Five Spot. But, also Mercy Lounge and the Basement East, I guess. I’m actually on the hunt right now for the best venue for solo shows. My kitchen?
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?
Ethan Iverson, Joshua Redman, Yo-Yo Ma.
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
As far as solo stuff goes, I have been on paternity leave for almost seven years so I’m starting up again with a new attitude and a fresh album (COBRA PUMPS), one of three things I’ll be releasing this year. I’m planning on taking 2019 to let people know I’m back in circulation and releasing music again. I’ll be playing shows around town here and there. Then I’m planning on dropping the juggernaut at the beginning of 2020, which will be just past my 20th anniversary of my first album, so… Stay Tuned.