Photo by Sebastian Smith
Don’t you just love it when you can’t get past the first track on an LP since it’s so damn good you just want to hear it again…and again? Well, my latest song to put on repeated repeat is Americana recording artist David Newbould’s “Sensitive Heart” from his “Sin & Redemption” LP. And like me, you will eventually get to love the rest of this fine record that was recorded right here in Franklin and features playing from many familiar names.
Newbould’s been delivering great music for some time now with four LPs and a few EPs under his belt. Here’s what he had to say about “Sensitive Heart”: “On the day I wrote this song, I was looking to write something as close to a pop type rock song as anything I’d ever done.” Well, he really hit the mark with this song and when justice prevails, you will soon be hearing this one all over the radio.
Thank you, David, for some meaty answers to the 11 Q’s. He’s out on a short regional tour this month but maybe you were lucky to see the recent LP release show at The 5 Spot. Here’s hoping for a local show or two before the year comes to a close.
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
I was born in Toronto, and I moved to Nashville from Austin, TX in 2009. I had two main reasons: one was to work with a new booking agency based in Atlanta who was going to tour me steadily all over the Southeast. The other was to explore the possibility of getting a songwriting deal of some sort. I can’t say that either of those specifically worked out (The agency went belly-up within a month with the CEO going AWOL, and country radio wasn’t my bag). But other things have.
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
First was Dexy’s Midnight Runners Too-Ray-Ay on cassette. Last was The Minks Light & Sweet on CD. I bought Dexy’s at a record store in a Toronto shopping center. I was obsessed with the song “Come on Eileen.” It was the first song that drew me in, and I heard it on Casey Kasem’s Top 40 countdown. Not quite seeing The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, but it was the equivalent moment for me. As for The Minks, I bought at their CD pre-release show at Grimey’s. They are one badass band, with a true star at the helm.
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
Bryan Adams at Massey Hall in Toronto. They shot the video for that song “Somebody” that night. My mom took me. She liked the show but didn’t like the volume and all the weed. Weed at Bryan Adams! Last was The Minks CD release at High Watt, which was freakin’ awesome. Every song of theirs was great, then they did the Patti Smith arrangement of “Gloria,” and I was frozen in time watching it. The singer Nikki kind of has a passing resemblance to a young Patti Smith, and when she hit those first lines, I got a chill. It ended up with a stage full of people moshing around and singing the chorus. Band nailed it. It was a moment.
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
Dan Baird. He’s the soul of this town when it comes to rock and roll. If he were pulled out, we’d all be floating in a different soup. And Bobby Keys (Dan would say Bobby Keys). He played with The Stones, Beatles, and Elvis. No one else can say that. “The Wanderer,” “Brown Sugar” … come on. While we’re on it, I don’t understand how Jason Ringenberg and Warner E. Hodges are not on the Music City Walk of Fame.
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
Whenever I go out for coffee, it’s either Portland Brew or Ugly Mugs. For great pizza, I go to Little Vincent’s in Huntington, Long Island. (See also answer below about best place to eat late night after a show.)
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
I’m going to break the rules and give a top several. Sorry (not sorry).
Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde. Groundbreaking in every way. Perhaps the most artistically fearless record from one of the most fearless recording artists ever.
Neil Young’s Harvest. I admit that this isn’t in my top five Neil albums (it’s probably #6), but it’s so damn classic and sounds so good that it’s got to be in there. For “Out on The Weekend” and “Old Man” alone. The ghosts of ’70’s Nashville past reside in those grooves.
Gary Stewart’s Out of Hand. As far as classic Nashville honky tonk, this is as great as it gets for me. He writes and sings like his life depends on it, which it did. RIP. One of the best ever.
Chris Knight’s A Pretty Good Guy. Songwriting that will stop you in your tracks. Vocal delivery paired with it like no other. Greg Morrow on drums and Dan Baird producing and playing guitar. Quintessential. Timeless.
Emmylou Harris’ Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town. This is technically a wrong answer. It was recorded in a mobile studio in California, and so many of the musicians I once thought of as Nashville cats (James Burton, Rodney Crowell, Nicolette Larson etc..), aren’t actually Nashville people. But there’s a heartbreaking Willie Nelson duet (“One Paper Kid”), and it all sounds so equal parts Nashville and California to me that screw it. I just want it to be on this list. It’s really great. Plus, Emmylou lives here now, so there.
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.
This has actually happened many times (they email). If I threw together a fantasy round: Kevin Gordon, Aaron Lee Tasjan and Leroy Powell. On call in case of illness: Dave Pahanish, Rose Falcon, Nikki Barber and Tony Arata.
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
If you have a good crowd and the sound is pleasing, any spot can be magic. The 5 Spot is always great. The Bluebird is unique and always enjoyable, even if it is 100% tourists now. 3rd & Lindsley can be really great when it’s full, though sometimes I kind of miss the old, more intimate 3rd & Lindsley. 12th & Porter was great as well. Radio Café, too, which just closed. The Building – closed. (You see a theme?) I would have to say that my favorite though is probably Kimbro’s, down in Franklin. It’s so local, has a porch, great built-in crowd, good sound. I’ve had many long, sweaty nights on that stage.
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?
I’ve thought about this a lot. I’m going with Iggy Pop. My time on the Lower East Side many years ago overlapped with his for about a year, and it was just such a buzz to me knowing he was around.
Although I might have to change my answer to Liam Gallagher. Endless tales and grins.
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
Whoa, all these easy, lightweight questions, and then you throw this right cross at the very end (just kidding)? Well, I just love to work. I’ll always be writing songs and always be playing shows. What I do depends on me, where I end up with it in the future depends on so many things. Hopefully a lot more playing on the road than in recent years. We have a little boy and that’s necessitated me staying home for various reasons (i.e. financial), but my hope is that with this record and with him now in school, I can get out there working hard and support myself and my family with it as best I can. It’s the only way I’ve ever been happy making a living. I would also really like to get into touring overseas: Europe, UK, Scandinavia. The guarantees in my musical future are me sitting at the desk and writing songs: the burning, internal need and playing live. More songs, more shows, hopefully lots more records. Then eventually death. That’s the name of the game.