Biography of David Nail

Making It Wasn't Easy for David Nail

David Nail let it rain cover
Credit: Image courtesy of MCA Nashville Records

David Brent Nail was born on May 18, 1979, in Kennett, Mo. Nail took a liking to sports when he was growing up, and to baseball in particular, but he also found himself drawn to music.

He had such a natural talent for baseball that he received offers to play in college. He moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1997 where he attended Aquinas College. He played baseball and tried his hand at launching a music career.

But his time in Music City was short-lived. Nail moved back home after six months and continued his studies at Arkansas State University, Then he returned to Nashville a year and a half later when he was 20 years old. He had a better head on his shoulders and was prepared to make waves.

The Beginning

Nail landed a recording contract with Mercury Nashville just eight months after returning to Nashville. He recorded his self-titled debut album, produced by Keith Stegall and John Kelton. The first single, "Memphis," peaked at No. 52 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It wasn't enough to put Nail on the map, but it was definitely a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, a shakeup at Mercury led to Stegall's departure and Nail's debut album was never released.

Nail focused his attention on coaching baseball with his "big break" on hold, but he wasn't ready to give up on music just yet.

Five long years later, he met producer Frank Liddell and inked a deal with MCA Nashville in 2007. Nail immediately started cutting his second album, titled I'm About to Come Alive. It was released in 2009. 

The lead single and title track is a cover version of a song recorded by alternative rock band Train for their 2003 album My Private Nation.

But Nail's take didn't crack the Top 40. Two other singles, "Red Light" and "Turning Home," performed rather well, peaking at No. 7 and No. 20 respectively. The latter track was intended for Kenny Chesney, who co-wrote it with Rascal Flatts' lead singer Gary LeVox, but he chose not to record it. Nail's version ended up receiving a 2011 Grammy nomination for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.

Today

Nail embarked on a national tour before heading back to the studio at the beginning of 2011 to record  Sound of a Million Dreams. The single "Let It Rain" hit No. 11 just before the album was issued in November, and it became his first No. 1 country single. Sound of a Million Dreams included a slew of guest appearances: Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley in "I Thought You Knew," Lee Ann Womack in "Songs for Sale," singer-songwriter Will Hoge in "Catherine" and Keith Urban in "Desiree."

Nail also released the mildly successful LP 1979 in 2012, which includes a cover of the Adele song "Someone Like You." He then started working on his third record, I'm a Fire, released in 2014. The single "Whatever She's Got" peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and at No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart.

Nail has a foot in both the country and pop worlds. His R&B-flavored voice merges vocal pop with contemporary country sounds, offering a throwback to the "countrypolitan" style of the 1960s. It's the launching point for his intricate arrangements and sincere lyrics. Nail released the single "Night's On Fire" for his fourth studio album Fighter in the summer of 2015

Discography:

  • I'm About to Come Alive (2009)
  • The Sound of a Million Dreams (2011)
  • I'm a Fire (2014)
  • Fighter (2016) 

Popular Songs:

  • Download "Red Light"
  • Download "Whatever She's Got"
  • Download "Let It Rain (feat. Sarah Buxton)"
  • Download "Kiss You Tonight"
  • Download "Turning Home"
  • Download "The Sound of a Million Dreams"
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Your Citation
Silva, Robert. "Biography of David Nail." ThoughtCo, Sep. 7, 2017, thoughtco.com/david-nail-biography-929239. Silva, Robert. (2017, September 7). Biography of David Nail. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/david-nail-biography-929239 Silva, Robert. "Biography of David Nail." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/david-nail-biography-929239 (accessed November 19, 2017).