David Nail

David Nail (10:00 PM)

Tyler Hilton (9:00 PM)

Wed, February 15, 2012

8:00 pm

adv tix $15.00 / day of show tix $18.00

This event is all ages

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David Nail - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
David Nail
It seems that good ol’ boys and girls are everywhere country fans look these days. And while that rough-hewn sound and image has clearly established its place in the genre, it’s refreshing to encounter an artist who stands apart from the crowd—in look and style, but especially in his music.

Enter David Nail. With Sinatra-like levels of poise and class, the rare gifts of natural melody and soul, and a voice as enveloping as a Cumberland River fog, the Missouri native is a modern-day country gentleman. He’s Jim Reeves crossed with Elton John. Garth Brooks meets Stevie Wonder. Glen Campbell blended with Michael Bublé.

The musical result of those mash-ups is a rich sound that hearkens back to Nashville’s Countrypolitan days, when artists like Campbell—one of David’s heroes—added a dash of sophistication to country music.

“My father was a band director for 31 years and he listened to all sorts of music, including a lot of old-school Elton John. I just loved the big, lush feel of those records,” David explains. “Glen Campbell was a huge influence on me for the same reason: the arrangements, the elaborate production, the dramatic songs. Those influences all come out in what I do.”

This is specifically true on David’s vibrant new album, The Sound of a Million Dreams. “A lot of the sounds that I try to emulate and use for inspiration are from a time when pop music was called that because it was popular,” David says. “And who doesn’t want to have popular music?”

The Sound of a Million Dreams is Nail’s follow-up to 2009’s I’m About to Come Alive, which yielded the Top Ten hit “Red Light” and was also listed by Esquire Magazine as one of 50 Songs Every Man Should Be Listening To. David also received an Academy of Country Music nomination for Single Record of the Year for “Red Light.” Furthermore, Nail scored a Grammy nomination for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for “Turning Home.”

Much like I’m About to Come Alive, The Sound of a Million Dreams is cinematic in its scope, with lyrics and melodies awash in imagery. In the evocative “That’s How I’ll Remember You,” it’s snapshots of baseball-game dates in Brooklyn with an ex-lover. In the swirling “She Rides Away,” the titular girlfriend makes tracks in a rusty El Camino. And in the album’s yearning first single “Let It Rain,” a contrite husband seeks forgiveness for “the one night I forgot to wear that ring."

“Imagery is so much a part of what draws me to the songs I record. I pick songs with cities in their lyrics or the names of girls because I want you to know exactly where I’m coming from and what I’m talking about,” says David. “I love painting those pictures.”

And with the album’s title track, he just may have painted a masterpiece. Written by Scooter Carusoe and Phil Vassar, “The Sound of a Million Dreams” expertly sums up David’s belief in the power of music, namely the power of a song, to create memories. It references classics by Seger, Springsteen and Haggard, all pegged to different milestones in the narrator’s life.

Nail connected with the message so deeply that he chose “The Sound of a Million Dreams” to represent the album.

“I’ve always felt that an album’s title was the most important thing besides the music. It automatically gives someone an idea of what to expect,” says David. “If you had to tell the story of me to this point, that song really sums it up.”

But the lyrics on The Sound of a Million Dreams, whether David’s or those of his co-writers, only tell part of the story. The rest unfolds thanks to David’s incomparable voice. Bourbon-smooth, full of emotion and always in control, it’s an instrument in and of itself. And the singer-songwriter knows when to let it loose or rein it in.

“I don’t want somebody to think I’m a great singer because I can sing a Stevie Wonder hit and do all the licks,” he says modestly. “With this record, I wanted to find the best songs that I could sing as best as I can, but at the same time, songs that I could sing effortlessly. And by ‘effortlessly,’ I mean emotionally, not technically. There’s a difference between singing a song on key, and singing a song that makes a person instantly feel something.”

Still, David views the album as a stepping stone of sorts—he hopes his recorded work will draw listeners out to his live show, where the real vocal magic happens. While recording The Sound of a Million Dreams, he paid close attention to how the songs might sound when performed live. It was a pivotal difference from the way he and co-producer Frank Liddell structured I’m About to Come Alive, and an approach partially adopted from being on the road with Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum. (Lady A’s Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, incidentally, contribute a song to the album, the soaring “I Thought You Knew,” co-written with David and Monty Powell.)

“I had the chance to see some bigger productions and the art of putting on a show,” David says of those high-profile tours. “I learned how songs are so much bigger live and I had that in the back of mind while making this record. When people hear these songs, they’ll anticipate how grand they’re going to sound onstage.” This is proved with the album opener “Grandpa’s Farm,” a sultry honky-tonk shuffle that is equal parts Little Feat and the Rolling Stones.

Ironically, the record’s first song could end up being David’s concert closer.

“That’ll be a song that you wouldn’t want to follow with another,” he declares. “With ‘Grandpa’s Farm,’ we’d leave as big as an exclamation point as we can.”

The same can be said for The Sound of a Million Dreams as a whole. It’s a definitive statement that David Nail has arrived and is committed to releasing his brand of mature country music—songs that are built around personal stories, transcendent vocals and a sense of class.

“That will always be the basis of what I do on a record and what I try to do live. If you’re looking to get rowdy and hear a lot of screaming and hollering, you’ll be disappointed,” he says with a laugh. “This record yields a different kind of enjoyment. And there are all kinds of songs. It really does epitomize the sound of a million dreams.”

And for fans of sophisticated country music, it’s a million dreams come true.
Tyler Hilton - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Tyler Hilton
The Storms We Share

Before Tyler Hilton wrote the songs that appear on his new album The Storms
We Share he had never written anything but love songs. “It•s not that I was
uninterested in things other than love, but it was love that made me want to write
songs,” the 26-year-old singer, songwriter, and guitarist says. Which would have
been fine except that Hilton had been working on a new album for three years
and had already scrapped hundreds of songs that he didn•t consider good
enough. Uninspired, he was having a hard time motivating himself to keep going.

“I started coming up with these lyrics that were little pep talks to myself, like
„Come on, you can do this. You just have to clear your head and keep going,•”
Hilton says. “So several of the tracks on this album, like „Keep On,• „Somehow,•
and „This World Will Turn Your Way,• are these encouraging, hopeful tunes,
which I•d never usually write, but that•s what was coming out of me at the time.”

The uplifting theme of those songs eventually served as the inspiration for the
album•s title. “I was looking for a phrase that communicated how we all have
something in common,” Hilton says. “I was spending a lot of time in the South
and in Canada and whenever there was a storm, you could be standing in line at
the grocery store next to a stranger and they•d inevitably remark about the crazy
weather. That•s when it hit me: Everyone shares one common thing —
weathering the storms together. And that became a metaphor about recognizing
that we all need to be encouraged to weather the storms. Sometimes you need
to remind yourself that dreams can happen, but they may take time so can•t give
up, which basically describes the last four years of my life. That•s what „This
World Will Turn Your Way• is about. I wrote it last and it thematically sums up the
whole album in that I took everything I learned and put it into that one song.”

The Storms We Share is a vividly drawn, emotionally resonant snapshot from
these years, which Hilton spent trying to make a follow-up to his 2004 major-label
debut The Tracks of Tyler Hilton. That album, which spawned the Top 40 singles
“When It Comes” and “How Love Should Be,” introduced the then-21-year-old
Palm Springs, Calif., native to the public via Warner Bros. Records• now-defunct
label Maverick Records. After the label folded, Warner Bros. executives told
Hilton they loved his music, believed in him as an artist, and wanted him to stay
with the label. “They basically said, „We want you to make a record that really
represents who you are now,• Hilton says. “So essentially I had limitless options,
which can be too much of a good thing. I would try things that I had always

wanted to do, but they didn•t sound as exciting as I thought they would. It was
frustrating.” After a few false starts and some time living in Nashville, Hilton
moved back to Los Angeles where he was introduced to producer Matt Serletic
(Matchbox Twenty, Collective Soul) who suggested the two get together for a
writing session.

“Matt listened to what I had so far and said, „I really dig it, but I think you•ve got
more in you.• And I was like, „Oh crap,•” Hilton recalls with a laugh. “But I was
intrigued to see what he thought I could improve. The songs we came up with
together were so good that I knew I had to put them on my album.” Out of those
sessions, the pair wound up recording “This World Will Turn Your Way” and
“Keep On,” as well as “Sunset Boulevard” (a meditation on an artist•s idealism
versus the reality of the music business), and “So Young” and “16th Summer”
(about longing for the simpler days of one•s youth).

But it wouldn•t be a proper Tyler Hilton album without his thoughtful love songs
and “Faithful,” “I•d Rather Be Lonely,” and “Say It Like A Lie” (featuring vocals
from one of Hilton•s favorite artists Rachael Yamagata) fit the bill. Those tracks
were produced by noted studio vet John Alagia (Dave Matthews Band, John
Mayer), a personal hero of Hilton•s (“he•s done so many records that I love, I
really look up to him”). Alagia also produced another highlight, “Ain•t A Thing,”
which Hilton co-wrote with his friends Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley of
Grammy-winning country band Lady Antebellum, whom Hilton used to live with in
Nashville. “We wrote that years ago and it was about us pretending to be cool,
like, „You ain•t a thing without me.• I•m sure if you looked at the three of us writing
that song at home, in our basketball shorts and t-shirts, you would have thought,
„Those are some pretty lame dudes,•” Hilton says with a laugh.

The Storms We Share was recorded live in the studio, giving it a rich, bright
sound that is well-suited to its pop Americana vibe. “I wanted to make a great
pop record, which is a big step for me to even say because „pop• felt like a dirty
word for so long,” Hilton says. “I also wanted to make an modern Americana
record. I come from country, folk, and blues music; that•s what my family plays
and that•s the music I grew up on. So we•ve got pedal steel guitar, banjos, and
mandolins, but it•s definitely a pop record.”

Like he said, there was a time when Hilton wouldn•t be caught dead playing pop
music. The son of an electrical contractor and a teacher, Hilton grew up in a
musical family in the California desert. “My dad•s side are all musicians and my
mom•s side too. My grandmother was a wonderful piano player. Her father had
his own radio show, so I grew up around lots of music,” Hilton says. Growing up
in Palm Springs, there wasn•t much to do, so he naturally took to playing guitar
and singing at a young age. “The amount of time I had to work on music was
immense,” Hilton says. “Especially in the summer because you don•t go outside.
It•s like being snowed in with heat.”

A huge fan of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Robert Johnson, and Muddy Waters,
Hilton spent several years performing at open mic nights and clubs, and playing
blues and jazz covers for tips in coffeehouses and restaurants. “I did pretty well
with the older clientele because they loved that stuff,” Hilton says. “It wasn•t until I
signed with Maverick that young people even came to my shows. I•d always be
so shocked when a kid came up to me and said he liked my music, because
usually it was: „Oh my parents heard you at the Crab Shack and they loved your
rendition of „Wonderful World• and I•d be like, „Thank you.• And that•s when I got
out of Palm Springs.”

Hilton moved to Los Angeles and released a self-titled independent album in
2000. He also indulged his other passion, acting, by appearing in The CW•s One
Tree Hill and USA•s Charlie Bartlett, and playing Elvis Presley in the 2005
Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line. (Hilton•s songs have been included on the
Grammy Award-winning Walk the Line soundtrack and on all three of One Tree
Hill•s popular soundtracks.) Hilton signed with Maverick Records and released
The Tracks Of Tyler Hilton in September 2004. “I wrote all those songs when I
was still in high school,” he says, “and I was very impressed that the songs I
wrote while I was doing homework ended up being released on a major label.
That was really exciting to me. I could have written those kinds of songs again,
but I wanted to do better. And I think my new album is better.”

Indeed The Storms We Share is huge leap in the evolution of this young artist
whose goal was to release a record that simply made people smile. “There is so
much to be bummed about; I totally understand that,” Hilton says. “I•ve felt it and I
get it, but I wanted to move beyond it. I would love to give people a tool to wade
through all the bad times and make them feel really happy. Maybe that•s naïve to
say, but I would love it if people listened to the songs and were inspired to do
things that they didn•t think they could do. That would be my ideal.”
Venue Information:
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069

All lineups and times subject to change