The David Mayfield Parade’s music and showmanship reflects the numerous influences that come from a lifetime of being immersed in American music and channeling its unique forms with sincerity and celebration from the howl of early rock-n-roll, to the low lonesome twang of folk and country with a voice that is all at once heartbreaking and inherently hopeful.
The David Mayfield Parade released their album Good Man Down on April 1. With eclectic, cinematic songs that stir up images of the old West and urban cityscapes, the 12-track album feels like a game changer for a singer-songwriter, band leader, and Grammy nominated producer who stepped out of the sideman shadows with his 2011 solo debut “The Parade.”
We were lucky to talk up with David Mayfield so read on to learn what crazy items he found in a popular artist’s suitcase and why the band likes to pray to the Devil before shows!
What is the strangest thing a fan has done for you or at a show?
Well, there have been a number of bizarre encounters over the years. From a man offering me his tooth, soccer moms relieving themselves of their undergarments, but the strangest and coolest is by far when a fellow in Alabama lifted up his pant leg to reveal to me that he had gotten my face tattooed on his leg. What do you say to that? Besides, “Sweet looking leg dude.”
What is the funniest moment you have had as an artist/band so far?
It was the night we opened for Los Lobos at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Los Lobos had a huge dressing room with a chocolate fountain, many different cheeses and beverages, wine, whiskey, and fresh fruit. We were in a broom closet with 3 Cheez Its and a cold, open-faced roast beef sandwich served in a dirty ashtray. Los Lobos was kind enough to invite us into their dressing room. While they were performing, I was snooping around through their things. I found a large suitcase filled with 48 rattlesnakes, a Gila monster, 45 non-poisonous snakes, 67 scorpions, several tarantulas and small lizards, and a parrot. Los Lobos singer and guitarist David Hidalgo later said they were just pets.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Yes, many in fact. I always have to have my lucky toe-less socks on, I’ve never washed them and played over 2,000 concerts with them on. Come to think of it, they might not have always been toe-less. We also like to pray to the Devil before every show. Just to get on his good side, so when the time comes we can kick him in his business and steal all his jeweled crown.
If you could describe your music in one word, what would it be?
How do you connect with a crowd?
I don’t put myself above them. In fact I place myself beneath them. I am a servant. I really believe that. Folks come out, spend their hard earned money to be entertained and it’s my job to entertain them. They could have gone to see the Ya Ya Traveling Pants movie or something but they chose me.
What would be your dream gig?
I would love a chance to perform on SNL. Not now, but in the 70’s, when Chevy Chase was still funny and they took comedic chances that didn’t rely on talking about their junk to be edgy and creative.
What is the best way [for you] to write music?
Sometimes I’ll be driving early in the morning and just start singing to myself. It’s nice to work on a song when I’m driving because I can’t write anything down, so I just keep singing and by the time I get to a pen, if I can’t remember a certain part of it, I know that it must have not been very good in the first place.
Make sure to catch The David Mayfield Parade playing at Smith’s Olde Bar this Friday, September 6!
Doors open at 8pm.
Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 on the day of the show.
Online, phone, and outlet sales end at 2pm on the day of the show.