INTERVIEW: DAVID MAYFIELD FOLKS OFF
The David Mayfield Parade storms on the stage with a clumsy somersault by the lead singer and namesake, David Mayfield followed by a theatrical bow. The crowd erupts with a laughter at the unexpected amusement of antics normally not associated with live folk performances. Once the band starts performing, I look around and realize that everyone’s jaw has dropped to the floor.
Raised in a touring family band as a child, David Mayfield was taught by his parents that entertaining a crowd was a “service.” Inspired by Simon & Garfunkel and Randy Newman, David moved to Nashville and had been performing as a hired gun for several bluegrass and country artists as well as contributing to his critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter sister, Jessica Lea Mayfield’s albums and tours. Achieving huge accolades in 2009 for being nominated for a Grammy for producing southern gospel album for Barry Scott and joined Cadillac Sky that same year (now on indefinite hiatus).
As the “side” musician consistently upstaged the front men with his onstage antics and undeniable talent, David Mayfield was forcefully being nudged into the spotlight at the Avett Brothers’ insistence. Behold, the Zach Galifianakis of folk music and The David Mayfield Parade was born! A warm soulful voice reminiscent of James Taylor is surrounded by an exceptionally talented band playing charmingly vintage instruments. Known for writing heartfelt lyrics of heartbreak, love and hope while prancing his substantial body around the stage and delivering deadpan jokes throughout the entire set, I found a great live review that captures the experience perfectly from Creative Loafing.
Currently touring on the USA’s version of the wildly popular Communion Tour (Mumford & Sons’s Ben Lovett‘s collaborative concept) along with Matthew and the Atlas and Lauren Shera , I was able to catch up with David and ask him some borderline obnoxious and pressing questions. What I found out is that he’s a seriously hard worker that’s not as serious onstage. And some fun stories about touring with Mumford and Sons and driving the ladies crazy with his 1991 Volvo.
The Communion Tour is in Atlanta 11/5/11 at Smith’s Olde Bar.
Stream it under PODCASTS (8:30)
And check out short clips below:
LIVIN’ IN A VAN…DOWN BY THE RIVER (:36):
TOURING WITH MUMFORD (:36):
COMMUNION TOUR (:58):
5 LITTLE KNOWN FACTS (:51):
Folk music’s got an attitude these days. With the troubadours of Mumford & Sons, the Avett Brothers, and David Mayfield Parade paving the way for “newgrass” music, men everywhere are growing their beards thick and glorious, fiddling vintage instruments with the fervor of the Pony Express, and everyone wants to folk off with them.
Catch The David Mayfield Parade on the Communion Tour HERE.