By Ryan Beuschel, Creative Manager, ASCAP Nashville
Pictured (l-r) at the Sundance ASCAP Music Café: ASCAP's Ryan Beuschel, David Nail, ASCAP's LeAnn Phelan
January was a remarkable month for ASCAP country star David Nail. His single “Let It Rain” (co-written with ASCAP writer Jonathan Singleton) reached the #1 spot on both the Mediabase and Billboard Country Charts, David’s first #1 as an artist AND as a songwriter. What is so impressive about this particular #1 is that “Let It Rain” is now the current title holder for the longest consecutive climb for a song to reach #1, notching 49 weeks on Billboard and 48 weeks on Mediabase. Family, friends and representatives from MCA Nashville, Red Stick Management, Carnival Music Publishing and ASCAP celebrated the milestone at Tin Roof Nashville shortly after the record was secured.
A few days after the celebration, David and his band headed west and played their first ever performance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. David’s west coast stay didn’t end there. The next day, accompanied by his keyboard player and percussionist, David arrived in Park City, UT to play the ASCAP Music Café at the Sundance Film Festival. I was excited to be joining them for a few days. David’s soulful voice captured the attention of standing room crowds with songs from his first record, I’m About to Come Alive, as well as his current record, The Sound of A Million Dreams. This marked the first time I have been able to witness David’s ad-libbed outro on “Let It Rain,” and to say I was blown away feels like an understatement. There’s nothing more powerful than a song/performance that gives you chills. Something David clearly understands when he sings “I labor for hours / 'Cause I know the power / Of a song when a song hits you right” in the first few chorus lines of “The Sound of A Million Dreams.”
When I returned from Park City I ran across an article that Alison Bonaguro wrote on CMT.com. She had recently interviewed David to hear about the inspiration behind “Let It Rain.” Bonaguro writes:
He actually got the idea from the 2006 movie, The Last Kiss. "I'd seen this Zach Braff movie, and he's cheated on his pregnant fiancée. And he goes to her father for advice, and her dad says, 'It's gonna be on her terms. When you wait, you may wait forever. It's her decision,'" Nail said. "So Braff goes and waits, and he's cold and shivering and sleeping on her front porch. It was just really symbolic. At the very end, you just see the door crack open. You don't know if she took him back or told him to go to hell. So I told my co-writer, 'Let's write a cheatin' song, but with a guy you can kind of root for.'" The way Nail explained the story of the song is that the guy who cheated is not shying away from responsibility. "Those seven years of good? You can have that kind of relationship, the strongest bond of all, but all it takes is maybe 10 minutes of a mistake to forever change it," he said.
It was interesting to me that the first week of January, David celebrated his first #1 as an artist and songwriter. Then in the second week of January, he played that very song at the ASCAP Music Café that runs during a film festival. Finally in the third week of January, he shares the inspiration of the song stating that it actually came from a film! What are the chances? This just goes to prove that when you have a great singer, a great song and true creative inspiration, the stars will align accordingly. Congratulations to David Nail, MCA Nashville, Red Stick Management, Carnival Music and BMG Chrysalis Music on the success of “Let It Rain.”
David Nail on the web: www.davidnail.com