In continuation of our artist spotlights for this year's MerleFest Music Festival, one artist that should be highlighted on your schedule is David Mayfield. If you've seen David Mayfield perform with The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, Jessica Lea Mayfield, or at Bonnaroo, you've caught the charisma, the heart, and the comedy, and it's likely you'll come back for more.
This singer-songwriter, band leader, and Grammy nominated producer stepped out of the sideman shadows with his 2011 album, The David Mayfield Parade. His follow-up album released in 2013, Good Man Down, was self released and funded with a surprising and successful Kickstarter campaign that more than doubled its initial goal of $18,000. On the heels of that success, Mayfield has partnered with Compass Records. A label that Playboy Magazine calls "Nashville's hippest alternative label." Mayfield's most recent album titled, Strangers, was released in the fall of 2014.
STRANGERS, Mayfield's first album with Compass, is a tour de force. It stretches from the avant-garde to Mayfield's musical roots, which are buried deep in the bluegrass tradition from a childhood of touring with his family's band. Tracks range from the Celtic-inspired opener "Caution," which features Mayfield's deft ability in orchestrating complex instrumentation, to "The Man I'm Trying to Be," a sharply honest song that is as dark as it is tender. Mayfield is truly a wordsmith, forging the mundane into the evocative in each track. Most notably with "Ohio (It's Fake)," whose innovative lyrics are propelled from acoustic beginnings into a pure pop finish, Mayfield's trembling tenor rising above the grooving band. With the release of Strangers, David Mayfield is clearly going places, fueled by a deadly combination of infectious energy and songwriting chops that only come around once in a blue moon.
David Mayfield will be performing on Sunday, April 26 of MerleFest, once on the Hillside stage at 11AM and again at 12:45 PM on the Americana stage. Do not to miss what is certain to be one of the more entertaining performances of this year's festival. MerleFest is held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, NC. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased on their website.