Song of the Week

Song of the Week: “Until You”

Gearing up for Miranda Lambert’s concert next week at Terminal 5, I’ve been listening to country music all day. (Not that I don’t normally listen to country music to begin with…) I came across Billy Currington’s song, “Until You” off his latest release and decided to make it my song of the week until I found out it was a cover of Dave Barnes’ original. Having featured Barnes on the blog several times, I couldn’t believe that I had never heard it before. Watch the video below, I’d love to know your thoughts!


Related Links:
Q&A; with Dave Barnes
Song of the Week: “God Gave Me You”
Lady Antebellum Bring Nashville to New York at Sold-Out Show
Artist of the Week: Billy Currington

Dave Barnes

Photo Credit: Wendy Hu

Well known in the Nashville scene, singer-songwriter Dave Barnes is often referred to as Nashville’s favorite non-country artist. He’ll be playing Dierks Bentley’s benefit this Sunday, opened for Lady Antebellum in New York last Monday and just wrote a song for Billy Currington. Not to mention, Amy Grant and Vince Gill call themselves fans.

During his opening set at Nokia Theatre last week, Barnes joked with the crowd, had them cheer on cue and even brought out Lady A’s Hillary Scott to share the stage. “Dave Barnes is one of the sweetest and most talented guys I know,” Scott told the sold-out audience.

With his recent release, What We Want, What We Get, topping the iTunes charts, singles “God Gave Me You” and “Little Lies” receiving radio airplay and a tour with Brandi Carlile in the works, you can expect to hear much more from Dave Barnes in the near future. To learn about his latest album, songwriting process and the Nashville music scene, read below.

I caught your set opening for Lady Antebellum and the crowd loved you. Do you prepare any differently as an opening act than a headlining show?

Yeah. I really want to respect them and make sure they don’t feel like I’m trying to do my own thing too much. The deal with the opener is you’re trying to set up the closure to win. But it was fun, it was really fun.

Was the recording process any different on What We Want, What We Get from previous albums?

No. It was the same producer, Ed Cash. He’s done the last few records. The only thing that was different was that we rehearsed the songs before, which I’ve never done. I think it helped once we got in the studio, because we knew the songs and were a little more rehearsed. We took time off to record, so we had a chance to get them under our fingers so we weren’t walking straight in and didn’t have to figure them out on the spot.

I love “Little Lies.” What was your inspiration for writing it?

It’s as much to myself as it is to my wife. It’s a reminder to me that, “Hey it’s okay. Everything’s going to be alright.” And at the same time, it’s beating myself up about not being the man I want to be or the husband I want to be. I like the music because it’s still up. I really, really like it because it’s up and happy and it’s not too sad or distraught.

What’s your typical songwriting process like? Do you always carry a notebook around?

The beauty of the iPhone is that I can record so many ideas, both lyrically and melodically in there. It makes it a lot easier. I’m not having to struggle along and try to sing a melody 15 times so I remember it. I’m able to file stuff away which is so convenient. I’ve heard of guys calling their answering machines back in the day and all these different ways for remembering stuff, but now it’s just so much easier.

You wrote your current single, “God Gave Me You” about your wife. Do you feel it’s easier to write about real relationships or do your write about fantasy as well? (video below)

I try to keep it as real to life as I can. For me, I think I sing it with more conviction. And, it’s hard for me to write from a place that’s not true. It feels a little concocted.

Is there a song on the album that means more to you than the rest?

Lyrically, I really love “Amen.” I love what it has to say. But all of them, thank goodness, really resonate. It’s like children, it’s not that you like one more than the other, but they all mean something different.

You co-wrote two songs with Nashville artists, Trent Dabbs and Gabe Dixon. How is co-writing different then when you write by yourself?

By myself it is more work, which I really enjoy. I enjoy the work, not everybody does. It’s more of a challenge, but you also have more freedom whereas co-writing with someone is a lot quicker. The flow of ideas is faster paced. It can be so fun because sometimes by yourself it just gets so frustrating and laborious and it just feels like it’s taking forever. When you write with someone else, if you can’t find the groove they may be able to so it’s helpful.

What is it about the Nashville scene that’s so different from the rest of the country?

I really love the community of it. It’s such a healthy, vibrant place. So many people are rooting for each other. You’re not having contention and in competition with other people. Everyone gets to root for each other and cheer for each other and write for each other.

I’ve been reading so much about the floods. How can people get involved and help out?

There’s a lot of great stuff online. I’ve been following this one Twitter feed that is Nashvillest. They have tons of great ways to get engaged. I’m excited about getting home because I want to see what I can still do. Being gone the whole time has been really hard to watch from afar.

You went to Africa last year. How did you get involved with Mocha Club?

I got involved because my best friend runs it and he came to me about four or five years ago right when it started. He told me about it and then he took me on a trip to show me what they’re doing. I was in, I thought it was awesome. It was a pretty easy sell. It wasn’t something I was very skeptical of. It’s been awesome to see the amount of people that have joined with us as we do it. I think we may be going back this summer.

What are you thinking about while you’re performing?

It depends what show, what night, if I’ve eaten before. The Lady A show was a lot of trying to read the crowd and make sure everybody was into it and feeling it. ‘Cause you’re opening, you want to make sure everybody is interacting with you. Is there anything you could be doing to make them interact more with you? I’m just trying to make sure everyone’s with me and at the same time, trying to make sure I feel comfortable and I’m enjoying it and I’m always in it too.

When you told the crowd it was your birthday and you wanted them all to scream, were you afraid that they wouldn’t?

Oh yeah. I’m always like, “Man, this is a risk. We’ll see if this goes well.”

The music industry isn’t the easiest to break into. What has kept you motivated?

A lot of it was, it’s just such a muse. It sounds redundant because it’s in the name, but it really is. There are so many things I want to say, so many ways I want to say it. There is still so much to be conquered and explored.

Related Links:
Song of the Week: “God Gave Me You”
Lady Antebellum Talk Dating, Drunk Dialing and Dylan
Lady Antebellum Bring Nashville to New York at Sold-Out Show
Artist of the Week: Billy Currington
Concert Reviews

Lady Antebellum Bring Nashville to New York at Sold-Out Show

Lady Antebellum have had quite a year. They won their first Grammy for Best Country Performance by Duo or Group for “I Run to You” in January while just last month they swept the Academy of Country Music Awards with three wins; Top Vocal Group of the Year, Single Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Need You Now.”

While “Need You Now” continues to heat up the country and pop charts, current single “American Honey” shows much promise for the Nashville-based trio as New York concertgoers sang along word for word Monday night at Nokia Theatre. Playing just over an hour, Lady A demonstrated their impeccable harmonies and energetic stage show.

An appropriate start, the band kicked off the night with “Stars Tonight.” With edgy electric guitar and percussion before Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott entered on vocals, the music captivated the crowd.

“Girls in their heels and a skinny pair of blue jeans/Boys in black pearl buttons looking just like Springsteen/Mama says why you wanna play in a silly rock ‘n’ roll band/Well if you stood here mama, I know you’d understand/It’s the lights, it’s the high/It’s the roar of a crowd on a Monday night,” Kelley and Scott sang as the crowd danced along.

The energy never wavered as the band continued right into “Love Don’t Live Here,” the first track from their debut album. “Perfect Day,” off recent release Need You Now, showcased the band’s country roots while beautiful ballad, “When You Got A Good Thing” switched gears and slowed down the night. On each song, Kelley and Scott alternated vocals and harmonized throughout the chorus.

A few months ago, Lady Antebellum played two nights at Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium and performed Hank Williams’ “Lost Highway.” With Dave Haywood on guitar and Kelley and Scott singing close to the edge of the stage, the band showcased the song unplugged to a hushed crowd.

“There’s nothing like the energy in this city and in this room right now,” Scott said after the song.

As their backup band left the stage, Haywood, Kelley and Scott told the crowd, “All We’d Ever Need” was the first song they wrote together. Lady Antebellum proved they can rock the sold-out venue with their stripped down acoustic ballads just as well as the more energetic numbers as they showcased their songwriting and harmonizing on the track.

The trio remained onstage alone to perform Luke Bryan’s “Do I,” a song they co-wrote, before the full band rejoined for current single, “American Honey.” Haywood began the song alone with a killer guitar solo before Scott and Kelley joined on vocals.

“Lookin’ For a Good Time,” “Need You Now,” and “I Run To You” closed the set before the band’s encore.

“I’ve been on the verge of tears all night long because you’re being so sweet to us,” Scott said as she walked back on stage.

“This next song is off our brand new record. We didn’t write it. Tom Douglas, Tony Lane and David Lee wrote it for us. We want to dedicate it to everyone in Nashville affected by the floods,” Kelley said before they began “Hello World.”

An energetic end to their set, Lady Antebellum closed with a cover of the Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” As the entire room erupted into “Na na na na’s” the band called out opening act and fellow Nashville singer-songwriter Dave Barnes to help finish the night.

“We’ll see ya next time New York City,” Kelley said as Lady A exited the stage. With their growing success and current tour with Tim McGraw, lucky fans won’t have to wait too long.

Related Links:
Q&A; with Lady Antebellum
CMA 2009: Six Artists to Watch
Friday Song Addiction: Country Music Edition
You Sing I Write’s Top 5 CMA Week Songs
Song of the Week Videos

Song of the Week: “God Gave Me You”

I received an email about Dave Barnes’ latest video “God Gave Me You” earlier this week and instantly fell in love with it. Maybe it was my sister’s wedding approaching and the constant wedding talk over the past few weeks, but the lyrics and story behind the song really struck a chord. It makes sense though, considering he wrote the song as an ode to his wife, PopEater reports.

“I believe that people are built for community with each other. We often times take relationship for granted,” Barnes said. “I wrote ‘God Gave Me You’ because I’m thankful for my wife, and how she makes me a better person.”

I have a feeling “God Gave Me You” will become a popular wedding song. What do you think?

You can catch Barnes on the road promoting his latest release, What We Want, What We Get. For more, be sure to visit him on MySpace.