David Newbould — “Power Up!”
Americana Highways brings you this video premiere of David Newbould’s song “Power Up!,” the title track from his forthcoming album due to be available in June. The album was engineered and produced by Scot Sax at 2 Guitar Garage in Nashville; mixed by Goffrey Moore; and mastered by Alex McCullough. This song, though, is now available on streaming services online.
Musicians on the song are David Newbould on vocals and guitar; Scot Sax on bass and drums; and Jason Threm on saxophone.
We were able to chat a bit with Davie about the forthcoming album, working with folks on this and other projects, and this video. The premiere of the video appears here just beneath the interview.
Americana Highways: What was it like producing this album with Scot Sax?
David Newbould: I’m glad you asked. Mostly it was a blast, because we were putting zero pressure on ourselves (nobody else was, either), and really getting off on everything the other brought to the table. Scot’s got an incredibly eclectic mind, was pretty much 100% about emotion being what matters and to hell with the rest. He’s very smart though, technically very savvy and curious, and we just went places that felt good to go. The only bummer was we could only work in 3 hour spurts and on opposite sides of a makeshift glass wall, because there was a pandemic and we have families. I’ll take it though, it was very rewarding.
AH: What inspired you to do a cover of Crystal Gayle on the album, and how did the recording evolve and turn out?
DN: Well there’s a short version and a long version of that story. The short version is that the publisher of the song (“Ready For The Times To Get Better”) might have suggested it to me a few years back along with some other songs, before this record was in the cards. And it just resonated incredibly deeply with me, then even more so when we were staring down the endless tunnel of the pandemic and just waiting for times to get better. At a certain point my manager and I felt like we should record it and get it out there, so we actually released it as a single last summer. Scot and I cut it very raw one afternoon, it came together very fast. I’d already demoed it so was very familiar with how I’d sing it. He came in with the huge beat and then we decided it needed a certain type of gypsy fiddle. Wouldn’t you know it but he was friends with one of the best fiddlers in all of Nashville, Kristin Weber. So boom!
AH: What originally sparked the softspoken song “Home Depot Glasses”?
DN: My wife and I sat down in front of the TV to eat dinner, and right before the first bite I got a notification on my phone from Rolling Stone that John Prine had died of COVID. So the next day I tried to make sense of all the empty sadness that the news brought. I buy my readers from Home Depot ($5 folks), and read the news through them. And that just felt like kind of a Prineian way drop into the moment. He was a most unique, beautiful and humble artist (and man), and in the instant I read the news I could feel the loss cutting so deep with so many people. So I just wanted to thank him for the myriad of enlightening perspectives he offered us through song, and the real way his work affected random normal, everyday mundane life moments. He was truly one of a kind.
AH: Did you ever meet John Prine, and if so tell us a story about it!
DN: One time, but it’s not any massive story. When I first moved to town 12 or 13 years ago, someone took me to the Station Inn to see John’s brother, Billy Prine. Who’s a real character and great performer in his own right, by the way. Halfway though the set who gets up onstage but John Prine, and he did 5 or 6 songs before sitting back down. Afterwards he was just sitting there in the back with…someone while people were smiling around, so I just went up and said hello and that I was really honored or humbled to meet him and see him perform in such a setting. He said thank you and shook my hand and that was about it. Years later I opened for Billy at Kimbro’s, and backloaded my entire set, putting all our best of the best songs at the end hoping he might come to see his brother play, and get there early. He would show up there from time to time, especially on nights Billy played. He didn’t show up that time, but Roger Cook was there and we became friends and have since written many songs together. Roger and John were friends for decades and have written well over 100 songs together, went fishing up in Arkansas together twice a year, and in the back of my mind I was hoping I’d get to meet and maybe even work or write with John though my working relationship/friendship with Roger. But sadly he passed before I ever got such a chance.
AH: On a side note, I don’t think Dan Baird appears on this album, but are you involved in any side projects with him?
DN: Yeah he’s not on this one, it was all done during the depths of COVID and he was pretty holed up. Wisely, I’ll add – there were some health issues that he and his wife had to be very careful around. I was actually going to approach him about possibly producing the record until it hit and then I knew that wasn’t going to work. But as for side projects, yes! One of the songs he and I have written is on his new record with The Chefs, a side project he has going on with Stan Lynch from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Over the years he’s also put 12 or 13 of our songs on his records with Homemade Sin, and we’ve written a few songs with Warner Hodges that have come out on Warner’s records. Those 2 guys are just the coolest and I’m really grateful that they’ve never caught on that I slip stuff in their drinks that makes them somehow want to keep calling me. Unfortunately I don’t think The Chefs will ever tour, but hopefully they’ll keep making records, because they’re badass. But that’s alright, right? It’s kinda cool to have a few records out that just live by their own accord, not complicated by a parallel onstage life. Like most of Paul Westerburg’s solo stuff. Or Steely Dan. They’re like Steely Dan, but with hellraising tele rock. So like Black Friday with yelps. That’s The Chefs. In short, awesome. (Somebody out there’s probably going to say that’s not a tele on Black Friday)
AH: What would you say the main thing you hope people will experience in listening to this song “Power Up?”
DN: Smiles. Laughs. That nod and deep gaze of wonderment like a guy in a beer commercial realizing that his friends are all he really needs.
AH: What was your stage set up, playing on this video?
DN: Oh, we just set it up to look like a cheap cable talk show. Like the ones that would come on at 1 am on public access. “Hi, OK, here we are with this band..uh, got anything you want me to add?”
AH: How did you get such a real, raw energy feel from this video?
DN: By filming 2 songs in 20 minutes! We kind of said let’s just do them quick, like we’re actually on the show, that way it’ll look like we’re actually on a show. But again, Scot – who produced the record *and* shot the videos – is amazing with the cameras and the editing vision. It was actually him who said just blow through em…like, “remember – it’s 1 in the morning and they have canned laughter”. We had a fisheye kind of camera – I forget what they’re called, a stationary one, and a handheld. All in his basement, the same room where we made the record, in fact.
AH: When is your album coming out, and what’s your tour schedule look like?
It comes out Friday June 10. We’re having a show and party that night at Dee’s in Nashville. They’ll be some southeast and midwest dates in June-Aug, and we are working a more robust schedule in late fall and into next year. My friend Bart put it well, he said it’s like crabs fleeing a pot right now, everyone getting back out there and trying to get back into all the rooms. But some stuff is coming through and I’ll have more dates to announce soon on social media and at http://www.davidnewbould.com, where all dates are posted as they get confirmed. I’m really looking forward to playing these songs for folks. I’m also doing a solo promotional European tour in September-October too – Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Sweden, followed by a band run next year. I feel like that should be a good time.
Thanks for all the cool questions.
AH: You’re welcome, and thank you for talking with us!
Check out the raw roots rockin’ video footage for “Power Up!” and celebrate a hot weather, cool rootsy song. Plan ahead to get ahold of the juiced up, electric, acoustic-accented, power poetry of David Newbould’s latest album, Power Up!, early this summer.
Order the song here : https://smithmusic.ffm.to/662582296129_davidnewbould_powerupsingle
and stay tuned for more information, music news, and album ordering information, here: https://davidnewbould.com