Smile Politely

Comb your beards, it’s the David Mayfield Parade

The last time I saw the David Mayfield Parade, the show culminated with the man taking off his shirt.

I could probably just leave this preview at that — it should be enough to draw folks from their lonesome Saturday-evening dog walking and CSI watching and over to the Canopy Club. A stocky, bearded country folker just might remove clothing. Tickets are bound to sell out immediately.

The bonus here is that Mayfield and his Parade put on a show to be remembered, even if shirts remain firmly tucked into trousers for the duration of the evening.

Brother to last year’s Pygmalion alum Jessica Lea, David Mayfield shines a slightly different colored light on the current acoustic/country revival. Whereas Jessica’s work is modern and moody, David’s is earnest and homegrown.

David and his band, collectively known as the David Mayfield Parade, have been known to lean into a heavy ruckus now and again, but Mayfield himself is just as likely to croon a ballad or an old gospel tune from his childhood. When he does, it sounds a lot like he means it. And if the country gentleman thing is all just an act, you’ll never catch him winking. Mayfield performs every moment that he’s on the stage. Instead of awkward between-song banter, he tells jokes, cheesy Groucho-style one-liners of the variety your grandpa likes to tell right before he invites you to pull his finger.  

Even though the David Mayfield Parade only have one album out (and another on the way soon), David is a troubadour. He was a member of the band Cadillac Sky and co-wrote their 2010 record Letters in the Deep, which was produced by Dan Auerbach. He supported his sister on bass on her first tour after a debut record and produced a Grammy-nominated gospel record for his friend Barry Scott.

Mayfield also has deep ties with the Avett Brothers. Scott and Seth recognized Mayfield’s talent and humor as analogous to their own and are known to invite him as a guest on stage whenever they are in the same town or festival. They were also the ones who suggested and supported the making of the band’s first self-titled record. I’m glad they did.

David and his band are the real deal, so whether or not his shirt comes off on Saturday night, it’s sure to be a good show.

David Mayfield Parade play the Canopy Club this Saturday, May 12 with Chicago Farmer. Doors are at 6:00 p.m. and the show is at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $8 advanced and $10 at the door.

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