If you haven’t yet heard of Arkansas Dave, you’re in for a treat. The critically acclaimed Austin musician–whose impressive work has already taken him from Switzerland to Nashville and all over the U.K.–will return to Nashville in September for the annual Americanafest. The annual music fest, which The New York Times calls “the coolest music scene today” is a celebration of folk, country, blues and soul. This year’s festival will take place from September 11-16 in Nashville, Tennessee, with a five-day program replete with panels and performances. From the brightest minds and brightest stars in the music industry. Fittingly, Americana’s all-star lineup includes Arkansas Dave.
A former drummer for Guitar Shorty & The Hard Pans, Dave triumphed over a lifetime of hardships to get on the stage at Americana. Born in Little Rock and raised in Camden, Arkansas, the multi-instrumentalist was reared in a house divided by fundamental Christianity and crippling drug abuse. He migrated from Arkansas with nothing but his love for music, and started surviving on side jobs here and there while honing his craft wherever he could. He eventually found his way to Austin, where he enrolled at the Media Tech school and plied his trade in the same studio where Willie Nelson and Neil Young cut records. A series of bands followed, including a stint on tour with Guitar Shorty. Dave developed a following in Austin, and parlayed that local fame into his first record.
Written in 2016 and released this year, Arkansas Dave’s self-titled debut album is the story of his life–in the form of a searing and unforgettable blues rock epic. Pop Dose hailed the record as “nothing but pure goodness,” and Dave isn’t the only one who deserves credit. To add even more flair and style to an already blistering blues record, Dave brought in the Swampers, the legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.
“Taking this record on the road means the world to me,” Dave says. “ It’s all I’ve ever dreamt of”. But don’t expect the newfound fame to get to Dave’s head. The road ahead may be smoother than what’s behind him, but it’s a road that’s yet to be traveled; a road Dave will pave through Nashville with his grit, determination and sheer musical talent.
“I still have a lot of work, and the road never ends; I’m just glad I’m able to travel that road and do what I love to do”.