In September of 2010, I witnessed one of the most amazing hours of music I had ever seen. Standing side-stage at the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, I watched Cadillac Sky redefine the music festival experience for thousands of music fans.
Simply put, the band killed it.
Being a bit of a Johnny-come-lately to Cadillac Sky’s music, I was instantly hooked. So, you can imagine my shock and dismay when, just weeks later, founding member and songwriter Bryan Simpson announced he was leaving the band and then, inJanuary, not long after bringing on singer Levi Lowrey and finishing a three week tour with Mumford & Sons, the band announced it was taking an indefinite hiatus.
But all was not lost. David Mayfield, Cadillac Sky’s often manic, sometimes shirtless, and always mesmerizing lead guitar player recently released a solo record with his latest project, The David Mayfield Parade. It is both an amazing record and a tremendous departure from his work with Cadillac Sky.
While Cadillac Sky evolved from bluegrass to folkie, rocking Americana, the new David Mayfield Parade is punctuated by vintage Telecaster guitars and Fender amps. It made me remember how electric guitar is supposed to sound – drenched with reverb and full of character, not distorted beyond comprehension or ear-splittingly loud.
Mayfield opens with a moment of acoustic tenderness with“Blue Skies Again,” complete with strings and beautiful harmony vocals by Callie and Phoebe Cryar. Mayfield is also joined by his sister, Jessica Lea Mayfield, on “Looking For Love,” a song of her writing, and the classic “Sea of Heartbreak.” Seth and Scott Avett both make appearances, as do rising star Caitlin Rose and folkie singer/songwriter Paleface.
With his Parade, Mayfield establishes himself as a bandleader to be reckoned with. Showing complete comfort as a songwriter – “Breathof Love” and “I Have Been Known To Be Wrong From Time To Time, But I’m Afraid I’m Right” are both lyrical and musicals gems – Mayfield has quickly proven that his time post-Caddy Sky will be well spent.
The David Mayfield Parade is out now on 9th Grade Records.