With his band in tow, Grammy-nominated vocalist David Nail made his way to the historic Alabama Theater in Birmingham, Alabama to film the music video for his newest single, “The Sound of a Million Dreams.” Working with noted director Chris Hicky, Nail worked to create the essence of music’s ability to capture one’s life without reducing the video to a storyline or series of obvious images.
“Everyone has that song, or songs,” says the band director’s son from Kennett, Missouri. “That’s the most amazing thing about music: the way songs can hold your life. It does for me, and for just about everybody I know… So, I didn’t want this video to take anything away from the dreams that other people have in their music.”
The team wanted an older theatre, something that suggested the amount of music that had been played there and the number of lives that had passed through the building. They wanted to bring to the forefront the notion of how music marking lives is ongoing. The Alabama Theater, built in 1927, was chosen, in part, because of the strong relationship Nail has had with the Birmingham market since performing unplugged at the Bama Rising Concert, a show put together by music legends Alabama featuring the Commodores (sans Lionel Richie), Sheryl Crow, Brad Paisley and the Blind Boys of Alabama.
“The people there are so soulful,” he explains. “You can feel the music moving through them, and you know it’s a part of who they are. We didn’t even use extra people in our video, but you can feel their passion for the songs and artists in the air.”
With a stark stage and warm light, the music video begins with David alone onstage. Slowly, the musicians appear as their instruments rise up in the arrangement. Equally as powerful, Hicky, the man responsible for the 2011 Academy of Country Music Video of the Year, projects footage of David from the age of 6 until now throughout the scene. The slide show displays still photographs of his infancy onwards on various surfaces to cement dreams into music.
“The Sound of a Million Dreams” is catching a lot of ears. Beyond quickly becoming a tour de force live moment in his shows, USA Today placed the song on this week’s playlist alongside an eclectic mix that includes Susan Justice, Chuck Mead, Birdy, David Olney, Haley Reinhart and Tommy Womack. Comparing the song to the equally soul-stirring “Walking In Memphis,” USA Today’s Brian Mansfield opines, “Nail finds the same inspiration in Bruce Springsteen and Bob Seger that Marc Cohn did in Al Green and Muriel Wilkins.”
Fresh from his first #1, the record-setting “Let It Rain,” David Nail knows how these dreams sound. Finishing his tour with Gavin DeGraw – who commented on how so many people had made a big deal of the pairing, where DeGraw only saw two singers with soulful songs – the man who got to sing at Game 7 of the 2011 World Series now heads out on the road with Billy Currington.