David Mayfield Parade marches into Avon
VAIL CO, Colorado
Everyone loves a parade.
At least that’s what David Mayfield’s been told.
“Well shoot, that’s good marketing,” he said. “Everyone is most people.”
Thus the five-piece rock-folk-country band known as The David Mayfield Parade was born. Mayfield is a Grammy-nominated bassist best known for his work in the folk rock band Cadillac Sky. He stepped into the frontman position after encouragement from the Avett Brothers- Scott and Seth – after performing with the men dozens of times, including their 2010 Bonnaroo and Merlefest sets.
“I like having the chance to put on my own show,” Mayfield said. ” I like being a carnival barker and get people into my tent… my own midway side show. ‘Come see the crazy bearded man everyone, he’s singing about love and loss, all from rock-n-roll memory!’
“I do really respect musicians doing the side gig though, it ain’t easy,” he said. “Just ask my band.”
Mayfield brings his parade to Agave in Avon Saturday night. Drum/guitar duo Boom Chick will also perform.
Mayfield grew up playing bass in his family’s band. They’d travel from festival to festival in a 1956 Flex tour bus. It wasn’t the easiest life – “we never had much,” he said – but they had a life story that few boast.
“We shared so many experiences as a family that were totally unique and wonderful,” he said. “Without walls and our own rooms we just simply knew one another better than any other family I’ve ever met. In a very honest way we had to be there for one another… As a result, my parents and sisters are my best friends to this day.” Mayfield’s younger sister is noted songstress Jessica Lea Mayfield.
Mayfield listened to bluegrass music – Larry Sparks, Ralph Stanley and the like – with his family. By the time he was a teenager, he’d won several national awards for his guitar and mandolin playing and his reputation was already being forged in the bluegrass world.
“I found a Simon and Garfunkel album in a thrift store and thought I discovered them,” Mayfield said. “My dad came home and I was like check these guys out, He said ‘I think they were pretty popular.'”
After a stint living in Nashville, the family moved back to Kent, Ohio but eventually the city would call to Mayfield and he’d return. He sang in the city’s downtown honky tonks until he hooked an audition for country hit maker Andy Griggs. He got the gig, hit the road, and eventually landed several appearances on the coveted Grand Ole Opry stage.
“I like playing in beautiful venues, whether their big or small,” he said. “You know the ones that are ornate and have some real character. I love history, so the old places appeal to me – the dives that all our hero’s came up in. I like those places, too.”
But playing a small, intimate room is more nervewracking for Mayfield than playing in front of a few thousand people.
“When you can look the folks right in the eye and individually gauge how well you’re doing, it’s nerve racking,” he said. “If I see someone go to the bathroom its like ‘I’m losing ’em.’ The big places you just do what you do and put it out there into this sea of heads.”