Music on the Mississippi

Friday, September 27, 2002

The odds against another singer coming out of rock star Sheryl Crow's small hometown didn't stop David Nail from dreaming. He went to a college in Nashville on a baseball scholarship because he had been writing country songs since he was a junior in high school. An injury ended his catching career, but Nail eventually returned to Nashville and got himself a Mercury recording contract.

Nail goes on the main stage, a barge on the Mississippi River, at 8:15 tonight at the City of Roses Music Festival in downtown Cape Girardeau. He is opening for headliners Sixwire, another up-and-coming Nashville act.

Saturday night's headliner, going onstage at 9 p.m., is Dave Mason, former member of the legendary 1970s band Traffic.

The festival's focus will switch to gospel music Sunday, with the Fredericktown, Mo., bluegrass band The Sitze Family headlining.

In addition to the main stage performances, more than 50 different bands will play in 11 different clubs during the weekend.

In conjunction with the music festival, the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri will sponsor a fine arts and crafts street fair Saturday. The fair will be on Themis Street between Spanish and Main Street from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A stage will be set up in the craft fair to present music. The acts include:

10 a.m. -- Rorge, Taylor & Kim

11 a.m. -- Straight Street

noon -- Dave, Farah & Chris

1 p.m. -- Jason Kesterson

2 p.m. -- Jason Weaver

3 p.m. -- Tighten

4 p.m. -- Dale Haskell

Nail's sister, Leslie Quarles, is a mass communications graduate of Southeast Missouri State University. She lives in Orlando, Fla. His father, Dennis, recently retired as the Kennett High School band director after 31 years.

Crow began learning to play the alto saxophone from him in the sixth grade. She didn't make much noise in Kennett as a solo performer, he says. "Not that she couldn't have." She was known more as an accompanist.

At Kennett High School, David was an athlete who was particularly good at baseball and was a member of the all-state choir. He always performed at talent shows, playing both country and rock 'n' roll. When he got home from school, he usually went to the computer to write songs. "Midway from high school on he knew what he wanted to do," his father said.

He wrote the song that became his first single, "Memphis," when he was 19.

But getting the contract took a lot of faith. Nail went home after his baseball injury because taking on the music business seemed overwhelming. He enrolled at Arkansas State University, where he excelled and joined a fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha. He performed at talent shows. Everybody told him he belonged in Nashville.

Nail tells a story about going home to Kennett and talking to another musician who had always dreamed of going to Nashville. He asked, "Do you ever regret that you never tried?"

"Every day," the musician answered.

That settled it. Nail's parents put his next year's tuition toward living expenses in Nashville instead.

His mother, Donna, and father encouraged his musical aspirations. "We always felt he was talented," Dennis says, "but we were aware that there are a lot of talented people. One thing to David's credit, he's been most severe critic. He never took anything for granted."

Nail didn't get in through the usual Nashville doors: Showcases or song-publishing deals. The daughter of Alan Jackson's producer, Keith Stegall, heard Nail sing at a party and took him to see her father. Stegall liked what he heard.

Nail's first CD has been recorded but has not yet been released. His company is sending him around the country to talk to deejays so that they'll remember his face when the CD is released. The record company is waiting for the timing to be right.

The 23-year-old recently played a festival in Hartford, Conn., headlined by Toby Keith. He was scheduled to open for Wynonna earlier this month in Farmington, Mo., but she canceled the concert. Last Friday he performed at the Delta Fair in Kennett.

335-6611, extension 182


5 p.m. gates open

6:10 p.m. Neon Nights, main stage

7:15 p.m. Belle Starr, main stage

7:45 p.m. Wooden Ships, In The Wine Cellar

Steppin Out, Space Walk Cafe

8:15 p.m. David Nail, main stage

8:50 p.m. Julie Walker, Space Walk Cafe

9 p.m. Drivin Rain, Willy Jak's

Steppin Out, Breakaway's

electric Shag & The Toe Jam experience, Rude Dog

Matt & Lucas, Mollie's

Nemesis, Port Cape

Jennifer Noble, In The Wine Cellar

Papa Aborigine, Bel Air Grill

13th Floor, Broussard's

Tone Def Allstars, Jeremiah's

Water Street Band, Indigo

9:10 p.m. Sixwire, main stage

10:05 p.m. Dale Haskell, Space Walk Cafe

10:15 p.m. Aaron N Stereo, Mollie's

Mustapha, In The Wine Cellar

Belle Starr, Port Cape

Closure, Willy Jak's

Wooden Ships, Breakaway's

Frontal Nudity, Bel Air Grill

Mid Life Crisis, Indigo

Red 2 Go, Jeremiah's

South Paw, Broussard's

Tribaldust, Rude Dog

10:30 p.m. The Melroys, main stage

11:20 p.m. Juniper Wind, Space Walk Cafe

11:30 p.m. Acme Blues, Indigo

Bruce Zimmerman Band, Breakaway's

Cape Rock Drive, Rude Dog

ColorWill, Mollie's

Disposable Heros, Bel Air Grill

Fifty Cent Buddha, Jeremiah's

The Intention, Willy Jak's

The Melroys, main stage

Neon Nights, Port Cape

Squadcar, Broussard's

Matt & Lucas, In The Wine CellarSATURDAY

noon gates open

1 p.m. Douge Rees, main stage

1:45 p.m. Shades of Gray, main stage

2:40 p.m. Closure, main stage

3:35 p.m. Fifty Cent Buddha, main stage

4:20 p.m. ColorWill, main stage

5:30 p.m. The Vigil's, main stage

6:40 p.m. The Contors, main stage

7:45 p.m. Jennifer Noble, In The Wine Cellar

Mustapha, Space Walk Cafe

7:45 p.m. The Cantrell's, main stage

8:30 p.m. Broken Grass, Port Cape

9 p.m. Dave Mason, main stage

The Contors, Indigo

Shades of Gray, Willy Jak's

Death Wish, Jeremiah's

electric Shag & The Toe Jam experience, Rude Dog

Julie Walker, In The Wine Cellar

The Melroys, Broussard's

Mid Life Crisis, Mollie's

Sean Camp, Bel Air Grill

Yellow Brick, Breakaway's

Matt & Lucas, Space Walk Cafe

9:50 p.m. Squadcar, Port Cape

10:15 p.m. Acme Blues, Rude Dog

Bruce Zimmerman Band, Broussard's

The Cantrells, Space Walk Cafe

Color Will, Bel Air Grill

emaciation, Mollie's

Funky Donkey Cheese, Jeremiah's

The Vigils, Breakaway's

Wooden Ships, In The Wine Cellar

10:20 p.m. Cape Rock Drive, Willy Jak's

10:30 p.m. Broken Grass, main stage

11 p.m. Dan Wiethop, Indigo

Papa Aborigine, Port Cape

11:30 p.m.Closure, Willy Jak's

Dale Haskell, In The Wine Cellar

Frontal Nudity, Bel Air Grill

Juniper Wind, Space Walk Cafe

The Melroys, Mollie's

Red 2 Go, Jeremiah's

Ropel - Ash, Rude Dog

13th Floor, Broussard's

Tone Def Allstars, Breakaway's

11:45 p.m. Mid Life Crisis, IndigoSUNDAY

11 a.m. gates open

Noon Shadow of the Savior, main stage

1 p.m. Image of Unity, main stage

1:55 p.m. Robyn Hosp, main stage

3 p.m. Manna, main stage

4:45 p.m. The Sitze Family, main stage

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