Who is David Mead!?
“Almost and Always” is David Mead’s fifth full-length release. His most intimate work to date, the album examines life after marriage and the promise of things to come. Mead collaborated with producer Brad Jones (Sheryl Crow, Steve Earle, Jill Sobule, Butterfly Boucher, Over The Rhine, Josh Rouse, White Light Motorcade) and new songwriting partner Bill DeMain (Swan Dive) to create a quiet, soulful collection that sets 21st century pop songs in classic arrangements that recall Harry Nilsson, Paul Anka and Harry Belafonte.
As always, Mead’s honeyed voice is front and center, gently accented with classical guitar, woodwinds and string quartet.
When asked about the three year lapse since the release of his last album, the critically acclaimed Tangerine, Mead is characteristically frank. “I had to take some time away from touring. I had basically been in a rental car by myself for eight months of every year since 2000 and I was just fried. And perpetually broke. It wasn’t fun anymore.” After spending 2007 living in Brooklyn, Mead separated from his wife and returned to his native Nashville in early 2008, initially landing in a room in his father’s basement for a few months. “The change was a little paralyzing. I had left pretty much every- thing but my books and a few lamps in Brooklyn, and there I was, back in Nashville, well into my 30’s, doing manual labor and wondering what was supposed to happen next.”
Through the transition, Mead had been continuing to write with DeMain. The pair had amassed an impressive catalogue of songs that were initially intended for a female singer. “We had all these gorgeous songs that didn’t have a home… we wanted to find a young Bette Midler to sing them. Or Bette herself.” But Mead had been singing the vocals on their demo recordings of the songs, and a friend who heard them thought otherwise. “So I asked Bill if I could hijack some of our Bette Midler torch songs for my album, and he graciously allowed it. It was interesting going back into them that way. It was almost like doing a covers album… at first it seemed less personal, but then I realized that it was just less self-conscious and therefore a lot more personal.”