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David Mayfield to parade into Columbus with bluegrass sound

Courtesy of David Mayfield


One bluegrass artist with experience playing alongside musicians such as the Avett Brothers is bringing his love for music to Columbus.

David Mayfield is the lead vocalist of the David Mayfield Parade, which is set to perform at 8 p.m. Friday at The Basement.

He said he sees the world through a bluegrass lens.

“Growing up playing bluegrass music, everything I do is going to come from that,” Mayfield said. “Even though I love and adore all kinds of music, I’m still going to bring (bluegrass) into what I do … even when I’m playing an electric guitar and screaming and kicking things.”

A Kent, Ohio, native, Mayfield grew up playing bass for his family band and traveling around the country for festivals. While traveling, he learned to play the bass, mandolin and guitar.

He said his childhood lacked something most children have.

“My sister and I were home-schooled, so we didn’t have that structure and social interactions with people our own age that most traditional childhoods have,” Mayfield said. “All my friends, when I was 12, were in their late 30s. It was a unique way to grow up – we grew up fast.”

Mayfield’s latest album, “Good Man Down,” released on Monday, features a famous name – Seth Avett, one of the lead singers of the Avett Brothers.

Mayfield said he has worked with the Avett Brothers extensively over the past few years and that they have assisted him in his career.

“(The Avett Brothers) sing harmonies on all my records,” he said. “I’ve done probably 60 or 70 shows with them. The last time they played at Bonnaroo, I played drums with them for their entire show, and I’m not even a drummer. But they said, ‘You know the song. You know when we stop and change sections.’ So that was a pretty terrifying moment … but they’ve been really helpful and encouraging along the way.”

Mayfield is set to perform alongside Rebekah Jean, a folk and country artist and songwriter.

Jean said she met Mayfield seven years ago while studying at Kent State University. She said she was very fortunate to have met him, as it gave her a chance to perform and make a record.

“I met (Mayfield) and his sister (Jessica Lea Mayfield) at the folk festival,” Jean said. “They were playing a gig every Monday night at a pizza bar downtown, and I was struggling to continue in my classes, so that was my saving grace, going out with them every Monday to hang out with them at the bar, singing with them sometimes. And then we kind of fell out of touch … but a few years ago, we crossed paths again at a Cleveland show.”

Jean said working with him has been a great opportunity.

“The first thing we ever did together then was my record ­- he produced (it) a couple of years ago,” Jean said. “When he needed a singer … It was a good opportunity for me since he was playing a lot more shows that I was able to do.”

Marissa Luther, marketing director at PromoWest Productions, said David Mayfield had a good audience for his last performance at The Basement on Dec. 13, 2012.

“He was here a few months ago with his sister,” Luther said. “It was on their Sibling Rivalry Tour. I think we are expecting (a big audience) for Friday.”

Mayfield said he compares playing music to being a plumber or electrician and that at each performance, he wants his audience to be welcomed and served.

“I’ve always had a blue-collar mindset,” he said. “This comes from paying the bills from touring as a 12-year-old. My parents always told us that we’re providing a service (to the audience) … (we’re) just really trying to take their minds off their everyday troubles and give them a little entertainment, whether it’s something funny, moving, emotional or something bizarre.”

Tickets can be purchased for $12 through Ticketmaster. 

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