As a youth, David Nail was interested in sports, particularly baseball. Music was a passion, but sports seemed to be his predetermined path. During his last year of high school, he received several invitations from colleges to play baseball. Nail chose instead to focus on his dream of becoming a Country music artist.
In response to which musical artists had the greatest influence on Nail, he says, "Elton John was one of the main reasons I started singing, and is still a tremendous influence. I think he and the Beatles are probably two of the greatest melody makers of all time." By the 1990s, Nail began to focus more on country music, citing Glen Campbell as being one of his most notable influences in the genre.
After attending the University of Arkansas, he hit the road for Nashville, but soon realized he wasn't prepared in earnest for a career in music. His debut single, "Memphis," had mild success, but the only people to get a copy of the record were radio station deejays. He returned to his other love, sports, and coached the Twitty City Knights, a Nashville baseball team. Nail said, "I did it just to get away from the reality of what my career had become at the time, and it was being around those kids that recharged my batteries. It reminded me how free and easy life is at 17 and 18 years old and how truly blessed I'd been, both growing up, and now, being able to chase my dream. I will forever look back on that time and those kids for getting me back on track."
Even though Nail is a songwriter by profession, his first single to be released from his first album was a cover song of the alternative rock band Train. The song, "I'm About to Come Alive" reached #47 on the country charts. Two other singles from the album, "Turning Home" and "Red Light," both reached the Top 20. When asked to discuss what he thinks of his contemporary country style, Nail has said, "People ask me all the time how I'd describe my music and I say 'Well, I hope it's good.' Hopefully people will just enjoy it for being good music and take from it whatever it makes them feel."
David Nail grew up in Kennett a small town in the county seat of Dunklin County, Missouri. Singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow was raised in the same rural town.