David Nail didn’t hesitate. Sure, not as comfortable as playing an air-conditioned room like nearby Joyland in Bradenton, where he elated fans about a year ago. Even so, the country singer jumped at a chance to perform during the patriotic celebration Tuesday at McKechnie Field. His concert, along with fireworks, will follow the Bradenton Marauders’ game against the Fort Myers Miracle.
“Anytime you mix baseball with music I’m sold,” Nail said by phone from Nashville. “I was presented with the idea and it was a no-brainer. I have a lot of friends down in that area and I hope it’s not too hot, but we’re going to have a good time nonetheless.”
Nail signed his first recording contract nearly a decade before his 2011 album “The Sound of a Million Dreams” produced the singer/songwriter’s first No. 1 hit single, “Let it Rain.”
“It felt great,” Nail said of seeing his song top Billboard’s Hot Country Songs survey last year. “I think everybody has their own road to follow. It might not have happened as quickly as I would have liked but I’m by no means disappointed.”
Along the way to stardom, though, Nail had many moments of self-doubt. In fact, the Missouri native often thought about returning home. Just pack it in, he would think.
“So many times,” the 34-year-old Nail said. “Luckily, I had been fortunate enough to be getting a paycheck much of the time. But a lot of times I felt I had reached a peak. My two parents, I was fortunate enough, they told me to push through and believed in me.”
"Let It Rain" finds the singer in the role of a married man who cheats on his wife and pays the price of real love gone bad. His wife learns of his infidelity and leaves him with nothing but his own guilt. Nail co-wrote the song with Music City songsmith Jonathan Singleton, whose credits include "Don't" by Billy Currington and "Watching Airplanes" by Gary Allan
“(Singleton) came in with the music and kind of muttering ‘let it rain’ and the song just fell out,” Nail recalled. “Some songs you work on for months but this really came quick. We immediately thought we were onto something special.”
In addition to his chart-topping career as a country singer, Nail is an avid baseball fan and amateur player. He has participated multiple times in the All Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game during the Major League Baseball All-Star festivities and in 2010 hit a home run at Angels Stadium. So, how does the former junior college baseball slugger think he would do against a pro pitcher from the Marauders?
“I think I’d strike out,” Nail said with a laugh. “I’d try to get a walk or maybe try to bunt.”
David Nail performs after the Bradenton Marauders game that starts at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday (July 2), McKechnie Field, 1611 9th Street W, Bradenton; $6-$8; 748-4610; milb.com