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David Starr Is On the Rise Again in Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

It's hard to believe that a year has gone by already since David Starr's CD release party and performance for his remarkable John Oates-produced Beauty and Ruin was held on Wednesday, March 04, 2020 at the Station Inn in Nashville. At the time Music City had just been struck by a devastating tornado that wreaked havoc in the region. Little did David and everyone in attendance know that a greater global calamity was just around the corner that would soon strike down the live music industry and many others in an unprecedented year of pain and sorrow for the citizens of Earth.

David Starr is on the rise again in Nashville in 2021.

In some ways, Starr's wonderful record anticipated this moment in history. Drawn from a story of love and hardship titled "Of What Was, Nothing Is Left" and penned by his grandfather the work of fiction was brought to life in an emotional musical soundscape with the help of David's mates in Nashville including rising Americana star John Oates and the laudable Jim Lauderdale. The single "Rise Up Again" from the collection would become an unofficial anthem for our own turbulent times.

"It is like watching a movie," said Oates of the book. "The cinematic aural landscape visually evokes a classic tale of tragedy, love gone wrong and an exploration of human nature and all its flaws." Set in rural Arkansas, the story is told by Frank who is introduced to us as a 14 year old boy. He gets a job working for The Capt'n who is sort of a celebrity in his close-knit community. Their lives are intertwined as he becomes a man. Time marches on taking its toll on the characters living with the calamities and consequences of poor decisions.

Fred Starr - like a writer from the 1800's - pens poetic and powerful prose to describe his people and their situations. Through the eyes of Frank we understand their despair, dread and doom as we are reminded that humans can be cruel - truths that most readers can relate to. The title is also telling as we find ourselves in this new era dealing with denial and dysfunction on a global scale. Beauty & Ruin paired with the new edition of "Of What Was, Nothing Is Left" were released in February of 2020 - just in time for self-quarantined souls to order and absorb.

Still, while Starr may have provided some reading and listening pleasure to serve as a distraction for the millions of locked-ins during 2020 - that didn't diminish the fact that his promotional plans for the record were derailed leaving him with unexpected free time on his hands. So, he came up with an idea to keep his name in the music industry trade publications at least through 2021 as we all scramble to piece our plans and lives back into some sense of normalcy.

In November of 2020 it was announced that the Colorado-based Americana artist David Starr would embark on a new project called Touchstones that would orchestrate the release of a new single every month for one full year. The first to drop was a cover of the 1978 Robert Palmer hit (written by Andy Fraser of Free) "Every Kind of People". During a year where COVID-19 stopped the world in its tracks, Starr took time to reflect on and experience anew the music that shaped his own. Many of the songs he chose to record he describes as "musical comfort food".

"Some of the songs I cover were lyrically inspiring," explains Starr. "Some were songs I'd played in bands over the years. Some just felt good to sing and play. Others brought back fond memories or a kind of familiar melancholy."

Touchstones that also includes the follow-up singles - "Someone Like You" originally recorded by Van Morrison in 1987, "These Days" by Jackson Browne and Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody" - was produced by David Starr and Mark Prentice, with co-production by David Kalmusky. All of the songs were recorded, mixed, and mastered at Addiction Sound Studios in Nashville by David Kalmusky along with Ethan Barrette and Alberto Sewald.

"Beauty and Ruin" is an amazing album and companion book set from David and Fred Starr.

Related Links: For more information on DAVID STARR and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - David Starr | David Starr and Friends Help Nashville Rise Up Again at the Station Inn | Of What Was, Nothing Is Left


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