It’s a band that can make a medley of “All You Need is Love” and “Put a Little Love In Your Heart” and play it without a twinge of irony.
Songs like “Panama Red” and “Ragged But Right” start off the show and they are just the type of songs I’m talking about. They are blue collar songs with the kind of lyrics that truck drivers, hippies, and grandmothers could all sing along with and smile. The music is country swing that would feel at home anywhere the grass is green and the sun is shining.
As the set carried on, some of the songs mixed in try way too hard to be meaningful. Songs like “Last Lonely Eagle” just have cringe inducing lyrics like,
If you go down where the lights push the nighttime
Back far enough so you can't feel the fear
Remember the boy who you left on the mountain
Who's sitting alone with the stars and his tears
The second set really scorches it up with some very stellar improvisational jams. The music jumps into interstellar overdrive with a sweet instrumental jam of the Grateful Dead’s “Fire on the Mountain,” sending the grandmas to the snack shack and the rest of us into twirling heaven.
The third set brings us back down to earth with the aforementioned “Love Medley” and some silly, hokey lyrics.
I don’t suspect the David Nelson Band will ever make it onto MTV or Billboard’s Top 40 list. You won’t see them headlining a world wide stadium tour in this lifetime. But as they continue to travel the country, small venue tour at a time, they’ll continue to play real music from the heart, with the chops to back them up and keep audience of all sizes smiling and dancing through the night.