Los Angeles singer/songwriter/guitarist David Haerle (rhymes with “fairly”) released his sophomore album Death Valley on May 8. Today we’re pleased to present the exclusive premiere of the video for the single “Ms. Bell,” a thoughtful track about the choices not taken.
Asked about the song’s inspiration, David said, “I saw a beautiful picture on Facebook of a classmate of mine from early elementary school, a photo of her with her husband, and their lovely children. I don’t have kids myself. It’s a choice I am good with, but it is a choice that can bring up some mixed feelings from time to time. There are joys and adventures I won’t experience because I’m not a parent.
“This song looks at those moments in life, where you imagine, just for a few seconds, a different life. As I say in the song: ‘Every choice brings the potential for wonderful things, but can preclude avenues, there are songs that I’ll never sing.'”
David’s musical roots go back generations. His maternal grandparents co-owned WENO, the first full-time country music radio station in Nashville. His father Martin emigrated from Germany to pursue a dream of working in the country music industry and co-founded the independent label CMH Records (Country Music Heritage).
Roy Acuff brought David onstage at the Grand Ole Opry when David was just nine. He picked up the guitar at age 13, played in a rock and alternative new wave bands in the ’80s, and became a music agent at ICM.
When his father died suddenly, 24-year-old David took over the family business and has served as president of CMH Records, now CMH Label Group, ever since. The label group releases quirky instrumental artists and also includes a bluegrass label and David’s own imprint, Edendale.
Around 2011 David returned to his creative roots and began work on his first album, Garden of Edendale, which he finally released in 2018.
Americana Highways described his followup, the brand new 15-track Death Valley, as “[s]traddling the fence of folk-rock, alt-country & plain good storytelling.”
“Ms. Bell,” following on other videos that just premiered at Billboard (the cheeky rocker “Go Do That With Sharon”) and at Glide (the dusty-sunny “Edendale”), is a perfect example. Its soft, even childlike melody and arrangement pose a gentle irony in a song partly about being child-free. “I see in the photo what might have been me,” he sings as he gazes on his old schoolmate’s family. “I will never know your happiness, and I will never know your loneliness – and you will never know mine.” “Ms. Bell” is not a song of regret, it’s one that acknowledges that everyone must take their own path.
David Haerle’s musical path is clearly onward and upward. Follow him on Facebook, on his website, and on his YouTube channel. Death Valley is available on all the major streaming and download services, and on CD.