Review Fix chats with singer/songwriter Barton Stanley David, who discusses his new album, Crest.
Review Fix: How did you originally get involved in music?
Barton Stanley David: I’ve been playing music one way or another all my life. As a kid I played piano by ear and eventually taught myself guitar as a teenager. I started writing songs around that time.
Review Fix: How does being from Texas make you a better musician?
David: I think music is in the water in Texas. I was born at Baylor Hospital, right next to Deep Ellum, which has such deep musical history. Growing up I was surrounded by Texas music, whether it was Willis Alan Ramsey or The Toadies or Lyle Lovett or Erikah Badyu. There are so many extremely talented artists in Texas.
Review Fix: What were the biggest challenges on this album?
David: The biggest challenge on Crest was scheduling all the great people who worked on it. Engineers, players, producers etc were overwhelmed coming out of the pandemic. Some were working on huge projects at the time, others left for big tours that had been delayed. My co-producer Jeff Saenz had a tragic accident midway through the album, which was an extreme challenge. Luckly, the smoothest part of the process was the music itself.
Review Fix: How do you feel now that it’s complete?
David: I’m so proud of the album and excited to get these songs on stage. Making the record was an all-consuming process for me the past 18 months, so it’s definitely a relief to finally have it out in the world.
Review Fix: What does Cicada do that the other tracks don’t?
David: Cicada has the most Texas flavor to it, and is one we probably spent the most time on in terms of trying to create a certain atmosphere. It has a real sense of place.
I wrote Cicada when my wife and I were first seeing one another and were living in different cities. The lyrics are a snapshot of that time, and definitely set the stage.
Review Fix: How important are the lyrics to that track?
David: The line “The city is made of promises, but I’m too old to wait” is the one that stands out for me. New York can keep hooked on the promise of a certain kind of life. You can see it and even get close to it, but you can’t quite have it. For me, after ten years, it was time to let that go and move forward.
Review Fix: What lessons do you want to teach people through this track?
David: I think the lesson there, if there is one, is that perspectives and priorities change as you get older, and that’s natural.
Review Fix: What other songs stand out the most to ya here?
David: “All Ways” is probably the one that we all were most excited about in the studio. There’s a hopefulness and an energy there that inspired us and will hopefully connect with people.
Review Fix: How does your sound differ live, from the studio?
David: My sound live is pretty close to what you hear on the record. I play with a full band whenever possible, but solo shows are a little more intimate and present the songs in more of a storytelling way.
Review Fix: What have your band mates added to your sound you didn’t have before?
David: My bandmates bring their own flavor and personality to the music, which is what’s great about collaborating. I’m usually very specific on the parts I map out for them, but I love it when they surprise me.
Review Fix: What was it like working with David Schiffman and Shane Stein?
Dave worked on some of my favorite records from Tom Petty to the Jayhawks to Audioslave. We were very much on the same page, and he really elevated the songs to the next level.
Shane is a brilliant guy in addition to being a long time friend, and he has great musical instincts. He was involved in every aspect of the album, and I was thankful to have him.
Review Fix: What’s next for you?
Next up is getting a tour together and getting these songs out on the road. I’m very much looking forward to that.