Minding past & present, David Deacon launches into rock & blues with “No Never Mind”
By Kurt Beyers
David Deacon describes his voice as like something that should be assigned a radioactive decay number. From the outside, his voice sounds soft and deep with a rugged sometimes ragged edge, like what you would expect from someone 6-foot-5 who in a few decades of life has taken a run at tough careers.
His voice is also a perfect one for the “bluesy, old-school rock/ballad story telling“ career he has just launched with the release of the single “No Never Mind.”
Music was one of his early 1990s careers.
“I didn’t get signed,” he said, “but I sold 10,000 CDs, basically just off the stage, you know? Which says to me there's a following for the kind of music that I do.”
His kind of music is on display in “No Never Mind,” the soft launch to a 10-track album David is planning to release about mid-January.
This song features spoken-word, broke-heart blues lyrics, delivered in blues voice and rhythm to rocking guitar and drums:
Now you write me a letter, trying to make you feel better
but your words will not suffice, ’cause you took away my nights
with cold fights, hard lights and highly individual uptights.
I got the no, never mind.
He said it is kind of a funny song to release now, during Christmas season, “but here's my thinking. What am I going to soft launch with?”
“And I thought this is the one, because everybody’s getting so much saccharin-sweet, beautiful Christmas music. There's a whole bunch of brokenhearted people out there who just had their asses kicked down the road, and they're not real happy about Christmas.”
Music was not his first choice of career. That would be art, with poetry close behind. The poetry eventually led to music.
But there were other interests. Motorcycle racing, for one, “because I liked speed,” and he was pretty good at it. However, that career ended in a crash after a couple years and left him with a steel plate in his head, multiple broken bones and months of recovery.
“So I quit motorcycle racing because my mother just couldn’t take it,” he said. Car racing followed, because “I still liked speed.”
Before, during and after all this, there were businesses started, sold or left for other work. The timeline gets lost because, really, it’s irrelevant. But his experience and the people who populate his life all figure into his art, music and poetry.
Barely into college, he had a successful exhibit of his paintings, which, he said, persuaded him that he wanted to be an artist more than he wanted a degree. So, he went to Paris. After about eight years, he says, his own expectations of himself and the difficulty in making a living from his artwork turned him to other pursuits.
Artwork and poetry remain a big part of his life. He still paints, still writes poetry and still writes songs. They are the features of his website, ddeacon.com, and now, he is at a place in life where he can return to music as a career.
“I love writing music, I love writing lyrics,” he said. “I love everything about this, and I finally took a look and said, ‘Hey, man, this is no longer dependent on a record company supporting you, this is just you. So, you go and see what happens.’”
His musical roots include the likes of Dire Straits, Tom Waits, and Leonard Cohen (if, that is, “Leonard Cohen rode motorcycles”). Folk and jazz also figured heavily in his musical development.
“I had really eclectic tastes. I love the blues music, but I really liked well written songs, and lyric content mattered to me. So, that was a place to go.”
Music, as a career thing, came by chance. He was walking up a street on the Upper East Side of New York City when he saw a sign advertising a poetry reading that night with George Plimpton.
“I thought, hell, I can write poetry as well as George Plimpton. I went inside, ordered myself a double scotch, asked to see the manager. And I said I'd like to open for George tonight. She said, ‘Okay, give me a couple of poems.’ I did, and she said, ‘Okay, you can open.’”
He liked the taste of performance, so a couple weeks later, when the manager called and invited him to be the Valentine’s Day poet, David accepted. The problem was in who the bar had hired to open for him: a pretty young singer with her guitar and some good songs.
“I thought, ‘Wup, I’m just a spoken-word person. Nobody’s gonna care.’” He made do, adding some stories to his poems, but that night he resolved to add music to his repertoire.
“A year later I had my first DVD done, and that's how I started.”
He has about 15 songs ready to go, but the album coming in January will have 10 tracks, a couple from his past and the rest new. Others are in development because, he said, he is prolific. The album is tentatively titled Four. That’s the title on the website, but he may change it. For, maybe.
He also has songs ready for a second album that he wants to put out next summer.
“It's a very particular sound, my music,” he said. “I think there are quite a few like minded people out there and maybe I can build nicely from that. I feel this music is my conversation with them”
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