Country singer David Nail describes himself as "a vodka-soda with a lemon guy," but he'd rather drink in a dive than a cocktail lounge. That's the thing about Nail, a Grammy-nominated songwriter who is releasing his third album, "I'm A Fire," today, he's a small-town Missouri jock who prides himself on being able to "throw down in New York City." He's a cosmopolitan good ol' boy, the latest member – along with The Black Keys, Kings of Leon, and Jack White – of Music City's skinny tie fraternity. If he's country on stage (and he certainly is), he's rock 'n roll at home.
That's why modern Nashville suits him so well. "Whatever your personality is on a specific day, there's a part of town you can go to," he explains. As a man whose many moods have inspired hits like "Let It Rain," which tells the story of infidelity in quintessential country melodrama, to his newest hit "Whatever She's Got," which pairs sappy lyrics and a catchy tune, Nail is a fixture in both the boot-stomping bars on Broadway and the 12 South District's dark lounges, where no one bats an eye when a man orders vodka.
Here are the rising star's favorite Music City hangs.
For a Game
In his 14 years living in Nashville, Nail, a fan of the Cardinals and the Mizzou Tigers, has consistently found the best place to watch the game is Sam's All-American Sports Grill. When weather permits, the owners throw open the bar to the streets of Hillsboro Village, a small, rowdy neighborhood close to Vanderbilt University. "That's the first place I think of if there's a big game and my friends are going to watch it," Nail says.