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Kent's David Mayfield homecoming at Kent Stage

By Kelly Maile | Record-Courier Published: April 4, 2013 11:27 AM
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Kent's own David Mayfield leads his Parade back home for the launch of his Good Man Down CD and tour at 8 p.m. April 4, 2013 at the Kent Stage, 175 E. Main St..

A beloved performer in Kent and beyond, Mayfield released "Good Man Down," on Monday. It's a follow-up to the critically acclaimed 2012 debut, "David Mayfield Parade."

"It's all very exciting," Mayfield said. "It's number three on the Amazon best seller list in the folk category and the response has been real great."

The album boasts special guests including Seth Avett, of the Avett Brothers, and country star Dierks Bentley.

Mayfield said he funded the album through a successful KickStarter campaign.

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"I recorded it almost a year ago," Mayfield said. "It's been hard to get everything wrapped up because I tour so much. I used the website KickStarter and it was just overwhelming. My goal was $18,000, which I thought was kind of an outrageous number. I ended up raising $43,000. It was amazing and terrifying. There was a lot less pressure on my first album I made for $500. I didn't want to let anybody down."

Mayfield's music is sincere and sometimes rowdy folk rock music with bluegrass tendency. He said many of his musical influences stem from his roots.

"My parents are both musicians and I grew up around that," Mayfield said. "When I was 12 years old, I essentially dropped out of school and began home schooling to play in their band. We traveled around the country and played music professionally, which was an interesting dynamic because as a part of the band I was an equal with my mom and dad. It really changed our relationship. We sort of became buddies and didn't have the traditional mom and dad relationship."

Mayfield played bass for the family band and traveled from festival to festival, singing and absorbing the lessons taught by road veterans.

After years on the road, the family eventually parked their tour bus and moved back to Ohio. Mayfield got comfortable working day jobs and playing music on the weekend.

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"I realized I had played in Kent at a pizza shop, Euro Gyro, on every Monday for about five years," Mayfield said. "A buddy of mine, Mike Lenz, who plays in Akron, had played a place for 15 years and he's been playing there every Wednesday. As soon as he said that, I called the shop up and quit. I put everything that I had in my car and I moved to Nashville and lived with strangers I met on Craigslist."

Mayfield, who has toured nonstop for two years since the release of his debut album, said the only challenge of being a traveling musician is being away from home.

"I won't see my dog or my family or get to hang out in Ravenna," he said.

Although there is a long road ahead of him, Mayfield said he is excited about starting his tour in his hometown.

"There's all kinds of exciting things coming up, but I'm really excited to play Kent because that's my hometown and it should be a lot of fun with the new record out now," Mayfield said.

Tom Simpson, co-owner of the Kent Stage, said Mayfield's live shows are outrageous.

"He's been called the wild man of Americana," Simpson said. "It's very eccentric, theatrical and very high energy. It's kind of like the Flaming Lips meets 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?'"

Mayfield's new CD Good Man Down will be on sale. Hey Mavis & Blue Ribbon Bluegrass Band will open the show.

For more information, call 330-677-5005 or visit www.kentstage.com.

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