David Blair Almost Packed it in, but America Wanted More
Most often compared to Jason Mraz and John Mayer, David Blair is no spring chicken and he is fine with that. But in 35 years I think he's managed to pick up the tools that he'll need to keep building his career.
In the 90s, David spent his time in an up-and-coming rock band that opened up for acts that would become Nickelback, Theory of a Deadman, and Default. Instead of breaking out, his band broke up.
So in the early 2000s, he made the grown-up decision to pack it in and settle for real life... but it just wasn't in the cards.
"In 2006 I wrote a song called 'Let You Go', which was on my first five song EP. I sent it to a compilation place in L.A. and they loved it and released it on a compilation album. They invited me to a release party to play, and I wasn't going to go, but I went anyway. That was kind of the beginning of everything for me."
Once Blair started out on his own down there, he found that he couldn't turn his back on his new friends south of the border. And it seemed as though every time he crossed, by the time he returned there were new opportunities presented to him.
"I came back [to Vancouver] and people from L.A. were like 'get your butt back down here, we'll put some shows together for you', so I went down to play a festival in Oklahoma later that year. By that time I had finished my album Hard To Control and I ended up staying in L.A. for three months playing shows."
Many Canadian artists often find it difficult to break into the American market, generally finding it easier to fly overseas than to drive a couple of hours south. For Blair it has been the exact opposite.
"Every time I go down there I keep meeting someone new and they'll say 'oh you should come to my town or you should play here'."
Here, David pointed out that being a solo artist has allowed him to do what would have been much more costly and difficult had he still been with his band. Crossing the border to play shows generally involves some paperwork and a significant sum of money.
"It's a lot easier for a soloist to just throw the guitar in the back of the car and say that they're visiting a friend at a cottage, or going for a jam or something. I wouldn't recommend it to everybody, but if you can get across there's just so much opportunity and people to meet."
Blair is midway through a tour to promote his newest release Things Left Unsaid and will be playing a showcase at the Cameron House and again at the Global Village Backpackers Lounge on Wednesday.
Needless to say, he will also be making a couple stops in the States.
Photo by Amie Beaton
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