The Bands of Rocket Suzie: David Mayfield Parade

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Rocket Suzie Music Festival will return to the green space outside Gary's on the River July 18-19. Bands performing include headliners The Pines and He's My Brother, She's My Sister alongside musical acts Comfort Kings, King of the Tramps, Mat d. and the Profane Saints, Josh Davis and Will Locker, Christopher the Conquered, The High Crest, Saint Anyway and David Mayfield Parade. EarlyBird tickets cost between $10 and $25 and are available at The Bear and Carey's Electronics and on

David Mayfield, frontman of David Mayfield Parade, grew up in a family band and played music his entire life alongside his parents and two sisters. He's since been part of several bands over time and toured with bands including the Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons.

Growing up, music was a part of David Mayfield's life.

"I grew up in a family band," he said. "My mom, dad and two sisters all played. I played music my whole life."

Mayfield noted he grew up playing bluegrass music, and likes using his fast guitar solo skills on stage. His inspiration pulls from these early experiences and incorporates other genres, including gospel and classic pop.

"It's an interesting mix," he said. "I feel like someone who heard our new record would hear what they would imagine the Black Keys would sound like if they were a bluegrass band."

Originally from Ohio, Mayfield moved to Nashville, Tenn.,

about eight years ago and hasn't looked back.

As a member of the bluegrass group Cadillac Sky, Mayfield toured for two years with Mumford & Sons. He also appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman as a member of the band accompanying his sister, Jessica Lea Mayfield.

"When (Cadillac Sky) broke up, I had no other skills," he said. "I needed to continue with music."

"The David Mayfield Parade can never break up unless I mentally break up," he continued. "Now I have a steady cast of musicians."

He received a lot of encouragement while considering starting his own band, specifically from fellow band The Avett Brothers, who he played drums with at the Bonnaroo music festival several years before.

"I had opened for them maybe 50 times," he said. "I got my booking agent through them, and they sing all the harmonies on my first record. They've been big supporters."

In his first year with the David Mayfield Parade, he played 215 shows. In his second year, he played 180, and this year, his third, he will have played 80 while finishing a new record scheduled to release in the fall.

"I'm doing this for a living," he said. "I have a lot of moments I have to stop. It's surreal to me when I'm at a beautiful festival or meeting David Bowie in New York City."

"My dad worked 12 hours a day in a machine shop," he continued. "I think 'this is my job,' but it's not really a job. I can never complain."

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