\”Smokey Mountain Memories\” Live Version

Originally posted on 4/8/08

Like great art, fine wine, or sublime composition of any sort, there is an element of discovery in David’s appeal. He is not going to stun you into a deer-in-the-headlights expression with vocal pyrotechnics and bombast. What David offers is a rare dimension of thoughtfulness that is never short on power but nevertheless couched in subtlety. David does something that few performers–even many great ones–-often neglect: He invites you to participate in his performance. He asks you to listen. And he makes you feel.

Despite his obvious skill, David seems too honest to manufacture emotion like some performers. He is genuinely emotional, and this song evidently had real meaning for him. It’s a song of longing, of bittersweet nostalgia for days gone by, of missing loved ones and lost comforts. According to reports from friends, these very feelings have been surfacing lately, as the weeks and months of work and dedication to American Idol take their toll.

Unlike some of the other contestants who either live closer or have the means to travel more easily, David has apparently not been home at all. Anyone who has traveled for business knows that living out of a hotel for any extended period becomes unbearable at certain times. Combined with all the pressure and demands–-not to mention schoolwork and the usual family squabbles–-well, you do the math. David seems an extremely sensitive soul. His heartaches are bared through his music, and he invites us to cry with him.