David McGhee

David McGhee

BandFolkRock

Introspective, poignant indie folk in the style of Damien Jurado, Iron & Wine, and David Bazan.

Biography

The year was 2007. David McGhee was almost sure he was going to give up writing and recording music. After performing some shows in support of his first EP, Underscore (released in 2006), he stepped back from the music scene to pursue a career and graduate school. A short hiatus from performing turned into over a year. A classically trained pianist, McGhee even started to avoid sitting down at the piano to play his favorite Chopin nocturnes.

In 2008, he reached a breaking point. Everything that he loved about music seemed distant, and he grew increasingly frustrated with his apathy and neglect. Finally, in the summer of 2008, he sat down, pulled out one of his dusty guitars, and began playing. Hours later, he had written "Black Bear River," a serene, yet brutally candid song that accounts the life of a man who neglected everything he loved. The chorus of the song pleads, "Save me from this nightmare/I will salvage trust/Burn the hollow man inside me/Grind these bones to dust." The song proved to be cathartic, and he played it--and nothing else--for weeks on end.

After months of writing, McGhee headed to the studio to record "Black Bear River," his debut full length album. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Larry Luther (Ryan Adams, Gomez) at Mr. Smalls Studios, "Black Bear River" draws the listener in with a sense of urgency.

"Black Bear River" is fraught with the voices of the past--voices of wisdom and sorrow, voices that speak of redemption and striving. Drawing comparisons to Damien Jurado, Iron & Wine, and David Bazan, McGhee's poignant songwriting on Black Bear River frames a devastating, visceral narrative of a man yearning for hope and love.

Lyrics

Curtains and Cinder Blocks

Written By: David McGhee

Over there you'll see a man
Who didn't know that what he had is lost
A curtain torn, a cinder block
Home was never what we thought it was

After we all knew that he had left it all
We gave up on searching
And thought we could stand tall
The curtains that once hung on that decrepit wall
Are now only something to recall

A certain main awaits his fate
There is no remorse or time to grieve
Something pulls him to this place
Love was never what he tried to see

After we all saw that he crumbled from within
We thought we gave up searching
But I guess we never did
The cinder blocks that held this house together then
Are remnants of what we thought we could have been

Over there you'll see a man
Captured by his monsters' plan
Three more hours to his death
Gasping for his every breath
Still no one comes to see his fate
They're blinded by their love and hate
If things had changed they'd acquiesce
To conscience, grace, and slight regret
He cries aloud on his death bed
And wonders what he could have said

If We Run

Written By: David McGhee

We both see today
As one more time to face our past
We've been fighting for purity long gone
And love we know can last

I will wait for an answer

If we run, they'll get to us
Don't look back, they'll get to us
There's no use hiding now

We don't have much time
But we can't stop holding on
Someday I'll see you and you can tell me then
How long we have 'till dawn

I can't wait for an answer

If we run, they'll get to us
Don't look back, they'll get to us
There's no use hiding now

Jacob

Written By: David McGhee

Oh Jacob
It didn't have to be this way
Don't believe the words they say
I know what's true

The answer
It burns within your soul
Don't you lose your self control
Let this life shine through

As you wrestle angels past
Don't forget me
Will you fight for what I lack?
Don't forsake me

Oh Jacob
Don't give it all away
Don't believe the things they say
You know what's true

The answer
It burns within your soul
Don't you lose your self control
Let blessing shine through

As you wrestle angels past
Don't forget me
Will you fight for what I lack?
Don't forsake me

Vanity

Written By: David McGhee

She walked through the door
And into gray lights
Wondered how it came to this
Nothing prepared her for this silent fight
And all she could do was exist

He told his friends
That felt so sublime
He knew it never was true
Whiskey and gin could replay lost times
He never believed what he knew

Vanity pulls us away
The pain is much more than we know
Why do we always betray
The people that we love the most

Black Bear River

Written By: David McGhee

Twenty nine years have gone by
Since he found Black Bear River
And said his goodbyes
No time for help to arrive
And he's marching onward into the lost time of love

He wanted it all to be right
But somewhere intentions got lost in the fight
No time for help to arrive
And he didn't want it, but there was no time for love

Save me from this nightmare
I will salvage trust
Burn the hollow man inside me
Grind these bones to dust

Here we are wasting away
Pain holds us captive but love can still stay
We fight for those innocent days
Please tell me something to keep this fear at bay

Save me from this nightmare
I will salvage trust
Burn the hollow man inside me
Grind these bones to dust

Maligned

Written By: David McGhee

I'm going to leave this town, babe
And leave it all behind
I'm tired of playing games now
My life is so maligned
I wish I'd feel something
To make me want to stay
But I can't fight this anymore
My conscience is betrayed

Shame and fear will break you every time
This uphill battle is also a decline

As I run down the highway
I can't help looking back
We all long for those memories
That we've held back
I will never forget you
As long as I love
But there's nothing to say now
I have nothing to give

I'm running through this life, babe
And I don't know what to do
These feet are getting tired, babe
Of walking into you
I wish I'd feel something
To make me want to stay
But I can't fight this anymore
My conscience is betrayed

Shame and fear will break you every time
This uphill battle is also a decline

As I run down the highway
I can't help looking back
We all long for those memories
That we've held back
I will never forget you
As long as I love
But there's nothing to say now
I have nothing to give

The First Letter

Written By: David McGhee

I don't know the words to say
When she turned around
And then looked my way
I froze in stupor
But I knew that day
I'm going to love her someday

Too many memories to list
A lifetime with you
Is too good to miss
With each conversation
And each gentle kiss
I never knew love could be this

One day we'll be old and say
Death is now knocking
But we have today
I will stand with you
As God calls your name
I'll love you when you've gone away
I know that we both can say
I promise to love you today

Perfect

Written By: David McGhee

Perfect
I wish I could feel this
I have always been remiss
But certainty and clarity
Have always been so hard to see
And all those times you tried to help me
I've pushed so hard, I fell into the sea
What is there for me?

Please throw out the lifeboat
Somebody save me from myself
But then my foolish pride will
Prevent me from reaching out

Perfect
I wish I could see this
Life is always mistreated
The strength I seek in times of need
Has always been so hard to see
And all those times you tried to help me
I've pushed so hard, I feel into the sea
What is there for me?

Please throw out the lifeboat
Somebody save me from myself
But then my foolish pride will
Prevent me from reaching out

Wait

Written By: David McGhee

The sun retreats into space
The light, it falls from your face
I wish time would stand still
We've come this far and I know
There's so much I can do to show
That it will get better still

And I'll wait for you
No matter how long time will hold you
No matter what this life will show you
I'll wait for you

October, time to come home
The rain, it falls from heaven's floor
And time stands still
We've come this far and I know
There's so much I can do to show
That it will get better still

And I'll wait for you
No matter how long time will hold you
No matter what this life will show you
I'll wait for you

Prelude

Written By: David McGhee

(instrumental)

Discography

Black Bear River (2009)
Underscore EP (2006)

For booking information:
davidmcgheemusic@gmail.com