Late Wednesday night many started to notice that David Nail was missing from UMG Nashville’s roster page on their website. As you can see here, he’s no longer listed and appears to be done with the label. Giving further credence to this is an ominous tweet Nail sent out on Tuesday night:
I have reached out to UMG Nashville to officially confirm his status and will update this post when they or Nail provide official confirmation. If Nail is indeed done with the label, the move is not entirely surprising. Nail’s most recent single “Good At Night” failed to even crack top 50 at country radio, peaking at #52. Previous single “Night’s on Fire” reached #14 on the charts, but it took nearly a year to reach this spot. Nail hasn’t had a major hit since 2013 with #1 song “Whatever She’s Got” and his last hit before this was in 2011 with #1 hit “Let It Rain.” Radio has basically left him in the dust and UMG Nashville ran out of patience with him essentially, so they cut him loose.
It’s especially disappointing to see after his latest album Fighter released last year was good and was one of the best album releases by a major label country artist in 2016. But this is life on a major label: you either produce or you lose your spot. If you’re a David Nail fan, don’t be too disappointed by this as I expect Nail to bounce back. There’s no reason why an indie label wouldn’t be interested in him eventually and Nail could always go at it independently through some outfit like Thirty Tigers. This story is yet another reminder of the cutthroat nature of the music business and Nail is another victim chewed up and spit out by the Nashville machine.
One of the most popular parlor games people love to play is the six degrees of separation with celebrities and musicians. It’s based on the theory of the same name. According to Wikipedia, the theory is “that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.” The most popular six degrees of separation game played with a celebrity is Kevin Bacon, who is surprisingly connected to a lot of people in the film industry. Well to promote his new album out on Friday and to create a fun little experiment, UMG Nashville has set up the Six Degrees of Vince Gill. There’s a website set up where you can see for yourself, www.6degreesofvincegill.com.
It’s pretty simple to use. Just go to the site and type in the name of any musician you can think of and it will show you the degrees of separation that musician has from Vince Gill. According to UMG Nashville, the database contains over one million artist and Gill is a better connector than 99.87% of the musicians in the database, with the average distance for an artist being three steps from Gill. You can even refine the search by genres and different musical positions such as artist, producer and writer. It’s pretty detailed and well set up. In addition there’s some specially curated playlists on Spotify you can check out.
I gave it a whirl myself with a few artist. I tried out Jason Isbell and as you can see has a number of three:
I also typed in Sturgill Simpson, who did not have any connection Vince Gill, much to my surprise. Adele has a Vince Gill number of 2 and David Bowie has a Vince Gill number of 2 too. It’s a fun little tool and something cool for music fans to check out. Who knows how close your favorite artist is from Vince Gill? His new album Down To My Last Bad Habit will be out Friday and we’ll be sure to have a review on it.