The title of David Nail’s fourth studio album carries a lot of weight. Fighter is named in honor of the country singer’s wife, Catherine, who helped him through a long, dark battle with depression. The couple also recently fought infertility together — and eventually won, as they welcomed twins last December.
Nail had already completed the Fighter album when his children were born, but becoming a dad changed his musical mindset. He recorded four new songs that took the album in a different, much deeper direction.
“Six months ago, people would ask me about the record and I would jokingly say, ‘It’s my love-making record,'” says the Missouri native. “But what it meant to me then and what it means to me now are completely different. Having been a father for about five months, it definitely changes the dynamic of things.”
Nail wrote a new song, “Babies” about his son and daughter. “Good things come to those who wait/I used to think that’s just something people say,” he sings in the uplifting tune. “So imagine when you get the news/After years of trying, not just one but two.”
The three other new tracks, “Old Man’s Symphony,” “Ease Your Pain” and “Lie with Me,” are also about extremely personal situations, as Nail used songwriting as a form of therapy — and as a “thank you” to family members who helped him through tough times. “[I was] like, ‘Am I ready to sing this? Am I ready to tell this story?'” he recalls. “[But] they come from a genuine place that you can kind of say, ‘OK, I’ve said that. I’m at peace with that.’ I think that’s what this record is.”
Nail co-wrote seven of the album’s 11 tracks and has seven special guests lending vocals: Vince Gill, Lori McKenna, Logan Brill, Bear Rinehart and Bo Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE and T.J. Osborne and John Osborne of Brothers Osborne. He’s also recruited fellow “fighters” to help him in a new video series. Six different clips rolling out this week and next will show people who have overcome tremendous adversity to not only come out on top but also help others along the way.
The first video, revealed Thursday, features Patrick and Holly Wright, founders of the Payton Wright Foundation. The non-profit organization, which helps families with children fighting brain cancer, was named in honor of their late daughter, who died of the disease when she was just five years old.
“The one word that really does describe [Payton] is being a fighter,” says Holly. “I think that’s what really got her through some really tough times.”
Watch Patrick and Holly Wright’s “Fighter” video here.
Today’s video features Brenda Wilson, a former addict who, like Nail, also battled depression. She has now been sober for three years and has a job at Thistle Farms, where she gives back to other women facing various hardships.
“I want to tell everybody that has embarked upon this journey of darkness, there is hope, you can change,” says Wilson in the touching clip. “But you have to ask for help. You can’t do it by yourself.”