Could this be a great producer for David, or what?

This is a picture of The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams working with legendary producer Rick Rubin … Adele’s 21 producer … The man MTV called “the most important producer of the last 20 years” and listed among Time Magazine‘s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”

I don’t know what magic wands he pulls out of that wildlife preserve of a beard he has, but the man is known for bringing the best out of the artists he works with. The Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines says, “He has the ability and the patience to let music be discovered, not manufactured. Come to think of it, maybe he is a guru.”

I’m thrilled The Civil Wars are getting to record with Mr. Rubin … at the same time, I can’t help but hope David gets the chance to work with him too, or someone of his calibre, someday.

Please let David visit Shangri La πŸ™‚ (source: @TheCivilWars)

This is from an interview in the Salt Lake Tribune just last month:

“Too often in the past, [David Archuleta] said, producers would give him songs that didn’t fit his vision or voice.Β β€œI want to make my voice come through more … I want to do songs that are more vocally driven, so I can be emotional.” He still wants to pursue pop, but didn’t want to be a ‘classical pop singer.’ He has been listening a lot to Adele and The Civil Wars, the latter a country-folk duo that includes former writing partner Joy Williams…..”

Yo, talk about a perfect fit! David wants his voice and emotion to come through on his next project?? …. exactly what Rick’s been able to do with Adele (and a slew of other artists, ranging from Josh Groban and The Avett Brothers to the Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers).

After Adele’s Toronto show, I heard people exclaim, “Close your eyes and it’s like you’re listening to the CD!” That’s because her producer (Rubin) was able to put her voice front and centre on her record and capture the magic of it, the fullness and richness and unique timbre of it.

David’s voice deserves that treatment too. We all know how amazing he sounds live … most of us discovered him on Idol, where he sang to us live every week. But so far, as much as I love his albums, they don’t deliver The Voice they way they could.

It’s not just about vocals, of course. It’s about great songs. I happen to love David’s songwriting so far, and he’s just starting out as a writer … heck, The Beatles’ first tries were “Love Me Do” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” so the best, as they say, is yet to come! πŸ™‚ Once he gets those new songs he’s working on finished, I just hope they get into the hands of a producer like this… one who can bring out the best in them, in him.

The Civil Wars recording at Rick Rubin's Shangri La Studio in Malibu, CA. (Source:

The Civil Wars were likely introduced to Rick Rubin through Adele, who discovered the duo because they created some great songs and crafted them on record (and live) without the help of a big label or big bucks. They worked hard, stuck to their vision, found their sound and shared it unvarnished and stripped bare of artifice.

I have no doubt David will follow in those authentic footsteps.

“I want to spend time writing, get those songs together, and then go out and say I’m ready. I’m ready to make an album and show it to the record labels and say this is the music I’m going to do. Are you supportive, do you believe in me? That’s what I want to do. I want to be able to do the music that I feel, the music that I want to try, to take a chance with it instead of other people saying it for me.” (Source:Β Yes World)

p.s. Here’s a clip of Rick Rubin with The Dixie Chicks from the documentary “Shut Up & Sing.”

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50 Responses to Could this be a great producer for David, or what?

  1. bleubird19 says:

    TOfan: Yet, again, you have written a wonderful and important post. You are on a roll here lately. I feel very simpatico with you. I just said these exact same things (actually numerous times) to my husband (who really doesn’t want to listen to me about David). I talked about how the Beatles first songs (when they were even older than David) weren’t exactly “great” though we loved them anyway (not to mention many other artists in their early 20’s). I talked to him about how the Beatles evolved into the artists they became. I talked about how David’s lyrics are so intelligent already and the melodies are so good. I talked about how David’s songs just need the correct production to make the voice front and center rather than all the over-laying. How the mixing needed to be better. Yes, I rant about this incessantly to my husband, who usually runs from the room. Thank you for writing this and you do it ever so well! β™₯

  2. Heidijoy says:

    Tofan, That would be so great if David could find the right producer! ……and he has the connections with Joy. I like that statement from David about how he wanted to write , produce and then take it to labels to see who wants to work with him. He is wise beyond his years. David’s music definitely needs to be heard when he’s ready. I’m hoping he can spend some more time in Nashville where he blossoms as he put it.
    Thanks for the topic. Like the video which shows how Rubin works. He probably is really in demand since Adele seems to be doing so well.

    I’m getting excited as the GCT DVD’s I ordered are said to be at the local Post office! eeks! If they weren’t closed I would have gone direcetly there instead of waiting for delivery.

  3. tawna21 says:

    Hmmmm, TOfan. I like your musings here. Annnd, I really like what Rick Rubin can do. If only someone (Joy Williamsm perhaps) could put the bug in his ear that there is an artist out here in this big, wide world that could use his direction. Bring the Voice to the front where it belongs. I’m just thinking out loud.


  4. SandyBeaches says:

    TOfan, you have put the most logical pairing out into the universe so let’s hope that it just might happen! It is time…

    How are you doing in the storm torn province of Ontario? The lightening has been from the days of the dinosaurs! We are waiting out the direction of dear Irene.


  5. djafan says:

    Tofan, this pairing would be a dream come true. Not only is this producer exactly who should be working with David but Adele’s label I think would also be a great fit. Maybe David can then have his own 21 πŸ™‚

  6. refnaf says:

    Yes!!! Amen TOfan. David needs to meet his Quincey, and this guy seems to be a perfect match. Someone to get David’s live sound recorded….that could be a “21” as djafan says!!!!

  7. canarchaudry says:

    TOfan: You are such a good writer!! As you know, I am a bonafide lurker lol…I truly enjoy reading your post and the reply from everyone. I am in the same wavelength as you on this one. Btw, the late John Lennon and George Harrison were amzing songwriters, The Classic Beatles has also been my all time fave band from when they started up til now πŸ™‚

    With regards to David, He is truly gifted and the dedicated fans around the world will no doubt support him thru thick and thin coz we do believe in him.. I sure hope that he will meet the right producer when he is ready to make his next abum…Rick Rubin sounds like a great producer considering he is named The man MTV called β€œthe most important producer of the last 20 years” and listed among Time Magazineβ€˜s β€œ100 Most Influential People in the World.”… Let’s hope their
    path will cross πŸ™‚

    Now, back to lurking haha!! Hope you survived the stormy weather in TO…Have a good day,Deb:)

    • TOfan says:

      haha, delurk more often, audry!!! Nice to see another “T.O.” fan here! πŸ™‚ That stormy weather was crazy and I hope anyone reading this on the U.S. east coast stays safe this weekend!

      Just saw David’s tweets about a good day of songwriting … music to my ears! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      • Heidijoy says:

        So nice to come here to a positive site for David and his fans. Nice to discuss the artistry of David and our hopes for him.
        Exciting news!! I got two of my Glad Christmas Tidings DVD’s today!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve watched it twice so far. So enjoyable and wonderful to Relive the Motab experience.
        Very well done featuring David very well. All of his songs included and a Backstage little talk with his song clips accompanying his statements.

        Wish I was going to Arizona and am looking forward to fan reports and videos.

      • TOfan says:

        Heidijoy, I’m actually a worrier by nature but when David sounds so positive and is going for his dream and (in the intros to EWTRTW) telling us to go for ours … and now whipping up two new songs!!!! I can’t help but feel hopeful and positive and just sit back and enjoy his music and the (hopefully soon) arrival of my MoTabDVD!

  8. abanana77 says:

    Hey all! πŸ™‚ Back from my cross Canada trip! I have returned thoroughly convinced that I (or we haha) live in the most beautiful country in the world! (And that I might live in the ugliest part of the most beautiful country in the world. Hahaha jk. kinda.) Everyday seemed more beautiful than the last.

    Missed having the internet at my fingertips all the time though. And missed you guys too!

    TOfan, couldn’t agree more – would LOVE David to work with someone like this!

    Prayers for anybody in the path of Irene. Take care!

    • TOfan says:

      Welcome back, abanana!!!!! We missed you here too!!! I would so love to do a cross-Canada trip like yours… and yes, prayers to those in the hurricane’s path! Stay safe!!!

    • betsy says:

      I loved your tweets from the road. What a fun interesting trip you had.

      ToFan, Rick Rubin has done amazing things. I remember Johnny Cash’s Hurt cover. It was beautiful. Loved Red hot chili Papers album produced by him.
      I found this:
      Rubin’s biggest trademark as a producer has been a “stripped-down” sound, which involves eliminating production elements such as string sections, backup vocals, and reverb, and instead having naked vocals and bare instrumentation.
      That is a dream I have for David.

      Are you supportive, do you believe in me?
      That kills me every time I read it.

  9. TOfan says:

    Off-topic: Saw this on FOD … from Grace, a fan who gave David a letter at the Jakarta show … pretty cool that he still takes time to read the letters (love the expression on his face too):
    FOD letter

  10. TOfan says:

    I somehow missed this gorgeously simple Falling Stars (esp. his run at 2:38, whoah!) … and in the interview afterwards, David says he’s working on releasing the extra songs on the TOSOD ATE in the U.S. … hmmm.

    • Heidijoy says:

      Loved this performance and little interview. David never ceases to amaze me with his depth of emotion and ability to express the meaning of a song along with his beautiful vocals. I never really cared for the recorded version of this song but this performance was beautiful and gave me more appreciation of the song. Oh yes that little run was beautiful. The Asian Edition is now available in the US on Amazon. Hoping he is now working on those songs for the US in time for the Winter tour.
      Hoping too for more trips to Nashville when David can work it in.

  11. peppertara says:

    Finally stopping in to comment on your great post TOfan. Yes….so agree about this producer for David (or someone like him), would be perfect! I agree, think David will follow in those authentic footsteps, as you said, as he progresses along. They say, give it time and it will fall in line………
    Think things will fall in line for David. So far he has done a terrific job at making the best decisions for himself. Also think he will attract the right people to him who will recognize and fully appreciate his unique and remarkable artistry with the voice front and center.
    Great that David has been songwriting too. Keep writing David! (AND SINGING).
    I remember that Falling Stars video from Utah, gorgeous, simply gorgeous.

    Hope that everyone in the east stays safe from the approaching storm. I’m with David…sending lots of positive thoughts and vibes. May the storm diminish and everyone remain safe through it all.

  12. Kizzi says:

    Great thoughts and ideas TOfan. Always steps ahead of the rest of us. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Now if Mr. Rick Rubin can produce a song that sounds like the one below, I will have died and gone to heaven…right producer yes, yes, yes, cuz David absolutely has the R.I.G.H.T. sound and he knows it and shows it in this “Blackbird” performance at Myrtle Beach! Something about the Beatles lyrics and David and live performance…they go together like a horse and carriage, Abbott and Costello, salt and pepper, bread and butter, Mom and Dad or Aunt along with Uncle, soup and sandwich, Will and Grace, Simon and Garfunkel…et cetera, et cetera, et cetera….

    …take these sunken eyes and learn to see…into the light of the dark black night….

  13. TOfan says:

    Thanks for posting that, Kiz! I noticed on Twitter a lot of peeps weren’t keen on David covering Blackbird, but I loved it. Esp. the repeat of “blackbird fly” that he added at the end … absolutely hypnotic … that’s exactly the vibe I hope his next producer can capture on whatever he works on next.

    • awestruck says:

      I find it hard to believe someone not liking Blackbird by David – what were the main objections TOfan?

    • Kizzi says:

      I hadn’t followed twitter on the Blackbird performance.

      Oldies aren’t everyones cup of tea.

      I think the message in the song is so powerful and David seems to be all about the message….

      Some say Paul McCartney reportedly wrote this about the civil rights struggle for African-Americans after reading about race riots in the US when the federal courts forced the racial desegregation of the Arkansas capital’s school system.

      He apparently penned it in his kitchen in Scotland.

      And it is a universal message for anyone who feels downtrodden, teen angst, being an outcast, being insecure…a song for anyone who is in a difficult situation and needed comfort and hope

      Talk about relevant, powerful messages“….take these broken wings and learn to fly…”

      Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl says this is the greatest Paul McCartney song. He commented: “It’s such a beautiful piece of music, perfect in composition and performance, and in its lyrics and in the range of his voice. Just learning that song…gave me a better appreciation of songwriting. To me it’s just musical bliss.”

      Can’t go wrong with covering a Beatles song, though, if you hit it out of the ball park. πŸ˜€

      I did notice David only performed it once in his Asian tour…the audience on the one YouTube performance I saw in Asia didn’t seem engaged imo.

      • TOfan says:

        kizzi, yes that is why Paul wrote it … he told the story behind it when I saw him in concert last summer (one of my fave concert experiences ever btw) … he also messed up the words and laughed about that after, such a huge icon and yet so down-to-earth and doesn’t take himself too seriously. πŸ™‚

        awestruck, not sure what the objections were, just that I saw peeps tweeting suggestions of covers they’d rather he do instead … I love the song and David’s interpretation of it, he made it his own without messing with the classic beauty of it … not an easy task.

        Came across this interesting NYT article today called “I Me Mine” about The Beatles’ use of pronouns in their songs HERE. Fascinating how their use of words changed if Lennon & McCartney were writing alone or collaborating. *word nerd alert* lol

  14. awestruck says:

    Ah Kizzi I didn’t know that. Very interesting. I’m sure David knew it though – must have also recognized the lack of impression in Asia to drop it from the remainder of his appearances there.

    TOfan, will read that article at some point. the Beatles are one of my al time favorites.

  15. Kizzi says:

    Great article TOfan. First Beatles song I remember was “She Loves You” followed by “P.S. I Love You,” and “Love Me Do.” All those “I Me Mine” pro-nouns Madam Word Nerd….I love it!

    Here is a funny memory – I was 10 and my older sister and brother played guitar (base and lead) and I had a tambourine and sang. “She Loves You” yeah yeah yeah, was the first song we performed together in our family room…electric guitars blaring and me singing my lungs out…what I delivered in volume more than made up for pitch…lololol!

  16. TOfan says:

    Amazing audio on this SOF video just posted:

    oh my heck, check out the other David vids from musictvfan’s channel HERE … like this one, glorious sound!!!!

    God Bless the Broken Road …forgot how sublime this is!

  17. peppertara says:

    WOW is right, fantastic quality videos. Whenever I listen to David sing A Capella I completely forget there is no background music. He is the music.
    Have to say that I love David’s Blackbird! Sung beautifully with sweet hand choreography and all….personally I am so glad he covered that song, one of my faves.

  18. Heidijoy says:

    Nice finds gals! Love Blackbird! Nobody can sing Patriotic songs like David. The Quality of the performances at the book signings was excellent. David really enjoyed that book tour. He has accomplished so much is his young life. …….and of course we want more. Excited for those preparing to travel to Arizona. Thanks for the info on Paul and the Beatles.

  19. jackryan4DA says:

    TOfan – i wanna give you a big hug. The previous article and this one – wow! The theme of the previous thread resonates so much with me because of recent events here in my side of town. But I dare say, it is a challenge to be a fan of David. Cos it takes so little, yet it takes a lot… You know what I mean, right? πŸ˜‰

    And that’s what I love when I come here – succinct, on-point and love-filled blogging about our favorite person πŸ™‚

    More TOfan, moooaaaarrrrrrrrr


    • TOfan says:

      {{{{hugs}}}} back at ya, JR!!!! Know exactly what you mean! πŸ™‚ But we are up to that challenge … ‘cuz the rewards are SO worth it, are they not?!? πŸ™‚ … like the MoTab DVD that is (hopefully) on its way to my mailbox! 😯

      UPDATE: … for those Canucks who can’t wait, just found out the GCT CD (& individual tracks) are now available on iTunes Canada HERE. (Be sure to leave a rating/review.) … What sucks is that you have to know it’s there … doesn’t pop up on David’s album page or if you only type his name in the search field, grrrrrr.

  20. MunkFOD says:

    GCT is charting on itunes!!!! yipppeee! Great things on the horizon! I can feel it!!!! πŸ˜€

    • TOfan says:

      That is SO awesome, Munk!!!! And this looks mighty pretty on iTunes Canada too! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
      iTunes Classical chart

  21. peppertara says:

    Downloaded my copies of all songs from Itunes last night….could not wait for my DVD to arrive so this was wonderful! I have been listening to David’s glorious voice with the choir every chance I have today. I have been stuck on Gesu Bambino… beautiful. It is all a little piece of heaven. Each song captivates me and keeps me there. All so wonderful. Who waits for Christmas when it is David’s voice? It would be like giving up a delectable dessert when it is placed right in front of you. πŸ™‚

    • TOfan says:

      peppertara, I was just able to download & play tonight and even after reading all the fun tweet-spazzing on Twitter, nothing prepared me for those first glorious notes of Gesu Bambino … it literally took my breath away for a second then I spontaneously broke into tears… … I’m worried The Cat & The Mouse Carol might just kill me. 😯

  22. emmegirl says:

    Brilliant article Tofan. This would be a dream pairing. You are so right, “David’s voice deserves that treatment too.” Was hoping he might find the “producer of his future” with this next album, and sounds like there could not be a more perfect match than Mr Rubin. Hope-hope-hoping that someday this comes to pass.

    I β™₯ his Blackbird.

    ….the music that I feel. the music that I want to try. to take a chance with it..

    ..take that chance David.

  23. peppertara says:

    Charting on Itunes, yay! Someone described David’s voice as mystical and enchanting and when I run out of words I love mystical and enchanting. Then there are times when you don’t need words….you just feel. Oh…The Cat and The Mouse Carol….definitely enchanting, endearing and everything else that takes you to a sweet, peaceful sublime place. Can’t help a few tears with these songs, know what you mean TOfan.
    emmegirl…I think David will take those chances too. πŸ™‚

  24. MunkFOD says:

    TOFan, What a great article! love all the information you have put together about Rick Rubin. He is just the kind of producer that I think would respect David’s craft… would respect David’s desires and would work with him on making the best of David.. which is the best. We can only hope for such a producer. Think of the powerful music that would come! I am happy David is taking the time he needs to find his sound and develop it. It will all be worth it. So grateful GCT. This CD really shows David’s talent…. listen to the vocal control and expression. His pitch and technique are impeccable! and then you add the power of emotion and spirit.. and wow… It is the first LIVE PERFORMANCE of David recorded! and you can feel of that performance still. I am hoping for more of the same!

    BRAVO DAVID!!!! and thanks so much TOFan for a great read! hopin’! hopin’ big time!

  25. MunkFOD says:

    PS….I think the timing of GCT is critical! Whatever producer that will work with David will be able to hear the voice and the gift up front and to the max… this is so great ! Cuz you can’t hear it in other recordings as much.. πŸ˜€ There are great things to come!

  26. MunkFOD says:

    PPS..sorry!!! Where is Rick Rubin anyway? Nashville? Do we know all the peeps David met with while he was down there laying out his future? ….dreaming…. πŸ˜€

    • TOfan says:

      sorry, Munk, meant to include that in the post *face palm* … Rick Rubin is in Malibu, California. I think you’re so right about the GCT timing, especially when it airs on PBS, peeps are bound to be blown away. And I totally agree on the recordings for David’s GCT songs … I wish his voice had been that front and centre on his other albums (including CFTH!). Goes to show the difference a producer can make!!!

      peppertara, “mystical & enchanting,” LOvE that!!! I did write a short review when I downloaded from iTunes and I wish I’d used those words! lolol … diff. songs are charting on iTunes Canada this a.m.! :)))))

      • MunkFOD says:

        oooooooo… Malibu, CA… I am liking!!! πŸ˜€

      • Heidijoy says:

        Malibu, California!! That makes me excited too!

        Loving all the excitement with the GCT, especially now that it is on Itune. Wish they would have listed David as featured singer on Gesu Gambino ! especially for those just downloading the ones David is listed on. The DVD does have it listed that way

        Did post a review !!

  27. TOfan says:

    New post/thread!


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