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.
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. “I 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! 🙂 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 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: Yes World)
p.s. Here’s a clip of Rick Rubin with The Dixie Chicks from the documentary “Shut Up & Sing.”