Dave Fenley

Feed the Band

Our interview with

Dave Fenley

Southern Fellow has always been family based. Our  family is built of lovers, artists, conservatives, liberals, foodies, music fans and so many more labels we put on people. Yet, at the end of the day, all of us come together and form one family unit. It is truly remarkable to see. Our  next artist on Feed the Band is someone who can pull from many different perspectives and compose a song that feels extremely honest.

You might recognize Dave Fenley from season 15 of The Voice. He had some amazing performances. Dave was eliminated, but he used his experiences on the show as a huge stepping stone for his music. It allowed him to connect with a national audience. While spending time with Dave Fenley, I learned that connecting  to people was less of a job, and more something built in his DNA. Having a conversation with Dave Fenley feels like an episode of Cheers. Almost immediately you feel at home. I think it is fair to say Dave Fenley recognizes his own faults and by doing so, he relates to those of others. This allows all parties in the conversation to forgo the awkward sizing up that normally happens when you first meet someone. 

Accepting faults is a theme evenly woven throughout his music. Dave Fenley tells stories of the sum of a man. He looks at both the good and the bad and let’s you decide where the scales rest. “Come to Think About It” is a song that is a fantastic example of this theme. This song has an extremely honest undertone. That’s because “Come to Think About It” lyrics are pulled from experiences of  Dave Fenley himself. 

The icing on the cake that sells his relatable stories is the gravel in Dave Fenley’s voice. As with Johnny Cash and other greats, that gravel can be a big part of the storytelling. It makes the artist feel like they have the maturity to speak from experience, that they have been through it and come out the other side. Cautionary tales and songs that come across as experiences lived , need gravel.

After spending time with Dave Fenley, there is one conclusion to draw. Dave is all heart. In life or music, he lives his life heart first no matter how broken or bruised it may become. Dave Fenley’s pulse on life will make him a legend in storytelling. We would like to welcome him to the Southern Fellow family,

Let’s get to the interview. Be sure to check out the recipe inspired by Dave and the giveaway at the end. Here is our interview with country music artist Dave Fenley.

 

Tell us about your road to country music. 

Country music has always been a major part of my life. One of my best memories was after every baseball game (win or lose) my dad and I would sing together all the way home. He would teach me harmony parts and we would even sit in the driveway and sing until a song came on that he didn’t like. Haha. Making the decision later in life to actually try and be an artist was difficult cuz it wasn’t in “the plan” but the pull was too strong and my writing seemed to be really developing. I just wanna leave a mark, make a difference, or whatever grand sentiment works best. I just love the honesty that country music embodies.

If you could not play music, what do you think you would be doing?

I think I would still be involved in music somehow. I am very detail oriented and think I would be a great tour manager or manager in general. I love promoting others and their music.

What’s the coolest thing about Lufkin, TX?

I think the coolest thing about Lufkin is that it seems to never change. With the exception of the recent “Blue Bell Ice Cream Licker”, I think the core values of the town are really strong and run deep.

We are always developing recipes here at Southern Fellow. When writing music, what recipe do you use?

That’s a great question. The answer is actually different depending on the writing session. If I’m writing alone, I’ll start with music and let that create an emotion. The emotion leads to a “feel” which spawns a melody and then the lyrics and hook follows. If I’m writing in a group setting with co-writers, it’s the reverse. Start with the hook and work backwards. Collaborative songwriting is one of the most unnatural concepts at first. Cuz it’s art. It’s personal. But you learn to love the creation with others. Watching amazing songs develop out of nowhere is my favorite. At the end of each songwriting session I still say out loud “this song didn’t exist a few hours ago.” 

You have written and lived through heartache. That makes you an expert in our book.  How did you overcome?

 I hope I’m not an expert. But then again, I hope I never become one either. I never viewed marriage as temporary. But when the separation was inevitable, I had to forgive myself and her because it’s never just one thing that causes the breakdown of something beautiful. I overcame the loss by writing songs. Some really gripping, some really lighthearted, and some even kinda mean ones. But that emotional exploration taught me two valuable lessons. 1. I can survive anything so I don’t need to be afraid to put myself out there again. 2. We aren’t a perfect fit for everyone and that is perfectly ok.

Southern Fellow Dave Fenley

What is your first fond memory of food?

Family reunion pot lucks!! My whole family consists of self proclaimed chefs that all have their special recipe that is expected at every gathering. Nothing better than family and food and music.

What’s the hardest part on the road most people don’t know?

Ironically and also in context, it’s food intake. Very little home cooked meals on the road. Sure makes it hard to be responsible. I’m not big on fast food and have a gluten allergy (eyeroll) so eating on the road is laborious and usually expensive.

“Come to Think About It” is a personal song for you. Tell us about it.

That song is one of my solo writes that came from an argument with my now ex wife. She used to get onto me a little about “networking” in Nashville cuz we both knew that was a code word for drinking. Haha. I can’t blame her. I’ve spent a lot of my life at the business end of a bar. And I’m not alone. I wanted to offer the audience an alternative to the “all good” or “all sad” country song. This song has layers. The character has a choice (like we all do). And in the end he chooses to make a change. I’ve had a lot of people express that they were glad to have that sort of option in their music once in a while.

What do you hope never changes?

I hope technology doesn’t replace dreamers. I hope organic food doesn’t continue to get more expensive. I hope families still sit down and eat together. I hope God still forgives us for all our nonsense.

Try this inspired recipe!

Peanut Butter, Beer and Pretzel Bars

We put the bar in the bar with this recipe. These sweet treats have peanuts, pretzels and Guinness beer! Try these easy Peanut Butter Beer and Pretzel Bars today.

What does the coming year look like for you?

Hopefully busy! I am having a blast traveling around and meeting folks that became fans after my time on The Voice.

What is the best way a person can spend their time?

Loving, reading, being outside in the sunshine, helping somebody with anything they can, forgiving, laughing, eating, sleeping…just to name a few. Haha

Here at Southern Fellow we are all about family. What ways has your family contributed to your career?

My mom and dad are my biggest fans and also my oracle. They are wise and learned and patient and loving. They also don’t tolerate nonsense. They love country music and some old R&B and they instilled in me a beautiful appreciation for music.

Is there anything else you want your fans at Southern Fellow to know?

Simple. SPREAD LOVE LIKE PEANUT BUTTER

That is Mr. Dave Fenley. What a great storyteller in country music. We are happy to have Dave as part of the Southern Fellow family. You can welcome Dave Fenley to the family by adding his music to your summer playlist. You can find him on SpotifyApple MusicAmazon and YouTube Music. Please try that delicious recipe for Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars and enter our giveaway.

Next up on Feed the Band we have Charlie Marie. Charlie is one of the best new women in country. Be sure to look out for that, We have a ton of music and recipes on the way. Stay Tuned!

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