"Two hearts beat like four dancing feet when they move to the rhythm of love," says the inside packaging of The David Mayfield Parade's debut. It is therefore difficult to get the CD into your stereo without wincing, but it's worth it. That chunk of prose captures what is best and most frustrating about the Avett Brothers collaborator's solo album, which reminds us of the difference between "sincere" and "honest."
Mayfield is at his best when he lets his mellifluously unpredictable melodies guide simple arrangements, as on "Blue Skies Again." His clear country voice is pleasantly adorned with the creaks and runs of a Travis Tritt, and it gives his songs a quiet immediacy.
Yet approximately half of this album is dedicated to explaining the vital importance of love. The lyrics, "You're like a savior who can save me from this life. / I'd give it all to have you in my arms tonight," feel like interchangeable parts, and they refuse intimacy on what should be a very personal album. Mayfield's talent is versatile, but he turns it a little too often to guaranteed appeal, yielding an album your aunt will love. That's not bad, but he's capable of better.
The David Mayfield Parade plays the Palace Wednesday, March 30, at 9 PM with Stellarondo. $5.