It was the biggest crowd David Myles has played for; more than 30,000 filling the grounds of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
“It was pretty crazy,” said Myles, who got the opportunity to perform at Merlefest late last month. “It was weird. You could hear your voice through these many sets of speakers amplifying to people way far away. It is like the Pope.”
The Halifax-based musician was given the opportunity to perform after he won the general category of the Chris Austin Songwriting contest at the bluegrass festival.
“I felt pretty chill, it didn’t seem that crazy,” said Myles, who got the attention of the three judge panel for his song When It Comes My Turn.
“I could hear myself really well. Because, what makes you panic as a performer is when you can’t hear yourself.”
People will have an opportunity to hear more from Myles in the weeks ahead as he gets set to release his sophomore album, On The Line.
The album is his follow up to Things Have Changed, his 2006 release which earned him two Music Nova Scotia Awards and East Coast Music and Canadian Folk Music nominations.
“I tried to think of a title that would pull together the many parts of the record,” Myles said. “What made this title fall into place was that that line pops up in two or three of the songs.”
“Part of it was that I am putting myself back on the line,” he said about following up the success of the last release. “I am curious to see everyone’s response.”
The eleven tracks on the album features appearances by some of the region’s most respected — and diverse —musicians, including Matt Mays, Jim Bryson, Meaghan Smith, and Thom Swift.
“That was a major part of the reason I like making records, it wasn’t that everyone presented itself and we had to figure out what to do with them,” Myles said. “I thought about what kind of person I would want to have add something to these songs.”