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Al David brought his Nashville charm to Ridgecrest when he entertained a private party at Flight Line Tap Room and the Moose Lodge. / Laura Austin Photo

Al David brings Nashville experience to Ridgecrest

Last February, folks were treated to a Nashville Experience by hometown musician Al David at the China Lake Moose Lodge #258. You may have known him as Albert Bermudez when he went to Burroughs, but only folks who knew him before he went to Nashville get to call him Albert.

David was in town to play a private party at Flight Line Tap Room. (He will be back at the Tap Room on May 27.) He chose to play at the Moose Lodge because his friends and family are members. They graciously opened the Lodge to all his fans and the place was packed. 

The young man is a crowd-pleaser, and his Nashville style of entertainment created a great atmosphere. Folks are used to musicians getting on stage with a set list of songs in the order they play them. They may talk a little to introduce a song or take a special request. That’s not what David does. He says, “You got to really talk to your audience and get the audience involved and kind of just feel them out and see what they want and be able to do as much of what they want as possible.” 

David’s sound is a Contemporary Country style.  He sprinkled in his originals throughout the evening. He introduced  “Everything I Am” in gratitude to his parents. He says, “It is not every day you get to write a song like that about your parents.” Here are a few lyrics from the chorus: “Everything I am, everything I’m not, I can trace it back to everything you taught…Because of you, I know right where I stand.”

After the song, he invited his mother, Maria Bermudez, on stage to sing with him. She opened the song tenuously; when David joined in harmony, she found her voice, and both voices soared, creating a touching moment of musical magic.

David grew up around music. “I was always around music. My grandpa played guitar,” as did his grandaunts and uncles. “I grew up around it a lot and had a little keyboard under my bed when I was four or five, then the recorder lessons in grade school. When I went to middle school, I started playing trumpet, and I played that all through middle school through high school and a little bit afterward, too. I started playing guitar in high school and really decided to start singing in front of people during my last year of high school. So after that, I just kind of got hooked.”

His father Albert Bermudez II remembers David’s first rock band performance. “It was his senior year in high school. He said they were having an assembly at the high school. He says, ‘I’m gonna put a band together, and we’re gonna play at this assembly.’ And I’m like, ‘What do you have? And who’s gonna sing?’” He was surprised that David was going to sing because he had never heard him sing, “Not even in the shower.” His parents went to the assembly and recognized David’s buddies, including the current Burroughs High School Band Director, Brian Cosner.  “That’s where it started. He just formed a band here in town and tried to go to different places.”

David first went to Bakersfield. “I was there for about a year because my friend and I went to New York City for a songwriting competition. We got a developmental contract out of it. That was in Bakersfield, and that didn’t pan out. So after that was over, we moved to the San Fernando Valley, which is close to LA, and tried to make music there. We recorded an album there, and that also didn’t pan out.”

David decided to leave rock music behind, return to his roots (his mom sang country music all the time) and head out on his own to Nashville in 2020. He can be found Friday nights at NashHouse Silver Spoon & Saloon. So far, it has been a big learning experience, “You just learn every day that you have more to learn. It’s more of the business stuff that I’m needing to learn. But I am also learning about how to be a performer. You’re always getting better with music, and moving to Nashville definitely helped that tremendously because you see other people that are really good and it makes you want to be better.

“The one thing I always hear from audiences is that my voice is unique.” This writer describes it as a lyrical voice with a built-in growl. 

The Moose Lodge suited him as a local venue because his dad is the treasurer. The Lodge boasts being one of the oldest continuously operating Moose Lodges in the United States. They are community oriented and raise funds for several local organizations. Lodge Administrator Leslie Broaker says, “It’s a family kind of organization. Children are allowed here and people are all friends.  We are always looking for people that are looking to have a little more meaning other than just going to a bar.”

David thanks everyone for their support, “You can’t go and chase something if you don’t have support.” And for those who want to chase something, he says, “It’s not easy. There are a lot of sacrifices. If you’re happy doing it, then go for it.”