Dave Pahanish: He Writes the (Hit) Songs That Make Nashville Sing
Every night of the week, thousands of bars and clubs across the country are filled with thirsty customers and live music. Sometimes people pay attention to the music. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes people talk to the musicians afterwards, buy a CD, and find out where they can catch the next show. Sometimes they don’t. Most times, the musician or band will stay local, maybe build a little following, but remain struggling up-and-comers. But, sometimes – they don’t. In the case of Dave Pahanish, sometimes they move to Nashville and write hit songs for the top recording artists on the charts.
I met Dave Pahanish just under ten years ago during a visit back to my home state of Pennsylvania. A friend had told me about a local singer/songwriter he thought I would like, so we ventured to the Club Café on Pittsburgh’s South Side to catch the show. Not only did I like him, I was blown away. After his set, I introduced myself, told him I was in a band, and suggested that we try to play some shows together. Dave thought it was a great idea and mentioned that he was doing a solo acoustic show in Virginia later that month.
When I walked into that show at Chadwick’s in Old Town Alexandria, I saw Dave in the corner playing his guitar and singing his heart out……..to a few locals who were quite content to just talk with each other and even talk over Dave’s playing. Over the next few years we did some shows together, and I had a feeling it was only a matter of time until Dave made it. He was that good and I thought to myself, there is no way someone this talented will remain unknown.
Fast forward to 2007: Dave packed his bags and moved to Nashville. This is a very risky move for a musician and often crushes the dreams of many singer/songwriters. But in Dave’s first week of living in Nashville he received multiple offers from music publishers and signed with Wright of Center Music. Since his move to Nashville, Dave has had more than 30 songs recorded by artists like Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Jimmy Wayne, and Emily West. Both Toby Keith and Jimmy Wayne have had #1 hits with Dave Pahanish songs, with “American Ride” and “Do You Believe Me Now” respectively.
In addition to the work he has published for other artists, Dave recorded two of his own albums – Anywhere in 2000, and Shine in 2001. I recommend Shine for newcomers to Dave’s music, as it showcases his great songwriting and singing – and the players on the album are great musicians. Both records are available online and through iTunes.
So, the next time you walk into a bar or club and there is someone performing, take a minute to stop and give them a listen. You might just hear a #1 song before anyone knows it’s a hit!