Marked by authenticity and pure talent, Arkansas Dave, born Dave Pennington, truly screams country music. The artist’s unique perspective and musical talent have propelled his name to be known and admired by music lovers across the globe, taking his voice from Nashville to Switzerland and the United Kingdom. He has been on the road amplifying what he has to say musically and spreading the love for country music everywhere, a genre he is breathing new life into.
Among the milestones he reached throughout his career was participating in the annual Americanafest in 2018, featured in the New York Times as “the coolest music scene today,” where Arkansas Dave thrilled audiences with his soulful lyrics and performances. He also flew all the way to Switzerland for one of the world’s most prestigious music festivals, Montreux Jazz Festival 2018, where he recorded his live album. His take on music contributed significantly to the celebration of folk, country, and soul music, marking his mark in the music industry forever when he performed alongside some of the biggest names in the landscape.
Arkansas Dave was formerly the drummer for Guitar Shorty & The Hard Pans, a role he fulfilled well and cemented at the beginning of his career. The artist was born in Little Rock and raised in Camden, Arkansas, in a house torn between fundamental Christianity and drug abuse, causing him to be trapped in confusion during his early years. From there, in search of a better life, he moved from Arkansas with nothing but his love for music and started finding the right pieces for his puzzle. He worked side jobs while fostering his passion until he enrolled at the Media Tech school in Austin, which was housed in Arlyn Studios, the very same studio where Willie Nelson and Neil Young recorded their albums.
After that, Arkansas Dave landed a place on tour with Guitar Shorty and not long after, he gained local stardom and was on his way to producing his first record. Arkansas Dave went through his fair share of challenges before becoming the talented multi-instrumentalist he is today, but he never allowed his circumstances to define his speed and trajectory.
In 2018, he released his first self-titled album, sharing the story of his life through his music. He treated his growing fans to a collection of soulful blues and epic rock, showcasing his growth as an artist over the years and signifying where he aims to go in the future. But his success did not end there. This year, the artist will be releasing his second album in the summer of 2023. While the first focused on his flexibility as a music artist, his second one highlighted his love for country music. “This falls more on a classic take on country music, an older style but with a modern approach,” said the artist.
From his humble beginnings in Arkansas to touring the world with some of the best artists in the industry, Arkansas Dave has truly come a long way. But, in his words, “I still have a lot of work, and the road never ends. I’m just glad I’m able to travel that road and do what I love to do.” Arkansas Dave is indeed the new face of country music.