When David Warren walks into the room the first thing I notice is that this guy looks like rock star. The long blond hair, black wide-brim hat, half unbuttoned shirt, skinny jeans and steel-toed boots scream music — free-spirited and organic music. This is a kid who looks like he’s living the dream and he’s just getting started.
“There’s nothing like soaking in the good vibes of David’s show,” long-time Irish Kevin’s resident entertainer and former band member of the Durtbags Jared Konersman says. “He’s such a talented and positive musician. I love catching his show when I can.”
Flashback to two decades ago when David was 9 years old and got what he wanted for Christmas: a drum set. He has been playing the drums ever since, which eventually led to learning the guitar and recently to discovering that he’s pretty good at vocals as well.
“I was jamming with a friend and started singing along to Led Zeppelin and kind of surprised myself. I never sang my whole life until 3 years ago,” he tells me after one of his shows at the Bull and Whistle Bar on the corner of Duval and Caroline streets, where he plays every Saturday from 6-10 p.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. As ever, he is dressed to impress in full post-show wardrobe.
It’s not the first time he mentions the infamous English rock band. Led Zeppelin is an obvious role model for the young crooner in both fashion and talent. As a teenager he used to play along with the band’s songs on every one of their live concert DVDs. This, he tells me, is basically how he learned how to play music. That and practice.
“Whenever I get tired thse days,” he says, “my Mom likes to remind me that I used to play non-stop for 10 hours in the basement.”
He lists Led Zeppelin along with his other musical influences like the Allman Brothers, the Eagles, Black Sabbath, Neil Young (“you can just go ahead and quote Crosby, Stills and Nash,” he corrects), and Pink Floyd as having had a major impact on his career. David has a true vintage heart that looks to the past for inspiration but knows how to bring it into the now and he has created a unique style that is modern and current.
In August 2017 David released his debut album which he named “Into the Sun.” Not only did he do all the writing, but he also played all the instruments, including drums, guitar, bass, piano, synthesizer and of course vocals. The album was also self-produced and recorded in his bedroom right here in Key West.
“My main goal was to write an album that didn’t have just one type of style,” he explains. “It’s the kind of album that if a family were to sit down and listen to it, then Grandma would like a song, and Mom would like a song, and her kid is going to like a song.”
“And there are parts where you can really tell that I had a lot on my mind” he adds.
Raw and straight from the soul is how he describes his sound, but there’s also something about David Warren that is patient. He teaches music at the Grateful Guitar to 25 students between the ages of 6 and 66.
He is determined. “I have a college degree that I could use, but that’s not what I want to do. I want to play music.”
He is genuine. “I truly play music from the heart. There’s some classic rock, some funk, some blues, some soul. There’s nothing loaded about what I do.
“All I want to do is to make everyone smile and be happy.”
He grew up in “the middle of nowhere” in rural New Hampshire with no neighbors but with unwaveringly supportive parents.
He worked at ski resorts in Lake Tahoe before ending up in Key West, where the weather is warm and the season keeps it rhythm.
He has found a place where he can grow and flourish.
“Tangible things and feelings have failed me, but music hasn’t,” he says. “Follow your dreams. As cliché as it sounds, follow your dreams man.”
You can hear David’s 1970s-love-child meets British-invasion music on all major media platforms including iTunes, Spotify, Google play and YouTube. He doesn’t have a website yet, but look him up on Facebook, find his schedule and be sure to catch a show of this budding local soloist who brings a whole lotta love to the game. ¦