DAVID PACK ~ The Secret of Movin’ On
by Todd Smith
There’s so much talk about “blue-eyed” soul these days. Whether it’s the contestants on American Idol or the next Top 10 twenty-something, it seems the quest for soul singers, ones that have that certain magic, has never been more frantic. Is it because the talents of a by-gone era are so hard to find in the current musical stream? Where is this generation’s Michael McDonald, Ray Charles or Aretha Franklin? Oftentimes looking back is the key to the future. David Pack’s new opus The Secret of Movin’ On might be the perfect lesson for those looking for the true gift of the human voice. His passionate delivery, his unequaled falsetto and his sultry stylings are what helped elevate the prog/pop Ambrosia to the top of the charts in the mid to late ‘70’s.
Today, Pack is blazing his own trail. It’s been twenty years since leaving Ambrosia and recording his first solo record, Anywhere You Go. With The Secret of Movin’ On, he’s hoping to re-introduce his voice to a whole new audience and he’s using his friends to help out. Two of his closest friends are his biggest hits, the massive ballad “You’re The Only Women” and the spiritually motivated “Biggest Part of Me.” They have been re-worked, arranged and recorded with a contemporary edge - and both are seeing renewed life on the radio. Speaking to us recently Pack stated, “Songs are like children, after you create them it’s fun to watch them grow. Some of them grow bigger than you would ever imagine. I think these songs have done that for me I mean, when you hear them in the grocery store that’s pretty amazing.”
Another set of friends include musicians considered by Pack to be “National Treasures”. They include Heart’s Ann Wilson, Journey’s Steve Perry and the Eagles’ Timothy B. Schmidt. “I’ve been close with these artists over the years,” says Pack. “A while ago I went out on the road with Ann, John Entwistle, Alan Parsons and Todd Rundgren in a tribute to the Beatles called ‘A Walk Down Abby Road’. We played all these amazing songs that inspired us and then jammed on a few of our own. It was the most amazing experience.” Pack later invited Wilson to sing on The Secret of Movin’ On as a duet. Perry and Schmidt have been personal friends of Pack since they toured together in the ‘70’s. This record gave them the opportunity to musically explore their common bond.
Between solo records, Pack has busied himself as a much sought after songwriter and producer. In the past twenty years he has produced albums or songs for Kenny Loggins, including the enormously successful and Grammy-nominated “Return to Pooh Corner.” Wynonna Judd, Patti Austin, Michael McDonald, David Benoit and appeared on records with Alan Parsons, Al Stewart, Kansas, 38. Special, Quincy Jones and the Doobie Brothers to name a few. Also to his credit is his work on numerous soundtracks including the million selling West Side Story, White Nights, Arthur, Wild Cats and Selena. That’s not to forget the six records with the hit machine Ambrosia, three of which went multi-platinum.
Even with such a successful and monumental career, Pack feels like he’s just beginning. “I feel like I’m paying my dues all over again,” says David. “People know the name Ambrosia but not David Pack, so it’s a new goal for me as a solo artist.” He also admits that being away, out of the limelight, has put separation between himself and his fans. Continues Pack, “I’ve spent so many years on the other side of the control room as a producer, it’s time I step back out in front of people again reconnect with being a live artist.” One session with his live band, comprised of top sessions players in and around the LA area, will convince all that Pack is set to regain any lost momentum.
“I consider my talents derived from a very spiritual source and am compelled to share them,” confides Pack. “It all comes down to trust and relationships.” Pack’s songwriting is his central focus. “People write and tell me how my songs have helped them through life, whether its hard times, the death of a loved one, marriage or the birth of a child. That’s pretty overwhelming when you think about it.” As a member of the Songwriter’s Roundtable in Nashville, Pack enjoys his association with other talents that contribute to the “Business of Music.” His love and passion has allowed him to play for Senators in Washington, be the Musical Director for President Clinton’s Inauguration (twice) and play with the musicians who write the soundtracks of our lives. What greater gift is that?
Website: David Pack