Shuffle: Bluegrass Artist David Mayfield Finds The 'Sweetside' of Making Music in Canton

Nov 16, 2017

David Mayfield working at Sweetside Recording Company, Canton
Credit Sweetside Recording Company

Popular bluegrass artist David Mayfield has come home to start a recording company. Sweetside has recently opened in downtown Canton, but he's kept his new venture mostly under the radar. For this week’s Shuffle, The Devil Strip’s music editor Brittany Nader talks about the new studio. 

Nader says she heard about Sweetside Recording Company through the Cory Grinder Band of Akron. "They told me they had recorded their new album at this place called Sweetside, and I had never heard of it. I found out it was opened and operated by Grammy-nominated producer David Mayfield."  

A local bluegrass hero
Mayfield's music career began when he was a child. He performed in his family band, One Way Rider, with his parents, David and Valerie Mayfield, and his younger sister, Jessica Lea Mayfield

Grammy-nominated producer David Mayfield
Credit Jeffrey Ferguson

"He started doing his solo stuff with the encouragement of his sister and Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers. So, he started The David Mayfield Parade where he was writing and performing his own original material."

Mayfield spent the last few years recording and producing in Nashville at his Tiger Spa studio. Now, he's back home. 

Why Canton?
"Canton has its arts district and I feel like that's a hub that's separate from the rest of the city, at least the way a lot of people perceive Canton," Nader says. "It's really thriving, and Canton does have a rich music history, particularly with country artists."

Nader says what makes Sweetside unique is Mayfield's collection of vintage microphones and guitars.   

"It does have a certain charm and sound that musicians would enjoy, who do old-school music like Americana, bluegrass, folk or country."

Sweetside Recording Company has opened in Canton
Credit Sweetside Recording Company

Nader says Mayfield likes to have a relationship with the people he works with.

"He wants to be 100% behind every artist and album that he produces. I feel like having that advocate who has all this knowledge, experience and skills would probably put a lot of people on the map from around here."