One of my favorite things about country music is discovering an up and coming talent making a name for himself. Breaking out in the music business is hard, and seeing all the young talent that not only puts the effort and time in to make it, but cares enough to do it right, is really refreshing. Nick Dittmeier is one of those artists. His second album Light of Day is set to release April 27, and if you like country music with a rock edge, you'll dig this album.
Nick Dittmeier is from Southern Indiana and spends a lot of time touring the mid-south Kentucky/Indiana/Ohio/Tennessee area. He was formally the lead singer of a band called Slithering Beast, but he since broke off and began his solo career. Nick's sound is similar to that of Blackberry Smoke. It's very country in its subject matter and writing style, but has a southern rock edge in the arrangements. The mesh is a perfect blend for today's country landscape. It has the edge to make it commercial, but has the substance to keep traditionalists happy as well. Its incredibly reassuring to find new artists who care enough about the craft still to keep it artistic and intelligent, rather than pandering.
The lead single and title track "Light of Day" is a solid country rocker with a infectious groove. It really kicks off the album well and shows off Nick's voice and songwriting perfectly. This is the catchiest song on the album and has a lot of potential to really jump start Nick's career. The next track, "My Grey Suit", really digs into the country roots of the album. This is a classic country story song, with heartfelt lyrics revolving around different events of life that he goes through while wearing his grey suit. It's really well written and shows a lot of emotion. The first two tracks show off both the rocking side and the tender side of Nick Dittmeier right off the bat. "Coming Home" is the rockiest song on the album. It is a southern rock/blues number with a really fun guitar riff and driving rhythm. "Simple As A Nod" is pure modern country goodness. It has a mid-tempo moodiness and an extremely catchy melody. I could see this fitting right in on the radio and bring some credibility to a genre devoid of substance. If Nick ever finds himself on a major label, I'd keep "Simple As A Nod" in mind as a lead single. Now, anyone who is a regular around here knows about my admiration of Waylon Jennings. Baring that in mind, I absolutely love "Die and Go To Shively". It has that trademark Waylon Jennings groove that made him a country legend. Nick recreates the mood and sound that Waylon loved to perfection. He really gets into the vocals and gives the whole song a throwback feel. It sounds like the biggest hit of 1975, and that's a very good thing. Personally, its my favorite song on the album. The album closes with the extremely poignant and touching "Songs That A House Makes". The song uses sparse, acoustic instrumentation with a bluegrass feel to make the song really focus on the lyrics. The song is dripping in imagery. You can see and hear the scene as he describes it as though you were standing there. This is simply perfection in songwriting, and a fitting track to close out the album.
While you watch the ACMs and CMAs and wonder what has become of our beloved music, there are artists like Nick Dittmeier plugging away, making music that matters. The independent spirit of artists like Nick and many others are what country music and rock and roll music were built upon. Check out www.NickDittmeier.com for tour dates, information, and videos. Make sure to pick up Light of Day on April 27 from his website, and check out Nick in concert if you are in the area. By supporting up and coming acts like Nick, we can do our part to fight the good fight, keep music with substance in the forefront, and introduce people to the great music they have been missing out on. Light of Day is a darn good album, one of my favorites of 2014.
Standout Tracks: "Light of Day", "Songs A House Makes", "Simple As A Nod", "Die and Go To Shively"
"Light of Day"