Dittmeirer’s songs written from dash of a beat-up Ford

Paul Clark

Nick Dittmeier calls his new CD release “10 songs of gritty, twangy, blue-collar Americana” in the vein of Turnpike Troubadours, the Band and Old Crow Medicine Show. You can find out what he means at Town Pump Jan. 19.

Dittmeier is a singer/songwriter from Louisville, Kentucky touring with his band the Sawdusters in support of their new album “Midwest Heart/Southern Blues.”

The new album, the band says, is “a gritty, upbeat collection of songs full of characters who were developed while staring over the dash of a beat-up Ford van cruising through towns in the South and Midwest, whose better days are behind them.”

Nick Dittmeier and the Sawdusters had what they consider a breakout year in 2015 doing opening slots for such acts as Whitey Morgan, Hayes Carll, Elizabeth Cook, and the Wood Brothers. They honed their live show playing a lot of regional folk and Americana festivals.

Dittmeier responded to some questions posed by The Black Mountain News.

The Black Mountain News: Tell us a bit about what inspires your songwriting. Where do the images come from?

Nick Dittmeier: I try to write songs about people or situations that are really kept in the margins of people's minds or maybe things don't wanna think about or admit. The images are all people I've worked with, lived with or grew up around. For instance, in South Central Indiana this year there's been a huge HIV/drug epidemic that's been in the news a lot. It's something a lot of people want to ignore or deny. There are references in songs to the nuances and complexities of those chains of events.

BMN: How has Kentucky shaped your music?

ND: We're based out of Louisville, which a lot of people in the state don't consider to be a part of the state. It's weird sometimes - we'll play out in the state and people will corner me and tell me how much they hate Louisville. But Louisville has been good to me in the respect. Especially growing up I was able to see a lot of bands come through and play, and there were a lot opportunities to go play in front of open-minded people.

BMN: What about your music appeals to people in this go-go digital age?

ND: We just try to stay accessible to people and think about how they listen to music. And we keep our songs short.

BMN: What will people hear when they come out to the Town Pump to hear you and the band?

ND: A lot of stuff off the new record, upbeat country music. If I may say so, we're a really tight band. I'm really lucky to get to play with these guys. They're all great musicians, and we're working hard every day to get better.