Running the gamut with ten self-contained stories of deep inner reflection, Nick Dittmeier & the Sawduster’s new album, All Damn Day is a sturdy collection of authentic, blue-collared Americana. More than the usual drone of love and loss, Dittmeier’s colorful songwriting pervades every inch of the LP with a meticulously-woven, straight-shooting life story. It’s music that feels like an earnest living room conversation set to a soundtrack, each character represented blooming to life in vivid color almost tangibly before intent listeners’ eyes. In between are melodies and rhythms crafted evenhandedly with sincerity and passion. Like the dog on All Damn Day’s cover, Dittmeier and the crew are no strangers to handling things head on. They are approaching their art with a no-frills approach that sets meaning at the forefront, but alongside a well-rounded, ebullient musical performance while they’re at it, laden with soul.
The Kentucky quartet’s sun-washed and reflective, yet forward-looking new album is set to release on 26 October. It can be pre-ordered digitally or physically on Dittmeier & the Sawduster’s Bandcamp page. Ahead of time, Dittmeier shares the following statement with PopMatters readers.
“We recorded this music over the course of nine months in a farmhouse in the middle of a cornfield in Central Indiana. Our two producers Jason McCulley and Ryan Koch took a labored approach to the album, and we took our time and didn’t watch the clock. Every other album I’ve ever made was structured around time management. The other thing we did differently was our approach to editing song structures. Anything that was not absolutely imperative to get to the hooks or story was deleted. We really wanted to make the choruses count.”
“Of course, all of my favorite songwriters inspire the general outline of my ideas. But I drew a lot of inspiration from literature, not to sound pretentious. I’ve always been an avid reader, but for some reason, I don’t really read fiction. My wife asked me why I never do because she reads a lot too, so I started exploring stuff I hadn’t really visited as an adult. I started to see how that could relate to my songwriting. Authors like Steinbeck, Vonnegut, Roald Dahl, etc. beeline their words to very simple points, and I tried to do that with stories in the songs.”
“Funny story from when we were recording – the family who owned the farm we were on had a small farmer’s market in the same lot as the studio. It was early fall, so they had mums, corn, whatever and they had an honor system set up so if no one was present in the stand people were advised just to leave money. I guess some people weren’t comfortable with that, so we got interrupted a few times by people coming over to the studio and trying to pay for their produce.”