Nate Dingman, Skydog rocker, has released his first Rundown produced CD, Present Day Man.

Once again a random visit to the illustrious Rundown Studios bears fruit when Paul Schneider presented me with my very own official bootleg copy of local singer/songwriter/guitarist Nate Dingman’s excellent new release. I promptly took it out to my car, shoved it into the CD player, and it’s never seen the light of day since.

Carefully crafted and sparsely produced, it’s reminiscent sometimes of Sir Paul’s first solo outing, McCartney (you know the one with the cherries on the cover). That album was also a mix of acoustic and electric rockers. And much like Paulie’s 1970 release, Dingman plays all the guitars and sings all the lead vocals and harmonies. Producer Paul Schnieder shifted his focus a wee bit with this release, feeling that, “the rawness of the music is what was the focus. I’m not sure if you could get that ‘feeling’ from Nate’s songs if it was more produced.”

This little gem of a disc will have fans of expertly played acoustic guitars, tasty blues touched electric licks and heartfelt, and at times melancholy lyrics; incessantly punching the repeat button for another listen.

Pop this one into your car’s CD player on the way to work and let Nate’s soulful expressive vocals calm your frazzled nerves during those brief moments of animalistic road rage. Not quite folk and not quite rock, Present Day Man is rocking acoustic music for those days when you don’t feel an overwhelming desire to bang your head on the dashboard, and yet falling asleep at the wheel entranced by the mystical metaphysical meanderings of some new age neo-folkie is not an option either.

I texted Nate the night he was performing at LOUDsoftLOUD and he immediately got back with me for an interview utilizing the wildly popular and extremely useful “Facebook.” You should look into it sometime . . . it’s what’s happening, baby!

Tell me a little about your influences.

When I started writing music I was in high school. So I guess my influences would be the artists I was listening to then like, The Beatles and Nirvana. It seems like that’s all I listened to for like 2 years. Later on in 95, I went through a Dave Matthews Band phase. I really like Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix but I don’t think my music sounds like them. In fact, nobody sounds like them.

My favorite song on the disc is The Light. I love the way you weave in and out on your electric beneath the acoustic. What type of effects are you using on this?

The Light was written when I was 20 or 21. The lyrics are the young me trying to fire off random “deep thoughts.” For the spacey effects on it I just used a Boss delay pedal, a volume swell technique that I’ve been doing for a few years. The Light seems to be everyone’s favorite off the CD and I think a lot of that can be attributed to Paul Schneider’s mixing. He did a phenomenal job capturing what I wanted to do with that song. He’s a great guy to work with.

My second fave is Leave Behind. A very classic rock sounding tune. Do you have a story behind it?

Leave Inside is definitely my most confessional song. I’m not pulling any punches and just being very direct and honest with the listener with my lyrics. Leave Inside is also one of the rare times in which I actually wrote a guitar riff. Writing riffs is very difficult and if you find one you must create a song around it because they are so elusive. I always write the music first then the vocal melody. Last come the lyrics and when I wrote the lyrics to that song I was just tired of all the hidden messages and just decided to let it all hang out. Thanks goes out to Doug Tyree who added the perfect drum sound to that track and Undecided.

The track Life So Blind is great too. Where did you get that cool riff?

Life So Blind was written very quickly looking out the window of my apartment in 2002. I just started playing D and F and the song wrote itself. I find when the moment is right and you are truly inspired, the good songs will write themselves.

What can you tell me about No End In Sight?

No End In Sight is a good example of me really mixing up all my influences into one song. I wasn’t consciously trying to do that but looking back and listening to it as well as playing with a band has made me realize that. For those songs I had the great local rock drummer John Wooten and I was very happy with what he did.

You’re having a CD release party at the Celtic Fox.

I’m looking forward to playing these songs and more original tunes at the Present Day Man CD release party Saturday June 2nd at the Celtic Fox. I have Dave Schaffer of Live Music Institute fame on bass and ‘Trust Nothing’s’ Steven George on drums. I think we sound amazing and I hope to book more shows with these guys in the future. I always write more music if I actually have a band to play it with.

Plans for another release?

I plan to hopefully put out another CD very soon. I have several more old songs that need a home and some newer songs that show how I matured as a songwriter. I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I can fund projects like this and I plan to keep creating and recording music as long a people will listen. Having a band will speed up the process too. The last CD was a collaborative experience with some great local musicians but was very time consuming.

From the aggressive acoustic intro of Undecided; all the way through to the Clapton-esque electric fade out of Leave Behind, Nate Dingman has presented us with a CD of some of the tastiest rock music to hit the Topeka streets in some time. Present Day Man is a groovy little disc that ranks right up with there with previous Rundown produced CDs by Monks Wine, Invictus, and Dead Sevens.

Topeka, get behind these bands and show your support for homegrown original music!

[May 2012 | Robin “Skinny Liver Hopkins” Cremer]


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