A double take of Nick Dittmeier and The Sawdusters

A double take of Nick Dittmeier and The Sawdusters

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A double take of Nick Dittmeier and The Sawdusters
Leah Williams

This weekend, it is a double dose of Nick Dittmeier and the Sawdusters as the guys perform on Friday at John Brown’s on the Square in Marion. The country group then turns around for a show at Tres Hombres on Saturday.

Frontman and guitarist Nick Dittmeier said the band has been around for a few years, with the most recent lineup has been playing out for the last year.

“It’s country music with Americana and roots throughout,” Dittmeier said. “But at the very heart of it, it’s country.”

Nick Dittmeier and the Sawdusters are a four-piece Americana band based in Jeffersonville, Indiana. The group released two EPs, Extra Better in 2013 and Light of Day in 2014.

The band followed up that success with an extensive tour. Life on the road proved to be the catalyst for the next creative project.

In January 2016, Nick Dittmeier and the Sawdusters dropped Midwest Heart/Southern Blues. The album was recorded inside the confines of La La Land Studios. The gritty, upbeat collection contains a cast full of characters that were developed while the band members were staring over the dash of a beat up Ford van as the group visited towns in the south and midwest.

Midwest Heart/Southern Blues chronicles several small town stories within its set list. Understandable truths are found throughout the album, whether it is the haunting harmonica featured on “Atheist Wedding,” or the catchy chorus in the prolific “Pills, Jesus and War” where Dittmeier sings that the three options may be all that one has left.

It’s worth noting, too, that a city about 70 miles north of Carbondale was name-checked on Midwest Heart/Southern Blues. In the rowdy, rambunctious romp “Centralia,”

Dittmeier croons about moving forward from the past where he narrates about a broken heart where “the keys in the ignition but the engine won’t start” and then later taking a good look in the mirror to find the blame.

“Way down in Southern Illinois, where there ain’t nothin’ but corn and soy,” Dittmeier sings on the track. “But after 300,000 miles, you got sick of this lifestyle.”

Dittmeier has discussed the makeup of the record as a way to honor some of the past.

“In many of those towns some of their better days are behind them,” Dittmeier said.

SavingCountryMusic.com called the album gritty, with stories that “may be distraught, but it’s an enjoyable album to listen to with developed melodies, smart riffs, and effective choruses that are just loose enough to remind you they’re real.”

Dittmeier said the band will continue its tour with stops in Indiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and Ohio throughout the end of the year. In 2018, he said the band has plans to begin recording its follow-up album.

“We’ve got some things that we’ve been working on. And I’m really looking forward to getting back in the studio and seeing what comes out,” he said.

Dittmeier added that whatever the future holds, he says he knows that his bandmates are up for the road ahead.

“We’re in it for the long haul,” he said. “The guys and I are committed to seeing where this goes and playing music.

For more information or to hear songs from Midwest Heart/Southern Blues, check out the official site www.nickdittmeier.com