"Dingman cites a number of influences from Dylan to the Stones to Merle, but the ones who seem to influence his music the most are Gram Parsons and Nick Drake, arguably two of the loneliest artists ever. Dingman's songs have solitary written all over them. While beautiful melodies keep depression at bay..."
"Will surely become a major player in the roots music arena.â€
"There's more than a bit of the ol' Uncle Tupelo chunk to the chords, riffs that are thick enough to grill... One hell of a throwback."
--Aiding and Abetting
SONGWRITER CHRIS DINGMAN'S CROOKED ROAD
Chris Dingman, Crooked Roads' singer and songwriter, grew up in Lyme, a small town in the New Hampshire countryside, population 1,000.
When he wasn't wandering the woods or drawing by himself, he was playing on the village common with the neighborhood kids. "We rode our bikes around a lot," says Dingman, "or we played war or football. Those were dangerous times, though. You had to be careful you didn't run into that flagpole in the middle of the common."
"We got one TV station--CBS," Dingman recalls. "And I don't remember any radio." For the time being, then, Dingman remained isolated from all the music that would later influence him.
All, that is, except The Beatles.
Almost on the day he was born, in 1964, The Beatles' dominance of the pop charts peaked. That week, The Beatles held the first five slots on the Top 100--something no other group's done. To Dingman, this is more than coincidence.
"My family wasn't religious. And I wasn't exposed to any mystical ideas, I don't think. But when I heard my mom's Beatles' records, I remember thinking if there is a God, He's coming through these guys."
Dingman's father was a musician and as a boy, Dingman would pick out melodies on the family piano. But it wasn't until he left home that he picked up a guitar. "I first heard Dylan's Freewheelin' the summer after I turned 21," says Dingman. "There was something ghostly in his singing. It seemed off-hand but incredibly tender. And he made you feel like you could do it too."
That summer Dingman also read D.H. Lawrence and Nietzsche. "Writers that stir up your whole body, not just your mind," according to Dingman. "That's around when REM's Murmur came out and that record turned me on too. I was in college at the time, but the summer I heard Freewheelin' made school seem beside the point."
Dingman eventually wound up in California, where he thought of himself more as a writer than a songwriter. "I think the effect that music had on me was so huge, that I didn't dare approach it. Or only very slowly. I could allow myself to write, but not songs. Not yet."
He wrote poetry instead, and filled thousands of pages of journals. He also wrote screenplays and optioned one to Warner Bros. After that he tried hard to keep being a screenwriter and to keep music on the side.
It didn't work.
Check out the artist's website:
1. The Wait
2. All of Life's Loneliness
3. I'd Rather Be With Her
5. Along the Way
6. Learn to See
7. What the Hell
9. Please Forgive Me
10. So Many Times
11. Without You
12. Baby, Just Forget