According to Nick DiSebastian’s online biography, he has a varied musical background that has carried him from Big Band Swing to bluegrass to Berklee and has landed him in Asheville, N.C., where he holds down the bass chair in the up-and-coming group Town Mountain. Given his wide-ranging history, it’s no surprise that his inaugural solo CD, Window View, sounds like the musical portfolio of a player who is not content to place his eggs solely in one musical basket.
The primary component that emerges here is displayed in the half-dozen original instrumentals he has included here, featuring his clean and elegant flatpicking guitar supported by a core band of fiddler Christian Sedelmyer, banjoist Kyle Tuttle, Mark Lavengood on resonator guitar, and bassist Ashleigh Caudill. His tunes are texturally rich and he gives lots of space to his co-players, making this recording much more appealing by being not just a guitarist’s album. Nevertheless, it’s refreshing to hear them take on Bill Monroe’s instrumental “Northern White Clouds” in order to get a fresh infusion of melody and rhythm from an older source while still adding a contemporary funky edge.
DiSebastian also gets to display some decent singing skills, showing a much more traditional influence by covering Flatt & Scruggs’ “If I Should Wander Back Tonight” and the neo-traditional “My Side Of The Mountain,” which is from the repertoire of Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys. He also sounds at ease on his original song “Stop Loving You,” a relaxed mid-tempo ballad.
Remember that Big Band background? It may be partially responsible for one of the CD’s highlights, a sweet version of “I’ll See You In My Dreams” nicely sung by Rachael Davis. It’s a refreshing touch that serves as an effective balance to the new acoustic instrumentals that dominate the recording. It’s clear that DiSebastian is another accomplished guitarist and composer, and his debut CD reflects eclectic tastes and interests that should serve him well on his still developing musical adventures. (www.nickdisebastian.com)HK