Veteran rock singer, Don Sprik, has titled his fourth CD Nighttime Businessman. These two words likely conjure up everything from graveyard shift workers, to lovers that no doubt ‘get around.’ But Sprik’s intention with this new disc’s title track is not quite so dreary as putting in man hours during the middle of the night, nor does it refer to some kind of late night Lothario. Instead, this gravelly-voiced singer is, instead, referring to the greatly underappreciated job of empathetic friendship. In this particular case, he’s playing the listening ear to a woman who has surely been done wrong. “It’s a song about just trying to come along side of her,” Sprik explains, “not trying to give her a bunch of advice, but just trying to be there.”
Much like his character in the song, Sprik has always been there for his devoted audience. He was first raised on southern gospel and his big sister’s Monkees and grass roots 45s, before cutting his teeth on Elmore James’ blues. However, seeing Bob Seger in concert turned Sprik into an instant fan of this Michigan home state hero, which sparked the budding singer/songwriter’s evolution into a hearty performer in his own right. He quickly developed a style all his own, which included a sincere tip of the hat to Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and the like. “At 18, I’d already started writing complete songs,” Sprik recalls. “I like three and four-minute songs,” he continues. “I like songs that get you in and get you out.”
Sprik’s latest release is filled with songs that get you right in — into relationship scenarios, that is. Whether it be a circumstance where opposites learn to get along and work things out (“Lost without Your Fire”), or the act of moving on after love goes sour, as is expressed via a duet with Judy Potter on “Anyway”, Sprik’s naturally soulful vocal instrument wrings out every ounce of blood, sweat and tears form these original heartfelt sentiments.
The performer didn’t have to look far to find the inspiration for many of these true-to-life songs. This album, which was originally slated to come out in 2004, was cruelly interrupted by the sudden and tragic death of his friend and soundman, Al Sekeet, and if that wasn’t tragedy enough, Sprik also watched his wife go through a harrowing bout with breast cancer.
Sprik keeps on keeping on, through it all, because “this is just what I do,” as he puts it. Sprik now fondly recalls listening
to his dad and uncles singing southern gospel music when growing up. And one of these uncles – at 82, no less – is still ambitious about making music. “We were talking, and he said, ‘Yeah, I put a band together.’” But like that beloved uncle, Sprik simply can’t resist the urge to make music: he’s never had the will power-to quit it for good. “Four or five times I’ve sold or given away all my stuff, only to buy it again and rebuild,” he confesses. “It’s not something I can walk away from. “
As evidenced by the inspired music contained on Nighttime Businessman, this laborer in the love of music still has a lot of work to do. “I hope my experiences, and my ability to capture them and bring them forth in a believable manner, would be a little better than the next guy,” Sprik says humbly. Sprik is still young and full of energy. But don’t be surprised if, when he reaches is uncle’s age, he doesn’t also form an octogenarian rock band. After all, this is just what he does.
- Nighttime Businessman
- Feel Good Tonight
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