Nate Sparks
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Nate Sparks

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Soon Nate Sparks can bill himself as the "Singing Doctor". When he finally does earn his doctorate, he won't be belting out his thesis. What the Chesapeake native will perform, no matter what the academic title, is country music, mainly a slewof original songs taken from his debut compact disc, "From Where I Stand". It's a down-home musical celebration of the American way of life and the folks who defend it...Sparks hooked up with studio/session pro Gary Carter, who most recently worked with Faith Hill. The music tracks featured Sparks on piano with several in-demand Nashville cats. His vocals were added later. - Eric Feber ; The Virginian Pilot; Dec. 30, 2005 - The Virginian Pilot


Release date: December 2005
Nate Sparks', 'From Where I Stand' features the musical talents of some of Nashville's finest players! Gary Carter arranged and played steel guitar, dobro, and drums on the CD. Gary's credits include working with Faith Hill, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan and others. Danny Parks performed all of the acoustic and electric guitar work and has performed with Toby Keith, Brooks and Dunn, Sammie Kershaw, and others. Finally, Eric Normand provided a solid foundation on bass guitar with performance and studio credits with Toby Keith, Vern Gosdin and more. You can see many of these players regularly on the Grand Ole Opry stage in Nashville, TN.

Born and raised in Virginia Nate Sparks has been playing and writing music since the age of 6.
Nate was kind enough to take time out of his busy life to answer some questions on; His life, his music and the current country music scene.

DCR: You've been playing and writing music since the age of 6. Why have you waited so long to put out a CD of your music?

Nate: Well, I worked in the music industry for about 20 years as a performing musician and studio engineer. I was able to build quite a few friendships over the years, but decided to leave the business about 13 years ago to finish my education and pursue a more "normal" career path. That took me to a B.S. in Psychology, an M.A. in Education, and I will be completing my Ed.D. in Educational Leadership next year. So, I was always writing music, just pursuing a different career path for a living.

DCR: I'm guessing that family and other obligations have been time consuming?

NATE: This is true, but really just working on other parts of my life. It has been a blessing to be "around" my family as my youngest daughter and son have grown up. My five year old is actually on the CD singing back-up to Daddy's Shoes. She was terrified in the studio, but came through fine!

DCR: Todays technology makes it much easier and less expensive to release a CD? Could you expand on this?

NATE: This is very true! Most of the pre-production was done here in Virginia with local musicans. But, we just couldn't get the sound we wanted. My wife and I discussed it and, the biggest thing for us was simply deciding to produce a CD that I have wanted to release for a number of years. Luckily, I had friends in Nashville that had stayed in the industry, while I left to pursue other things. When I mentioned to Bob Metzgar (a friend from years back) at Capitol Managment that I wanted to release a new CD, he was behind it 100%. He assisted me in getting the connections and cuts in Nashville to give the CD the production and players!

DCR: You have an impressive line-up of musicians on this CD. How did you are manage to get them involved?

NATE: The players were all lined up through Gary Carter who did a fantastic job on the tracks. He stayed true to the feel I wanted, which is a more traditional country sound. All of the guys are working in the Nashville area as session players.


DCR: According to information on your website, "My Greatest Success" was actually written 12 years ago to your wife. Is this the oldest composition on the new CD?

NATE: Actually, 'He Can't Say' is the oldest track on the record. 'He Can't Say' was written about 18 years ago, I just always liked the song and the message. 'From Where I Stand' and 'The Price' are the newest. "From Where I Stand", was written on the side of the interstate as I drove home from my "day job" as a state education coordinator for the state of Virginia. A friend of mine at work and I had been talking through the day about the casualties in Iraq and, with that thought running through my mind all day, I pulled off the road and wrote the song. One of those tunes that really just wrote itself.

DCR: I've heard comparisons to George Jones and even Johnny Cash. What do you think of that?

NATE: WOW, I am flattered with the comparisons! I could only wish to compare to George or Johnny! I always liked the all black look, I guess I feel comfortable in it! I certainly could never take his place, but maybe I can pay tribute to him in some small way.

DCR: Who were your early influences? Who do you listen to today?

NATE: George and Johnny were both early influences in my music. I have always been a huge fan of George Strait, Randy Travis, and Doug Stone. I listen to a lot of new country, Toby Keith, Trace Atkins, and Keith Urban are all great singers and produce some solid material. I miss the old school sound and some of these guys still weave it in and out a bit!

DCR: What do you think of todays Top 40 Country Music with it's significant Rock influence?

NATE: I guess it is just where the market is going, but I still like listening He Stopped Lovin Her Today or Walkin The Floor Over You. I mean, that sound still has a place in today's country music scene.

DCR:You mentioned on your website that because of your job and family you don't s - Dagwood Country Radio/Montreal


From where Nate Sparks stands in West Point, VA, things look pretty good. His new CD, From Where I Stand has all the makings of a classic country recording. The title track is Nate's tribute to soldiers, police, fire, and rescue personnel who serve this country. He's not the first of course to offer up their musical contribution to our nation's brave, but to me, this is a stand out tune.

Nate, a Virginia native, began playing and writing music when he was only six and learned to play piano by ear. He has his masters in Special Education and is currently working on his doctorate in Organizational Leadership.

While this is Nate's debut CD, I suspect we'll be hearing a lot more from the "Singing Doctor" in the not too distant future.

(portions omitted due to space constraints) - Americana Rhythm


After 25 years in the music business, Nate Sparks has an album he can call his own. After an absence from the country music scene in which he returned to college and then took a job working with kids with disabilities, Sparks said he's excited about his return to songwriting and performing. He's...come back to the music business on his own terms than when he left.

"From Where I Stand" is getting play around the U.S. and abroad, with what Sparks describes as a surprising, but welcomed, following in Australia and Canada, as well as on Internet radio stations.

"I didn't realize country music was as big as it is in Australia," he said. He describes his sound as a reversion to the country music from decades ago where the sounds of George Jones reigned, a place where country was outside the "pop" realm it's in today.

"I think that's something we don't get as much as we used to," he said. - Aaron Lee; Amherst New Era Progress; March 9, 2006 - Amherst New Era Progress


Nate Sparks the Chesapeake native and 1977 Great Bridge alum who recently released his debut country record, "From Where I Stand", announced a make-over for his Web site and an upcoming video shoot.

He also reports more stations across the world are adding the disc's title cut to its play list.

"Songs on 'From Where I Stand" continue to be added to play lists across the globe," he said on his web site. A station in Crewe, Va., as well as in Austin, Des Moines, Louisville, and Branson have added his songs. Stations in Montana, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Washington have followed suit along with ones in New South Wales, Australia and Dublin, Ireland. Now, if only stations in Hampton Roads would do the same.

"We will be filming two videos," he said. "Both Great American Country cable channel and the Australian Broadcasting Network have agreed to review the videos for possible use. We are also submitting to XM Satelitte radio and may be added in rotation on the Unsigned Network."

Cable networks in Germany will also review the videos for possible broadcast.

The videos will be produced by Phenix Images; Christopher Smith will direct. They'll be shot in Lynchburg, Williamsburg, and the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford. - Eric Feber ; The Chesapeake Clipper; March 17, 2006 - The Chesapeake Clipper


Discography

From Where I Stand

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Born and raised in Chesapeake, Virginia, Nate has always been musical and began performing as a young teenager with a series of "garage bands" in the Tidewater area. Nate also wrote songs from a very early age banging away on his family's piano and organ. Nate has performed as a club musician and studio engineer and jingle writer for almost 20 years, before leaving the industry to finish his education and establish another career. Nate has completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, a Master's in Education degree and a Doctorate in Special Education Administration. Nate currently works as an education assessment specialist for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Nate has a current catalog of over 250 original songs and has written, engineered and produced songs, jingles, and corporate music beds for several Fortune 500 companies, universities and performers.