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Nathaniel Mayer Looking For One More Hit

Of the Oakland Press

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At 63 years old, Detroit singer Nathaniel Mayer has one wish.

“From the bottom of my heart, I want one more hit,” says Mayer, who had his first, “Village of Love,” in 1962, and followed that up with “I Had A Dream” and “I Want Love And Affection (Not The House Of Correction)” — but hasn’t seen the charts since.

“I want one more hit. I’ll try everything to make a record,” Mayer adds. “I try so hard. My old lady’s praying for it. I just need all the help I can get.”

There’s no shortage of that, actually. In August, Mayer released a new album, “Why Don’t You Give it To Me?,” his follow-up to 2004’s “I Just Want to Be Held,” and on it he gets help by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys as well as Detroit rockers (and admirers) Matthew Smith from Outrageous Cherry and the Volebeats, the Dirtbombs’ Troy Gregory and Dave Shettler of the Sights and SSM.

“Those guys put their heart and soul into it,” says Mayer, who resides on Detroit’s east side with Sylvia, his wife of 30 years. “They were just spending money and messing around. They’re all great guys, and we got along great. They played their butts off for me.

So does “Why Don’t You Give It to Me?” have that one more hit? Mayer — who co-wrote every song except a cover of Delroy Wilson’s reggae track “Dancing Mood” — thinks so; he hears it in the title track and a couple of the other songs. And he’s ready to do as much work as it takes to make people notice.

“I think if we can get ’em to hear it or someone to play it on the radio, people will like it,” Mayer says. “I just want to come back, man — before I fall down.”

Nathaniel Mayer, SSM and the Meltdowns perform Friday (Oct. 5) at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $10. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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