Don Pedigo, Live From the 5 (Live) Review
by John Gaddis
Singer and Songwriter Don Pedigo has that old-school soul and country sound well-paired with well-crafted tunes and solid musicianship. Based in Nashville, Pedigo weaves an album of downhome songs that touches on everyday situations making for a relatable listen. Upon moving to Nashville, Pedigo met Larry Crane, former guitarist for John Mellencamp, together they recorded a demo together. As good songs do, the demo found its way into the hands of the legendary Earl Bud Lee (“Friends in Low Places”), and the rest they say is kismet.
In 2005 they released the first production record, What Was I Running From (featuring Buddy Miller on guitar), and the single, ‘Mama’s Wedding Gown’ (produced by Larry Crane), was released the following year. Pedigo later joined forces with Nashville backing band, The Coyotes, which marked a new phase in Pedigo’s career as a writer, performer, and recording artist. In addition, Don Pedigo + The Coyotes have just set forth a twelve-song live album called Live From the 5 (Live).
Recorded live at The 5 Spot in Nashville, Tennessee. The guitarist-singer is joined by The Coyotes, Travis Collinsworth on bass, Kasey Todd on drums, and Micah Hulscher on keyboards. Guest artists round out on various tracks to give a nice blend on each track. “Bar & R” kicks off with a greasy honk tonk vibe, as in I am a bit greasy baby, can you postpone your garden meeting. Pedigo admits the story behind the song involves a songwriting circle that over-served themselves at his house, and the Mrs. had some floral friends on their way, hence the song’s title.
“Young and Dead” has a classic Bakersfield sound. Outlaws, heartache, and western skies abound the track. Easily could have been an SOA anthem. But, hey, maybe Jax will rise again. Joining the band on “What I Was Running From,” fiddle player Dayna Bee jumps in with electric guitarist Dan Cohen. Both also lend lovely harmonies to the tune. My favorite line, “Gotta go to college, knowledge.” Ha! get it!
Live From the 5 (Live) offers an authentic and focused recording style. Pedigo’s voice is front and center with no reverb fireworks, just honest, organic, expressive singing. Filled with memorable lyrics and beguiling hooks with no cliches. Pedigo at times has a Tom Pettyish on country in his voice, while other times his cowboy shines strong. An album that offers a solid listen throughout. Songs that stick to the bones and the additive of The Coyotes is a perfect recipe.
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