Don Pedigo’s music is a beautiful combination of lyrical skill that’s showcased over the familiar sounds of classic rock and roll. Pedigo employs a sharp pen that produces vivid images that feel personal, and bring listeners close into the uncompromising, honest, and highly personal world of Pedigo himself.
Pedigo’s new single, “Black Carpet,” is a perfect example of the style I’ve previously described – the blend is there in full form, with a clear demonstration of confidence and continued growth on Pedigo’s part. It’s a continuation of Pedigo’s mission as a “spirit-questing, true roots-rock artist,” to tell the story of a real life in the most true and honest way possible.
In a time where the documentation of real life is paramount, and people have never needed a poetic bard more to tell the true story of our world, Pedigo stands like a beacon of hope amidst a sea of bleakness – he offers us some consolation that things, as hard as they may be to describe, are still worthy of describing and remembering.
We recently caught up with Pedigo to ask him some questions concerning his songwriting processes, the single, and much more.
What would you say is the inspiration or central message behind your newest single, “Black Carpet”?
Thank you Paul and thank you Music Mecca for featuring “Black Carpet.” The Coyotes and I are proud to be heard. Quite a few years ago I found myself for the first time suffering from over active attachment to my iPhone. I chose to take a hard look at what was ailing me. I used this song to get myself back home if you will. Now it serves as a reminder for me and hopefully others to take a break now and then from all the web juice.
What is your songwriting process like? Do you typically write songs collaboratively, or is more of a solo process?
My writing process is primarily solo. Usually lyrics first then the music. Most of everything you hear released from me are at the very least my initial ideas or titles. I have a few people I co-write with from time to time. “Black Carpet” happens to be the rare occasion I wrote with two other writers, John Goodwin and Bobby Carmichael. Both are fine men and writers. The collaboration began organically while we were hanging out one day. I don’t put pressure on the act of writing although I used to. Once I had sharpened my own edge, I understood that the writer at their core is an instrument in which songs pass through, not from. Being actively prepared for these moments works better for me than woodshedding. Native American songs have come in this channeling way for thousands of years.
I noticed that the lyrics in “Black Carpet” contain some beautiful imagery. Who are your favorite lyricists that you draw inspiration from?
In order: John Prine, Bob Dylan, Richard Thompson and Leonard Cohen.
How did the transition from performing and writing solo to working with your new band, The Coyotes, go for you?
The dream and vibe was easier than the actual coming together in a sound recording. Once we clicked though we didn’t unhitch. A lot of becoming a band though is no different than other relationships. You’ve gotta have time to learn each other passed the surface of our character. I’ve spent years using studio musicians, and I find that to be true with them as well. Even though you can read the notes and improvise at whatever level you have to take time to become a unit. It’s simple for the listener. It’s either good or it’s not. Emotional flow is the most important element in performance. We’ve played ’til it passed good. Every Coyote is a dedicated player. Couldn’t imagine any of them doing anything different.
What’s the central message you want to send to your fans and listeners through your music as a whole?
We are truth-sayers with a touch of feedback. We’ve been knee-deep in rock and in life. We hope to connect with you through songs about that. Part of that journey is having a damn good time. We want to meet and play for each and every one of you soon.
What’s one of your favorite underrated grub spots or cafes in Nashville?
The Villager Tavern. Darts, mean ass roast beef and an attractive mix of low key dive nostalgia mixed with authentic stale smoke. A patron might find a sense of laid back homeyness amidst the dim. Kinda like the first time Uncle Al passed you one in the basement. Never forget it.
Where do you realistically hope to see your music career in five years?
Theaters and amphitheaters worldwide.
What might the rest of 2020 have in store for Don Pedigo & The Coyotes? (aside from weathering the pandemic)
More new music. We have several tracks in mix form ready for release. While in quarantine we’ve continued to cut tracks via our home studios. Strange and awesome.
What have you been doing to maintain momentum for your music during this time?
I’ve been working with the Coyotes on new material, cutting demos for a new acoustic album (I’ve dreamed of doing it for years if I could only make the time) and keeping up with video on social media. I’m always writing. The pandemic has of course had an effect on my pen. I’ve enjoyed more time in meditation letting questions and ideas unravel. My hand has been forced the past year, and half to live primarily in the conscious world, which doesn’t lend itself for me most times to the appearance of, “was it just that easy?” Time I’m the subconscious is one of the elements in the channeling way I mentioned earlier.
What lesson or lessons do you hope the world, or at least our country, will take away from this current pandemic?
The most important lessons will be how we proceed socially in the coming months and years. I hope these new social distances won’t further alienate us from one another though. I have a feeling it could. The fact is most times every problem can resolve simply by meeting face to face. Not in the case of a virus of course, but in cases of disagreement that when left unresolved many times become resentment. The offshoots of resentment become belief. There is so much confusion about what it true nowadays. So many organizations trying to control the whole. Perhaps it’s always been this way and now truth cannot be stopped. Or can it? I don’t know. Our virtual future may bring more challenges. Good always wins no matter what though. History proves that. A positive side personally is I’ve been begging to forcibly stop and assess my life, health and needs for a couple of years now. As far as consumption, I’m a minimalist anyway. I have a few things I’d call extra from time to time. I’m joyfully cutting down to what most might consider bear necessitates. I’m sad for the losses and grateful to be alive with my family.
Photo by Kevin Solaka