Hayden Pedigo has announced additional tour dates in October and November, including shows on November 1st at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, NY, and on November 5th at Zebulon in Los Angeles, CA. The Amarillo-raised, Lubbock-based guitarist is currently on tour in support of his acclaimed new album Letting Go, and performs next tonight at the Blue Room at Third Man Records in Nashville, TN.
The only thing you can ever really expect from Hayden Pedigo is the unexpected. The son of a truck stop preacher, raised and home-schooled in a “super religious family” (his own words), the musician from Amarillo has an unlikely origin story. After releasing a series of solo albums, the most unanticipated plot twist in his multiverse came in 2019 with an endearing bid for Amarillo City Council at the age of 25, following his Harmony Korine-inspired spoof campaign video that went viral. The whole story was brought to the big screen in Jasmine Stodel’s 2021 SXSW-premiering documentary Kid Candidate, which followed Pedigo on the campaign trail as he became the unsuspecting folk hero in a hopeful tale of integrity, corruption, and small city politics.
Pedigo’s music is as equally enchanting as his backstory, combining the American Primitive guitar picking styles of John Fahey with a proclivity for experimental sound design and manipulation. Conceived and written on the 27-year-old’s porch, Letting Go came about after he left his beloved hometown during the COVID pandemic to move to Lubbock, where he currently lives with his wife. However, moving down the dusty panhandle from the comfort blanket of Amarillo wasn’t the easiest. “I felt absolutely lost and had a heavy heart for months upon arriving in Lubbock,” shares Pedigo. “I wanted to write a new album, but I was scared it wouldn’t turn out okay. I wanted to talk to my family again [after temporarily losing touch] and try to reconnect and heal despite our differences, but I was scared it wouldn’t turn out okay. The isolation made me reconsider a lot of things, and start making music again and working things out with my family.”
Letting Go is very much a modern album of looking out, backwards, upwards and in; the songs forged by the upheaval brought on by Pedigo’s move and the subsequent reckoning with his upbringing. In making the album, Pedigo was recapturing the relationship he’d had to music growing up. “I wanted to return to the mindset of escape, like John Fahey’s records did for me at 15 years old. I wanted to fall in love with music again while reconciling with my past and learning to forgive and let go.” He recorded the album with his friend, the underground composer Andrew Weathers; using Leo Kottke’s 1969 record 6- and 12-String Guitar as inspiration, Pedigo captured each guitar piece live, in succession, and in one take before adding overdubs and additional ambience (courtesy of Rich Ruth on synthesizer), bass, field recordings, and pedal steel (by Luke Schneider) on subsequent days.
Hayden Pedigo tour dates
Sept. 30 – Nashville, TN @ Blue Room, at Third Man Records
Oct. 23 – Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves
Nov. 1 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right
Nov. 2 – Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA (with Rachika Nayar
Nov. 5 – Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon (with North Americans)