Written by -K.L. Graham
Don Pedigo is a force to be reckoned with. Recently Don appeared on Roots Music Report’s coveted Top 50 Chart where he was #30 with his new album “The Crossed Eyed Sessions.” Tom Petty appeared on the same chart at #38.
Not only did Don’s album garnish the Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Rock Album Chart, but his song “You’ve got Everything” also won accolades on Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Roots Rock Song Chart at #31: Just above Mr. Pedigo was Bruce Springsteen at #29.
Appearing with the likes of Tom Petty, Springsteen, and John Mellencamp may be a notch on Don
Pedigo’s musical belt, but what is more fascinating than his chart placement is the man himself. Don’s life is balanced on hard work, his family, and of course his music. The blue collar, heart lander image, is no joke, part of Pedigo’s success is because of his relentless work ethic.
“A lot of people don’t know this about me. When I’m not touring I’m a licensed electrician…When we get off the phone I’m going to go in a crawl space. I sort of live a double life in that essence.”
Not only is Mr. Pedigo a member of Local #429, when he is couch surfing on the road, yes couch surfing, he often offers his electrician and handyman services as to say “Thank You” to his hosts.
No, this isn’t the image of the American Rock Star; this is the American Traveler, the Cowboy, with tools in one hand, and guitar in the other, bringing stories and goodness to one and all.
Don doesn’t have a 5 Star Tour Bus, instead he has good friends and hosts across the nation, where he gigs in TX and LA often. Mr. Pedigo recently even played the coveted SXSW Festival, the Mesa Music Festival, and even Americana week here in Nashville of them meccas for musicians everywhere.
As for his attraction to the Heartland Don says “Well in my travels as an adult what it means to be is
coming from the heart of America…When I tour the mid west I feel very much a part of the land and the people. My parents weren’t farmers, they were evangelists. I think that represents/symbolizes what a heart lander might be. The hard working blue collar man to the table… Not to say that you can always tell where somebody’s from but in essence, the values and work ethic, and I‘d like to think the politeness of the country folk I suppose that’s what that means to me.”
Polite and from the country he may be, but it’s his emotional songs that garnish attention. On his
favorite song Don says “It usually goes back to ‘Sad man’, across the board whether I’m in a listening room situation or I’m playing a festival.”
Emotionally charged as he may be, in real life, Don’s life seems to be a happy one, complete with a
Don has two daughters, one is a senior at Tennessee Tech who wants to become a music teacher, and a 7 year old daughter who thinks he is “just as cool as Ariana Grande.” And even if his older daughter may not idolize him as much as the little one, Don says “And even if she doesn’t think Dad’s cool, she grew up knowing that Daddy was a rockstar and she knew music was a part of our home.”
When’s he’s out of the home, on tour Don never forgets his three best girls. “I always bring home
stories and special gifts… In my home we accept each other for who we are. Sometimes it’s not the most comfortable. (After a long time away) It took me a few days to reacclimatize. The arts aren’t treated as an esteemed job…but it is a job. It’s just a job.”
Music and life in Nashville is Don Pedigo’s job and home. He says: “Just that feeling I get when I’m writing around that little area, Vanderbilt, 21st. I get that excitement from when I first moved from little Indiana to Nashville. It’s the same comfortable feeling of ‘This what you’re supposed to do.’ Songwriting in Nashville especially in that little area; I just feel so at home.”
On his writing Don says he channels his music by being prepared physically, emotionally and spiritually. I believe, and I’ve witnessed that if I wanna write a song about a certain topic or subject. I believe that the universe gives it to you, if you want it.” He went on to say “It takes a special discipline to keep yourself clear and centered.” For Pedigo that discipline comes from a strict diet and exercise routine, and like any true Heartlander a healthy of dose of love for family, God, and country.
On his current charting successes, and new album The Cross Eyed Sessions, Pedigo says: “I’ve got to take a moment and give thanks to God for this. All that work has paid off and I’ve arrived I guess.”
It was clear when he first came to Nashville that he had arrived, writing immediately with Earl Bud Lee and James House after doing a demo with the famous Larry Crane, and being scouted by Patsy Sermersheim. From those encounters came a Publishing deal and recording career that’s culminated in his success in the Roots/Rock genre.
Upcoming for Mr. Pedigo is the continuation of his tour, and look out for his new video in January for his song “She Turns Me On.”
To find out more about Don Pedigo you can visit his website www.donpedigo.com for all his new music, news, tour dates, and links to his social media pages.
Now go get acquainted with the man from Indiana with the guitar and toolbelt on his knee.