SHARING STORIES

No matter where music takes him, Freetown native Don Pedigo never forgets his roots.

Now living in Nashville, Tennessee, the 37-year-old singer has a new album on the Americana charts, and he’s constantly writing music and performing.

At 7 p.m. Friday, Pedigo and his three-member band will share music with local fans at Rolling Hills Shrine Club in North Vernon. For $20, you receive entry into the show and a copy of Pedigo’s album, “The Cross Eyed Sessions.”

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“I’m just really proud of the music that I’m writing that really is in-depth and is about my upbringing and my experiences in the Midwest in the Freetown and Seymour area,” Pedigo said.

“I really love sharing these stories and things that mean so much to me in my heart that directly came from where I’m from,” he said. “I enjoy sharing the stories with the people and faces that are in my mind as I’m writing it. In that sense, they’ve helped me create it, and the stories are getting shared all over the country.”

David Bishop of Hippies Music and Events had contacted Pedigo about doing a show at the Shrine Club. It worked out because he was going to be in Bloomington for a show and to be interviewed by the public television channel WTIU for a program to premiere in June.

Pedigo’s band will include Seymour resident Matt Buckner on guitar. They used to live together in Nashville.

The opening act will be Improv, made up of Seymour residents Margaret Thompson, Jill McIntosh King and Mike Gerth.

Pedigo said it has been about six months since he last played in the area. He still has several family members who live in southern Indiana.

With Friday’s show, he said he is excited to play music from his album, which was released in October and hit the radio charts March 2. He said his music is on 200 radio stations worldwide.

Pedigo said this is the first time he has charted as an artist. But a couple of years ago, a song he wrote, “Hard Times in the Land of Plenty,” topped out at No. 13 on the Red Dirt chart in Texas. His friend, Adam Hood, was the singer.

That song was an almost verbatim story he heard from a trucker friend in Indiana, Pedigo said. Listening to other people’s stories helps him come up with songs, and he also is starting to listen to outside cuts.

“It just comes natural to tell my story,” he said. “Anyone that’s successful … the only way that I’ve really noticed that person can really pull it off is to tell their story, be truthful, be honest and tell their experiences the way that they have had them.”

“The Cross Eyed Sessions,” mastered by five-time Grammy Award-winning producer Ray Kennedy, is Pedigo’s third album. “Renaissance Man,” was released in 2001, and “What I Was Running From” came out in 2006.

In 2007, he released the single “Mama’s Wedding Gown,” and the music video was a finalist on the CMT Music City Madness Singer/Songwriter’s Competition Top 20 Video Countdown.

Pedigo also has dabbled in acting and in 2014 was in the Christian film “Like a Country Song” alongside country music singer Billy Ray Cyrus.

Coming from a small town in Indiana and having the opportunity to sing and act, Pedigo said he never thought he would be where he is today. But, he added, it’s right where he wants to be.

“I guess, in some sense, I knew that I was going to do this at whatever level it was,” he said. “I’ve been very blessed I had parents who encouraged me to follow my dreams.”

Pedigo is a licensed electrician by trade, and he’s happy to have music as a part of his life, too.

“You’ve got to wear many hats to be able to pull off what we do every day,” he said of being a musician. “I just knew that I loved music, and it was my way of expressing myself.”

If you go

What: Freetown native Don Pedigo and his three-piece band, with opening act Improv

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Rolling Hills Shrine Club, 3815 State Road 7, North Vernon

Who: For all ages; smoke-free and kid-friendly environment

Cost: Tickets are $20, including entrance to the show and a copy of Pedigo’s CD, “The Cross Eyed Sessions.” They can be purchased at the door or at hippiesmusicandevents.com.

Information: donpedigo.com (sign up for the mailing list to receive free music)

Author photo
Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.