AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Even though his newest album is titled “Letting Go,” Hayden Pedigo will be returning to his hometown Thursday, performing his new album in full at 8 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 7) at Caliche, located at 2311 SW Seventh Ave.
While Pedigo released a duo album with Andrew Weathers earlier this year, titled “Big Tex, Here We Come,” “Letting Go” is Pedigo’s first solo album since 2019. Pedigo said he was inspired by his own transition, leaving Amarillo and moving to Lubbock.
“I was born and raised in Amarillo and leaving was kind of a weird experience. It’s weird to leave your hometown. Obviously. I have a deep connection with Amarillo,” Pedigo said. “So, moving here… I had a lot of mixed emotions. I was feeling a lot of things so I kind of wanted to harness that feeling into some new songs… I started writing for solo guitar and I set out to make what, in my eyes, was a really good guitar record, first and foremost and then beyond that, I wanted to write really good songs. It’s music for people to feel to.”
Pedigo, who is signed with Mexican Summer Records, recorded the album with Weathers at his studio in Littlefield. Pedigo said it was a long time coming, being friends with Weathers for approximately eight years.
But even more than the friendship, Pedigo said Weathers helped the music he had written, grow.
“(Weathers) really helped me realize the songs that I had written and it was like truly a collaborative process with me making the music and Andrew engineering it and really helping shape it,” he said. “That was a fun part of that, working with my friend.”
Pedigo said this is the first time he has ever toured his music, having played in Austin, Dallas and at Third Man Records in Nashville. Through these shows, where he has continued to play the album in full, instead of his previous approach of improv-heavy and experimental shows, he said he has been inspired by seeing people’s responses to the music.
“I think the music I make, even though it’s instrumental guitar music, it is country music in my eyes. It’s like country in the literal sense where it’s very descriptive of this landscape of Amarillo and in Lubbock,” Pedigo said. “It was very much an homage to this area where I was born and Amarillo, and then also the area of Lubbock, which is close but also entirely different and has a lot of musical history… I think it resonates with people. I think also, the music has a special ability where people are able to attach their own story to it and that’s sometimes one of the big benefits of making instrumental music. It’s more open to people’s stories to be put on it as opposed to having a song with specific lyrics.”
Thursday’s concert at Caliche in Amarillo was a last-second addition to his touring schedule, Pedigo said, with him hitting places like New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles later this year. But because of how the album came together, it was important for him to play one show in his hometown.
“I figured that was a perfect environment for me to play these songs,” he said. “I think it will be a fun one night of me playing the songs, getting to see friends and it’s probably the only time I’ll get to play Amarillo for a long time.”
But even though Pedigo is not living in Lubbock anymore, he said he will continue to carry parts of his hometown with him.
“I think that’s a big part of the music and the sound of it. I mean, the title of the record is called “Letting Go” and it’s kind of a multifaceted title that related to a lot of things in my life,” he said. “I think part of that is letting go of your hometown, not in the sense of leaving it behind, but venturing on beyond the place that created you. Amarillo, obviously, had a big influence in the music. I think its influence was in leaving Amarillo. It can be kind of a traumatic thing, but also a beautiful thing.”