Hayden Pedigo

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An eccentric guitarist and composer who combines deft acoustic fingerpicking with evocative soundscapes from his home in the Texas Panhandle, Hayden Pedigo has amassed a unique and varied résumé since debuting at the age of 19. Along with atmospheric solo albums like 2013′s Seven Years Late and 2017′s Greetings from Amarillo, he has curated an instrumental guitar compilation for the Tompkins Square label, collaborated with art rock luminaries like Zappi Diermaier and Charles Hayward, run a 2018 campaign for the Amarillo city council, and even modelled for Gucci. Known for his eccentric public personas (ranging from pinstripe-suited cowboy to makeup-clad goth), he eventually settled in Lubbock and signed with the Mexican Summer label which released a pair of high-profile albums, 2021′s Letting Go and 2023′s The Happiest Times I Ever Ignored.
Born and raised in Amarillo, Texas, Pedigo began playing guitar at the age of 12, moving from early influences like Ry Cooder and Stevie Ray Vaughan to American Primitive icons like John Fahey and Robbie Basho. During his teenage years, progressive, art rock, and jazz also found their way into his increasingly broad palette. As a composer, Pedigo found an incomparable muse in the wide-open landscapes of the Texas Panhandle and began to incorporate field recordings and treated soundscapes from his native region into his instrumental guitar songs.
Austin indie Marmara Records released the guitarist’s debut album, Seven Years Late, in 2013 when Pedigo was only 19. A year later, his ambitious second album, Five Steps, featured appearances by a host of experimental icons ranging from German guitarist Steffen Basho-Junghaus to British guitarist Fred Frith. An invitation from Tompkins Square to curate the seventh volume of their Imaginational Anthems instrumental guitar compilation further elevated his status in the experimental guitar world and coincided with his third solo album, Do You Sing?, Vol. 1, on the Scissor Tail label. Switching record companies once again, Pedigo’s next album, Greetings from Amarillo, appeared on Los Angeles’ Driftless Recordings.
In the autumn of 2018, the then-24-year-old Pedigo surprised many by launching a campaign to run for a seat on Amarillo’s city council. His bizarre campaign videos and absurdist tactics drew national attention, prompting a film crew to capture his race for the 2021 documentary Kid Candidate. He ultimately lost, but was praised for his attempt to uncover issues of corruption in Amarillo’s government.
Valley of the Sun, his second album for Driftless, appeared in 2019 and two years later, he teamed up with Andrew Weathers on the joint album Big Tex, Here We Come. He also signed with Mexican Summer as a solo artist and issued his sixth LP, Letting Go. By this point Pedigo had relocated south to the city of Lubbock, Texas where he began writing his next album and cultivating his increasingly outlandish internet presence which involved different personas and costumes. In another surprising move, he began modeling and in late 2021 made his runway debut for Italian fashion powerhouse Gucci alongside fellow musicians like Phoebe Bridgers and St. Vincent. Released in 2023, The Happiest Times I Ever Ignored, Pedigo’s second album for Mexican Summer, borrowed its title from National Lampoon co-founder Doug Kenney and was tracked in Gainesville, Florida with musical collaborators including producer Trayer Tryon and Luke Schneider. ~ Timothy Monger