Monday, January 15, 2018

Interview: John Pedigo, of Plum Hokum and The Village Ordinary

Louisville Folk/Nü Country musician John Pedigo is releasing an album on Feb. 2nd with fellow musician Chad Acton under the moniker The Village Ordinary. Both play in Plum Hokum, which has a track on this year's Louisville is for Lovers compilation called Sissy Don't.

The Village Ordinary's The Needle Spins album cover.
above: John Pedigo (left) and Chad Acton (right)  

 37- When does the album come out and where will it be available?

JP-  There is a presale for the digital album up now at but it will be available on itunes and amazon as well, with physical copies at shows. If we people want it, we'll consider a vinyl release down the road. You can get the album on the second of February.

37- How long have you and Chad Acton been writing and playing music together?

JP- Chad and I have been writing and performing together for over sixteen years now. We met when we were ten or eleven and totally hated each other. We met again in high school where I think my sparkly green Ibanez and sick metal chops inspired him to get his first guitar. He's a much better guitar player than I am, by the way. Long story short, we both moved to the Louisville area around the same time after high school, and I asked him to learn a few of my songs, so we could go play an open mic night at Twice Told Coffee that used to be on Bardstown Road. We've played together since then pretty consistently.

37-  Who else plays with you and Chad in The Village Ordinary?

JP- The Village Ordinary is Chad and I. We have our friends Ryan Payton and Eric Baldwin playing as our rhythm section on the album. Chad and I had been spending so much time playing with other people for a few years, that we felt like we needed something semi-official and basically permanent as a catch all for our songs, and really just to make sure we kept playing together and making the kind of music we've been making for so long.

37- Outside of the core group of The Village Ordinary, Who else have you performed with?

JP- I spent a few years playing with Joan Shelley in her band, The June Brides. I recorded on her album, Electric Ursa as well. Knowing Joan led to me playing with Daniel Martin Moore on a number of occasions, too. For a few years, I was in an annual Gram Parsons tribute with Johnny Berry and Steve Cooley. I miss that one a lot actually; those two are kind of my heroes. Chad has recorded and performed with Nick Dittmeier. He's also a full-time member of The Family Secret. We've both recently recorded an album with the band, Elk Hound, which is a little more rock and roll than what we're used to doing. Lastly, we're both members of Plum Hokum, our country band with Joe Manning, Sean Johnson, and Anna Krippenstapel, all of which were in the June Brides with me.

37- Your new album The Needle Spins definitely has a Louisville New Folk sound similar to Joan Shelley and Nick Dittmeier, what other Local acts do you follow?

JP- Chad and I are big Johnny Berry fans. Honestly, there is so much music in Louisville worth loving. The Other Years are great. I've always been a big fan of I Am Is and I really loved the Debauchees when they were around. Squeeze Bot is another one of my favorite Louisville bands. Wax Fang rules. We both enjoy Relic and Hog Operation. Stephen Couch. Joan, too, of course.

37- How would you describe the current Appalachian/New Folk scene and what do you see for the future of the genre?

JP- Chad and I are both Hoosiers, unashamedly, I'll add, that live in and love Louisville. We have a lot of friends who are very involved in Old Time music, and it ends up coming through their original music in a way that feels very respectful to their roots here in Kentucky. Our lens is a little different, I guess. With no sort of planning, our filter is mostly country and maybe some bluegrass, with more of a rock band approach concerning arrangement and delivery. All the same, I hope that any genre, be it New Folk or otherwise is pointed in a forwardly direction. Tradition is important but so is the future. Use what you have but add what you can.

37- What is planned in the future for you and the Village Ordinary?

JP- This album has eight of our songs. Chad and I have written over a hundred songs over the years. At least twenty of them might be worth listening to. We'd like to record some more of them sooner than later.

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