*Unfortunately, the 8/13 show at Silk City has been cancelled/postponed.
“I’m pretty blunt, it’s there, you can hear it, it’s obvious. It’s not stream of consciousness stuff, like Bob Dylan. It’s not like that at all,” says singer/songwriter (and self-professed “Pancake King of NKY”) Jeremy Pinnell about his classic brand of country. Last fall Pinnell released his third full-length, Goodbye L.A., on SofaBurn, and he’s been touring it ever since. “I’m just gonna take it easy for a while. I’m so wore out from the hustle,” he tells me of his mindset during a recent phone chat. However, he was recently invited to open a short run of dates for fellow country artist Kelsey Waldon, which he just couldn’t refuse: “The Kelsey tour couldn’t have come at a better time.” The run will feature Pinnell on a handful of dates that includes an upcoming stop this Saturday, August 13th, at Silk City. For the shows opening for Waldon, Pinnell will be playing solo, which he tells me has a certain freedom to it: “I kinda do whatever I want. It’s kinda nice not being held down by a band.”
Jeremy Pinnell has been putting out music for almost a decade, releasing his first LP, OH/KY, in the summer of 2015. And although he’s not quite a household name, he has gotten some noteworthy recognition from a lot of notable musical institutions. When I ask him about some of the highlights of his career, he tells me, “There’s been a lot, like the first time I got a Rolling Stone mention, the first time I got a Daytrotter session, the first time I got a KEXP spot…” However, he tells me that getting to meet and bond with some of his peers has been equally exciting: “I got to meet some of my heroes, like Ramsay Midwood, Nikki Lane, and even Kelsey Waldon; I was a huge fan of hers.”
Kelsey Waldon apparently came onto Pinnell’s radar in basically the same way any musician earns listeners these days: “I was just a YouTube fan. She’s different. There’s a lot of female artists out there and a lot of male artists, but she’s doing something different.” And their first in-person encounter happened more-or-less by accident: “I got to open for John R. Miller at The Basement in Nashville and Kelsey just happened to be there.” But throughout our chat he continually expresses his excitement and gratefulness to be part of her bill on these upcoming dates, and he considers one thing to make it a particular honor: “I’m the only male performer on her whole tour, so that made me feel special.”
The music of Jeremy Pinnell and Kelsey Waldon each seem to reference a time long before country could became mainstream pop, so I’m a bit surprised that when I ask Pinnell about his favorite albums, he tells me that his taste is far more eclectic than his fans might expect: “People always ask what’s your favorite record, or what are your top five favorite records, and, honestly, the Lil Wayne and Birdman record, Like Father, Like Son, that’s a great hip hop record, and I love that just as much as Honky Tonk Heroes by Waylon Jennings and Texas Cookin’ by Guy Clark.” (Pinnell also released a surprising cover of Concrete Blonde’s “Joey” last year.)
Goodbye L.A. has produced a number of singles and music videos (including “Red Roses,” “Big Ol’ Good,” and “Wanna Do Something”), but Jeremy Pinnell’s latest single is actually a live recording of a track from OH/KY, “Rodeo,” featuring Arlo McKinley. Asking him about this, Pinnell tells me that the decision came quite naturally, with no real agenda behind the revival of the track: “We recorded that live at our release show. We played for like an hour and a half and recorded everything and that one just turned out really well, plus it has my buddy Arlo McKinley on it.”
*Get your tickets here.