Photo: Casey Kinney

Pedigo’s Magic Pilsner – “Garage Sale” (audio) (premiere)

The O's John Pedigo's newest project is all about keeping optimism alive in the faces of loss and adversity. It's also a tribute to his late father.

Pedigo’s Magic Pilsner is a lot of things. For starters, it’s Dallas songwriter John Pedigo’s latest project. Secondly, it’s a lush, rhythmic Americana movement that’s all about having hope and keeping your chin up in the face of adversity. Thirdly, it’s a personal affair for Pedigo, given that in its own way, the project was made to honor his father.

Pedigo lost his dad to terminal cancer in May of last year. When he was diagnosed in 2016, his son set forth to write and record a collection of tunes that would honor him. Pedigo does so with keeping optimism alive even in the face of loss and mourning, with bombastic horns, drums, and guitars driving his rich, exuberant world of roots performances under the “Magic Pilsner” moniker forward. Even the name of the project, speaking of it, was named after an unbearable brew that John Pedigo’s father had created once upon a time.

“Garage Sale” is the good old Magic Pilsner’s latest release, and it carries much of the idea of making the best of a sad situation as one might expect from reading the above. But, instead of this writer lingering on analyzing the tune by his lonesome, John Pedigo himself took part in a Q&A that should shine a light on things.

What is “Garage Sale” about / inspired by?

I think when people break up and chunk the other person’s things out on the lawn, it’s not only lazy, but a missed opportunity. Not to mention, it makes all your neighbors embarrassed for you, which makes borrowing milk just plain awkward. A better idea is to take all those things you’d be tossing out the window in a blind rage, and calmly selling them in a garage sale. It’s a no-brainer. You make some cash off the ex’s possessions, then go buy you and your friends some margaritas. Who wins? You do. All the way to the bank.

Any fun stories about writing or recording this particular track?

Besides the raison d’être and the motivation for actually making this record, I was extremely fortunate to have incredible players to work with. This song in particular took its unequivocal shape when Danny Balis was tracking. His walking bass line led to Chad Stockslager’s haunting piano part which led to Chris Holt’s doubled slide guitar. I added the Pixies-esque guitar part in the chorus to add some pep to it, but really it was those guys that made song special. Getting to hang with them and let them have at it was the fun I got to have with it.

How’s 2018 treating you so far? What are you looking forward to this year?

I know I’m not alone when I say that 2017 wasn’t the …

Wait, full disclosure, I wanted to say ‘bees knees’ just then. Which is ridiculous. However, I just Googled “Other ways to say Bees Knees.” Yes, even more ridiculous. But even more ridiculous still were these gems that came up in the search: “elephant’s adenoids, cat’s meow, ant’s pants, tiger’s spots, bullfrog’s beard, elephant’s instep, caterpillar’s kimono, turtle’s neck, duck’s quack, duck’s nuts, monkey’s eyebrows, gnat’s elbows, oyster’s earrings, snake’s hips, kipper’s knickers, elephant’s manicure, clam’s garter, eel’s ankle.” No joke!

Anyway, last year wasn’t the “kipper’s knickers” so to speak. I’m really looking forward to getting this record out and hitting the road with the Pils and making things happen. I owe it to my Dad. I’m also looking forward to working on my bowling game. It’s been slipping since, like, forever.