Fresh Tracks – May 2016: Meet Pete Pidgeon, One of The Hardest Working Musicians You’ve Maybe Never Heard Of

Words by Sarah Bourque
Published May 15, 2016

The mighty Colorado Rocky Mountains may very well be protecting a magical place for musical creation. Denver guitarist, singer and songwriter, Pete Pidgeon, of Pete Pidgeon & Arcoda, is one of the area’s hardest working musicians who’s promptly gaining national attention. Born in Connecticut, with a degree in Jazz Studies from State University of New York at New Paltz, he eventually wound up in Colorado, where he currently lives.

His biggest influences include The Beatles and Stevie Wonder. Having grown up to the sounds of these two musical giants, and being immersed in the music, helped build his love for creative song. Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke” on 45 was one of the coolest songs in the world when he was very young. The creativity of the Beatles, mixed with the R&B and soul of Stevie Wonder, has helped shape who he is as a songwriter and musician today.

Another musical influence is Phish. They provided the guidance, and helped lay the foundation, on what it means to have extreme dedication to the music by putting the hard work in and getting down to the nitty gritty. In the mid 90’s, he could be found following the band on tour. One time period in particular brought special meaning to him, which eventually led to the publishing of his book, Hampton 98. The book grazes over the lot scene and back stage life, all while focusing mainly on two specific shows in November of ’98. For fans of Phish, some good advice would be for you to “read the book.” Here, he talks about Hampton 98, which features readings from a few special guests.

Pidgeon has performed with an impressive array of musicians on and off stage. The late Levon Helm, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee of The Band and Bob Dylan fame, is featured on his latest album, All the Little Things. Other artists he’s performed with include Kenwood Dennard, Scott Metzger, Ryan Montbleau, Nate Wilson, and on and on. The list of musicians he shares the stage with only continues to grow.

Awards and recognitions include being recognized during the second round in 2011 for five Grammy Award categories, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, and Best Short Form Video – for the song “Will,” and “Will” music video. 2016 brought nominations in 8 categories for the Rock Awards, to include Songwriter of the Year, Solo Performance of the Year, Guitarist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Original Rock Performance (with Pete Pidgeon & Arcoda), R&B/Soul/Funk Performance (with FU^K), Jazz Performance (with Thurston Group), and Music Teacher of the Year. Don’t be surprised to see his talents continue to be recognized.

Credit: Tobin Voggesser

Credit: Tobin Voggesser

Pete Pidgeon & Arcoda performed at the Colorado BERNFest, a musical fundraiser for Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, that took place on Super Tuesday, April 26th. He also recently had the pleasure of joining Steve Ferrone on stage at the Malibu Guitar Festival in California. Ferrone is best known for his involvement with Eric Clapton and Tom Petty. Pidgeon contributed his experience from the festival, with ShowTheShow, as our first featured guest writer. If you haven’t read it yet, make sure to check it out because he provides readers with a creative insight into each moment, as it’s happening.

As previously mentioned, his latest album, All The Little Things, was originally released on Record Store Day last month. The album, chock full of Americana spirit, is a solid display of Pidgeon’s wide range of talent, providing the listener with a deep understanding of why his performance track record with hundreds of musicians in the industry continues to grow. In addition to Arcoda, he’s also a member of the band FU^K, which carries a funk-fusion sound, and goes to show that music is in his blood.

Pete Pidgeon is a busy man. He’s currently in the early stages of planning a fall tour. You can catch his next big performance on June 2nd at Larimer Lounge in Denver for an intimate album release party. This special event will feature Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman of the Trey Anastasio Band, as well as Anders Osborn/Karl Denson collaborator, Peter StellingMalibu Guitar Festival-9815

For more information regarding Pete Pidgeon & Arcoda, please visit their official website. Information regarding FU^K can be found at their official website. Information on Hampton 98 is available here.

Check out his video of “Wharf Rat” for JamBase’s Song Of Their Own series, created to honor the 50th celebration of the Grateful Dead reunion shows in 2015.

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