A small-town country boy from Cherry Valley, Illinois, Mo Pitney has embraced the core element of country music with his authentic country vocals and songs to match. Pitney cut his teeth on classic country, by listening to vinyl records over and over. You can find him performing at the Grand Ole Opry from time to time and opening for artists such as Darryl Worley. His sound was influenced by Keith Whitley, Johnny Cash, Randy Travis, Buck Owens and Daryle Singletary. His ability to deliver each song with a fresh, young, modern twist in his own way sets him apart from other artists. We are going to take a look at Curb Records Recording artist Mo Pitney.
Pitney traveled in a performing bluegrass band with his brother and father from an early age. He picked up guitar around the age of twelve, so bluegrass is the music he cut his teeth on. “My brother played bass, my father played banjo and I played guitar and sang. We just played country music with bluegrass instruments. I was home schooled, so music was all I ever knew,” Pitney expressed. “We recorded a record in our basement, but for some reason we never released it. I had recorded one of Billy Lawson’s songs on the record, and when I got to Nashville we made contact. Lawson told me I should be a country singer instead of a bluegrass singer, because I could get a lot more exposure in the country music market.”
“I was okay with that. I’ve always considered myself a country singer, anyway. I just didn’t know how to be a country artist. I wrote and recorded three songs with Billy Lawson that same week I came to Nashville,” continued Pitney. “Brian Wright from Universal was there, and he signed me to Universal the same day we met. Unfortunately, that door closed, but it led to me getting a record deal with Curb Records.”
He followed up the question about his path in country music with this. “In other words, what led me to country music is bluegrass. What’s in my heart is to sing a traditional sound, but when someone asks me about ‘traditional’ I think of Hank Williams Sr., so I don’t consider myself traditional in that sense, but I’ll probably be more traditional than most artists on the radio.”
Pitney is a polite, well-spoken gentleman, and with his core country sound he will go far in this incredible industry called country music.
“I believe my music will change as I change. I wrote or co-wrote all twelve songs on this new album coming out in February, and the songs are ‘me’ all the way through. The first single, a song called ‘Country,’ will be released to radio officially on February 9th but 15 or 20 stations are already playing it. Vince Gill, Alison Krauss and Ronnie Dunn made guest appearances on three separate songs, so we have high hopes that it will be successful. Tony Brown is producing the album, and we are recording it live, with only limited overdubs, so that is one different approach we are taking.”
Along with country pop, country rock and bluegrass, traditional country music is still a very popular music, even in the mainstream market. Pitney had heavy influence from bluegrass and traditional country, which adds to his “old country” sound. This will remind you of how good a simple country song can be – that simple truth that country music has always portrayed.