Ask Landon Pigg about his formative years and he’ll be the first to tell you he escaped from the clutches of normalcy. He tends to get a nosebleed more often than most, but he likes it when life happens naturally, and for him, it has seemed to flow that way from his very first day – August 6th, 1983. Born in Nashville, TN, he moved to Chicago as a child and it was there he learned to appreciate that flow; to read and write and ride a bike, and eventually, to have that bike stolen by a gang of ruffians from the city along with other typical childhood setbacks and milestones.
Soon, back to Nashville it was, where Landon applied himself to more benign interests such as Algebra and Chemistry and – lucky for everyone who has heard his debut RCA album, LP – Music - learning to make his own sounds as he began to rifle through the wonders of his dad’s record collection.
It was Landon’s father, a studio veteran himself, who encouraged Landon’s musical curiosity, as Landon recalls ‘Ray Stevens being the first CD I ever owned.’ Pretty soon Landon was unearthing his own musical breadcrumb trail – David Mead and Rufus Wainwright who showed him the beauty of a melody; Bands like Radiohead helping to etch a deeper emotion into his songwriting; Masterworks from groups such as Led Zeppelin and the Beatles imbuing in him both the love of a creative turn of phrase and a knack for writing indelible hooks. And there’s no denying the upper register of Harry Nilsson floating around somewhere amid Landon’s creations, completing a patchwork topography of the singer/songwriter’s musical exoskeleton that pop writer Nick Hornby would be proud of.
Landon also credits his mother for nurturing his poetic side. For the record, she still sends him words of wisdom meant to buoy one’s strength on those days where the setbacks seem to outnumber the milestones. ‘And’ – laughs Landon, ‘she still cuts my hair.’
With all these threads in hand, Landon Pigg has fastened together his own mercurial outlook on life which he effortlessly and magically captures on his debut album. Yet, he’ll also be the first to tell you it does no good to equate all these disparate strands with ‘figuring him out.’ Those who try to solve him like a puzzle end up confused. He likes to keep his thoughts to himself. Likes to keep even ‘himself’ guessing. Fortunately, a faithful listen to his new CD reveals he’s really not that different from any of us. The songs, which Landon says are ‘about things like losing love and finding hope – about how life will start to make sense and then stop again,’- reflect an uncanny ability to cobble his own confusion into unforgettable music.
Guided by a host of maverick producers, Dan Brodbeck (Dolores O’ Riordan), Paul Ebersold (3 Doors Down), and Clif Magness (Avril Lavigne, The Calling), he fuses his own raw edges into subtle and rollicking pop gems, like the plaintive ‘Sailed On,’ or the sparse but scrappy ‘Last Stop,’ which brandishes ripe examples of what can only be described as musical Pigg-speak – ‘I pick up all the pieces of the chords I didn’t use…’.
The hint we’ve been waiting for about solving at least part of the musical puzzle?
‘Maybe there is a naiveté in my approach,’ he says. ‘I never had a guitar lesson when I started out. I’ve always felt that when you don’t learn all the rules you’re much more inclined to break them with a smile.’ Which dovetails nicely into another inclination of his: You might not always get to hear Landon speak his mind – but you’ll always hear him sing it.