For their latest LP, All the Little Things, Pete Pidgeon and Arcoda enlisted a troupe of contributors whose resumes feature stints with well-known artists like Grace Potter, Sheryl Crow and Ryan Adams. Topping the pile of name droppings in the liner notes, however, is Levon Helm of The Band, who lends his distinctive drumming, a Southern dragging beat that helped define modern Americana. This recording is one of his last.
With this cast, how can the album not be awesome? And musically, it is. Pete Pidgeon, who produced the album, has a powerful singer-songwriter voice, and his production here cannot be criticized. The songs sashay across the Americana landscape, visiting bluegrass, gospel, jazz – you name it. This is a high quality recording that someone paid well for. But there is a “but.” The songs themselves, though well performed and recorded, are not memorable. These are songs that sound impressive, but do not get under your skin in the way that, say, Hosier’s or Grace Potter’s music can. Perhaps when Pidgeon performs them live he’s able to create a better connectivity with the audience, perhaps this is a case of producing the soul out of a song, but this is an album you’ll listen to a few times, say you like it, then move on to something else and forget about it. Given Pidgeon’s obvious talent, this is a shame.
Studio: Applehead Studios, Woodstock, NY
Produced by: Pete Pidgeon
Engineer: Chris Bittner (Coheed & Cambria)