With a name like “Mo Pitney,” you are destined for country greatness. More importantly, when God gives you a voice that can rival the likes of Randy Travis or Don Williams, then you are one blessed kid.
Mo Pitney looks like he is barely out of puberty. Already, he has garnered attention far and wide. Rolling Stone included him in their latest “New Country Artists You Need to Know.” Huffington Post did a lengthy profile of him: “Real Music, Real Country.” And Saving Country Music has given him a nod of approval. And most significantly, he received a standing ovation at the Grand Ole Opry, the most storied institution in all of country history. At the Opry, he performed “Clean Up on Aisle Five” and “Country.” The Opry has posted the first performance:
Pitney was recently signed to Curb Records, which is a big deal. His debut single is “Country,” and you can watch a performance of it:
I do not think that country music has heard a voice like that since Randy Travis debuted in 1986! Pitney is a songwriter, not just a voice. But in Derek Hudgin’s review of the single, he rightly labels Pitney’s lyrics as “unoriginal.” But there is enormous promise with Pitney, even revealed in the general orientation of the lyrics. He loves country music. His heroes are Merle Haggard and Keith Whitley. When he panders, he is pandering to the noble past, not the flippant, vacuous present. For a young guy with a million dollar voice, that is impressive.
But the proof of Pitney’s value to the genre will come in time. Country is about a life honestly lived. And the music is uninhibited pain or joy, mourning or fun, serious or stupid. From what i have heard, Pitney is already on his way to understanding that. Time will tell.