JPR Live Session: Don DiLego

Jan 9, 2017

Combining his favorite aspects of the country music of old alongside some serious 80’s indie-pop influences, Don DiLego has managed to carve out a sound that is at once both nostalgic in its Americana leanings and modern in its approach to creating a sonic landscape. Ripe with reverb, detuned guitars, banjo, and pedal steel, DiLego’s most recent recordings seem to fully realize what he began exploring on his first release, The Lonestar Hitchhiker, back in 2001.

Born in the far reaches of rural Western Massachusetts, DiLego migrated to Boston after high school, and formed his first band Standing on Earth. After some minor local notoriety, and a brief deal with Sony, the band disbanded and DiLego relocated to New York City where his management was based. It was shortly after, that a couple of studio inspired demos found their way to producer Mike Mangini (Digible Planets, Imani Coppola, Joss Stone). Mangini and DiLego would record three songs that quickly landed him a deal with Universal Records. Almost immediately after, Universal was bought by the beverage company Seagram’s, and DiLego’s future with the label was put on indefinite hold. In the interim, DiLego traveled across the US for six months, writing the rest of what would become The Lonestar Hitchhiker, and changing course on the music he was originally signed to record.

In the spring of 2016, DiLego announced his latest solo release, Magnificent Ram A, and a subsequent signing to One Little Indian. Culminating in a few years of scattered writing amongst other production duties and tours, he secluded himself to his Velvet Elk Studios to complete the record in Nov of 2015, and committed to it being his most ambitious release to date.