X96 Live and Local Spotlight: Pigeon


I first met Pigeon’s Sam Smith four years back while drinking whiskey at a metal show in the now boarded-up Bar Deluxe…


…R.I.P. Come to think of it, I’ve a lot of musicians there. I prefer those kinds of places as opposed to drinking establishments where guys in golf shirts tucked into khakis sip double IPAs to a soundtrack of Jimmy Buffet and Dire Straights – not that there’s anything wrong with that.  As a matter of fact, that could just be a made up – might not even be a place in Salt Lake, but you get the idea. Sam is one of the most laid back, friendly guys I have ever met. He’s also a hell of a musician.

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Sam played in the Sam Smith Band for quite a while, so when I originally told people I wanted to have his band as a Live and Local Spotlight artist, the most frequent reply was “The British guy?” Some people just aren’t plugged in. Maybe that’s why Sam changed things up. I ran into him at one of Salt Lake’s newest (and hottest) bars, Twist, a few weeks back in Exchange Place. When he told me about his new lineup and band I wanted to feature them even more. I thought it would be exciting to see the direction the music was moving and meet the musicians he was playing with.

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Pigeon describes themselves on their website as a voodoo dirt band. The band features Ben Weiss, Zach Downes, Ben Chapmen, Darren Farnsworth and Sam Smith. Sam had told me the songs they played during our Live and Local session are tunes he has been playing for a while, just different arrangements with Pigeon. I wouldn’t have guessed it. It’s a very different sound from his previous band. It’s not the get-up-and-go blues I remember from Sam Smith Band, but it’s charming – not in a Disney way, but more of a wine drunk sort of way.

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Perhaps it’s the stand-up  bass, the banjo and the mandolin that give Pigeon their romantic air. Is it blues meets gypsy? Folk meets rock?  Well, it’s not electric-based. That’s probably what I really like about it. Pigeon would sound just as great on a patio playing acoustic as they would in a club on electricity. Maybe it’s new life being breathed into the previously vocalized and familiar verse of the singer or new takes with new ears and instruments. Versatility takes talent, which breeds original genuineness. At least that’s how I do the math. Perhaps it’s a group of guys who really know how to play. I suggest you get out and see them as soon as possible…

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Catch Pigeon at these fine establishments:

  • Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at Twist
  • Saturday, September 19, 2015 at Johnnys on Second
  • Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at Twist
  • Saturday, September 26, 2015 at Garage on Beck
  • Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at Twist
  • Thursday, October 10, 2015 Hog’s Wallow (for you lovely folks in the southern part of the valley).

You can also follow them in various digital spaces:

Check out the X96 Live and Local Spotlight archive and find out how your band could be a featured Live and Local Spotlight artist.

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