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Pegi Young (Neil's wife)


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She is playing at Jammin' Java in Vienna, VA on 10/10/10. This is from the email I received........

This show will be seated on a first come, first served basis.

"Foul Deeds seemed like a good album title, because this record definitely has its share of dark themes... divorce, debauchery, disillusionment and despair," Pegi Young says of her second album and first for Vapor Records. "But I'm not trying to be a bummer. I'm just trying to tell some stories and make music that I can get behind."

Foul Deeds, which Young co-produced, overflows with the same richly evocative songcraft that made her self-titled 2007 debut a revelation. That album exposed the late-blooming artist as both an affecting singer and a songwriter of rare eloquence and insight. The new disc finds Young continuing to make music of uncommon warmth and gravity, delivering her lyrics of heartbreak and hard-won wisdom in understated, quietly powerful musical settings whose hushed, haunted beauty underlines the material's emotional immediacy.

"I don't write happy songs, and the songs I'm attracted to tend to be kind of melancholy," Young observes. "I don't really know why that is, but that's just how they come to me, and I have to let 'em come on through."

Pegi initially came to the public's attention through her longstanding role as backup singer with Neil Young, her husband of three decades. But Foul Deeds -- whose first 5000 copies will also include the bonus live DVD Love Like Water, directed by noted filmmaker Jonathan Demme at the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia -- makes it clear that Pegi's iconoclastic creative voice is very much her own. Her uncanny knack for cutting to the heart of thorny emotional issues drives such indelible originals as "Broken Vows," "Starting Over," "Who Knew" and the rueful title track. Another highlight is the dusky, lilting "Traveling," which appears on the album in two versions, one spare and dreamy, and the other performed with a full band.

In addition to Young's own compositions, Foul Deeds features the artist's personalized interpretations of a quartet of songs by other writers. Her compelling readings of Will Jennings' "Pleasing to Me," Lucinda Williams' "Side of the Road," Devendra Banhart's "Body Breaks" and B. Boatman's "Blue Sunday" imbue those already-distinctive songs with additional depth and color.

"I'm still a big believer in the old idea of a record being a complete experience," Young asserts. "So it matters to me that the songs have thematic relevance, and that somehow it tells some kind of story. Maybe people don't really listen to records as a whole anymore, and you can work on the sequencing till the cows come home but they'll still put it on shuffle and it doesn't matter. But it matters to me, and this group of songs just seem to make sense together."

Foul Deeds reteams Young with the group of veteran musicians and longtime friends whose sensitivity and rapport helped to distinguish her debut effort. Multi-instrumentalist Ben Keith (who co-produced the album with Young), guitarist/harmony singer Anthony Crawford and bassist Rick Rosas, who comprised Young's live band while touring behind her debut, were joined on the sessions by drummer Phil Jones, whose resume includes work with Tom Petty and Bob Dylan. Elsewhere on Foul Deeds, Neil Young plays guitar on three tracks, which also feature legendary keyboardist Spooner Oldham and noted session drummer Karl Himmel.

Pegi Young began writing songs and playing guitar while still in high school, but eventually put her creative instincts on hold to attend to the demands of family life. Pegi and Neil's experiences caring for their son Ben, who was born with cerebral palsy, led Pegi to co-found the non-profit Bridge School, whose innovative methods of aiding children with severe speech and physical impairments have established the school as a leader in its field over the past 25 years. Pegi and Neil have also been the forces behind the annual all-star Bridge School Benefit concerts, and Pegi continues to serve as president of the school's Board of Directors.

Pegi found herself drawn towards music again after she began touring as backup singer with her husband's band beginning in 2000. With her kids grown and the confidence gained from performing numerous live shows, she finally had the time and focus to begin recording her own songs.

"When I was younger, I was way, way too shy to do anything but very amateur performing," Young states. "But it eventually became a matter of having these opportunities and building some confidence and thinking, do I really want to be on my deathbed going 'Damn, I wish I'd made some records'? So I did it, and I loved it. And then I had more songs, so I did it again."

Having gained further experience from making her first album and touring extensively to support it, she took a more hands-on role in Foul Deeds' recording process.

"I did end up taking more of a leadership role this time," Young notes. "The whole project felt a lot less tentative and more focused, just because I'd done it already. It all came together very quickly. We'd been on the road so much that we were all pretty in sync, and adding Phil on drums had really opened things up, so I just thought, we had to get some of this on tape. We pulled it together very spontaneously, and recorded for three or four days, and everything kind of came together."

With a pair of personally charged, deeply felt albums under her belt, Pegi Young is embracing music-making with passion and pragmatism.

"I'm 57, so I'm never gonna be the next big thing, but I'm cool with that," she concludes. "If I was younger, I might be more focused on the commerce part of it. But I'm not a 20-year-old trying to make a living, so I don't have to conform to some record company's idea of whatever they're looking for that week. In that way, I guess I can be truly independent and focus on the creative part. I have no idea where it will go from here, but I'm having fun and I feel really, really good about what I've done so far."

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