Overdose Lifeline — “JCCT to host songwriter concert”

Kevin Green, Greenburg Daily News, October 15, 2019
Don Pedigo works closely with Overdose Lifeline and donates part of his merchandise sales, time, and songs to the cause.

From Nashville, Ind. to Nashville, Tenn., some of the region’s most talented writers and performers will be featured in a live songwriter-in-the-round show at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Royal-off-the-Square Theatre in Brownstown.

Don Pedigo, Stephanie Lambring, John Whitcomb, and host Joe Persinger will perform original songs as one of several special events planned in coming months in celebration of Jackson County Community Theatre’s 50th anniversary.

A limited number of tickets are on sale now at Artistic Impressions custom frame shop in downtown Seymour, at Family Drug in Brownstown, and online at www.jcct.org. All seats are just $10.

“Having these three professional recording artists — all with Music City USA experience — on stage in the same show is a rare event,” Persinger said. “This is a one night, one time opportunity to hear their songs in a comfortable, intimate indoor ‘listening room’ venue. New state-of-the-art seating makes the theater even more inviting. We expect tickets to sell out quickly.”

Beer and wine will be available at this event, along with JCCT’s usual concessions, including popcorn, candy, and soft drinks.

All the artists in this show have Jackson County roots.

Don Pedigo, originally from the Freetown area, is best known for a hard rocking “heartlander” sound. His CD, “The Cross Eyed Sessions,” stayed in the roots rock top 40 charts for almost two years.

Pedigo recently joined forces with the Nashville backing band The Coyotes, and they have laid tracks for a new EP. They are currently booking shows across the country and teaming up with other artists as supporting acts.

These new developments have brought a light of hope after Pedigo and his wife, Kim, lost their son, Christopher, to an overdose in 2014.

“So much happened so fast . . . . It took a few years to come to some healing, and part of that is in sharing our story when called upon,” he said.

Pedigo works closely with Overdose Lifeline and donates part of his merchandise sales, time, and songs to the cause. Stephanie Lambring, originally from Brownstown, moved to Nashville, Tenn. in 2006 to attend Belmont University. She immersed herself in writers’ rounds and showcases, and during her senior year gained some traction in England. She made her radio debut on legendary Bob Harris’ “Saturday Night Programme” on BBC Radio 2 in late 2008. This led to recording of her 2009 full-length album, “Lonely to Alone,” and a subsequent UK tour. She has booked five UK tours to date.

During her time in Nashville, Lambring has served as a staff writer for BMG and Carnival Music. Several top artists have recorded her tunes, and some of her songs have been featured on the hit TV show “Nashville.” In 2016, she won Eddie’s Attic Open Mic Shootout in Atlanta. (Previous winners include John Mayer, Shawn Mullins and Jennifer Nettles).

More recently, Lambring has taken a few steps back to rediscover her love for music. She recently finished recording an album to be released in spring 2020.

Seymour native John Whitcomb graduated from the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles and headed to

Nashville, Tenn., where he began performing with an established group. This led to the opportunity to open for Nashville veterans such as Vince Gill and Chet Atkins.

John’s songwriting ear was teased again by employment he found in the pit orchestra at the American Cabaret Theatre in Indianapolis. It was the music from “Shuffle Along,” Broadway’s first African American show, that really caught his ear. Musician Eubie Blake and lyricist Noble Sissle’s music had a lasting impact on his writing style, as can be heard on his latest album, “Arabelle.”

His most recent project is setting the lyrics of his distant relative, poet James Whitcomb Riley, to music.

Local folksinger Joe Persinger has been involved in Jackson County Community Theatre since 1971 and was a member of the organization’s first board of directors. He has appeared as an actor in more than 25 plays and directed several others.

He began playing guitar and singing at events on campus during his college years. In the late 1960’s, influenced by Simon and Garfunkel, he began writing songs and continues to write, perform, and record his original music. His most recent CD, “Dreams Go By,” features original tunes as well as covers of songs by artists such as Harry Chapin, Donovan, and fellow Hoosier Tim Grimm.

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Letcher said the program is in need of presenters and anyone interested may contact her to learn more. Presenters complete online trainings with support from Overdose Lifeline, Inc., and earn $100 per presentation.