Authenticity, honesty, traditional and natural are the words that spring to mind when watching Mo Pitney live. Mo is an artist that deserves so much more recognition than he has.
Mo played the UK late last year which I sadly could not attend so when he was announced for C2C Festival he was on my “must-see” list. Mo was added on one of the Bluebird Sessions show as well as BBC Radio 2 stage and various of stages including Friday nights late night ALL BAR ONE session which is where I opted to see him.
Playing straight after Friday headliners Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on the main stage, it was a mad rush to get to All Bar One to secure a good spot. All Bar One had a very intimate setting with a small stage and a stool in front of a handful of chairs and couches.
Mo took to the stage with just his guitar and greeted his audience who gave a loud cheer. Charming, sweet and with a baritone vocal, Mo captivated his audience throughout his set. Mo is one of very few traditional yet modern artists who turns out excellent track after excellent track and should be a lot more known than he is. Mo’s album Behind This Guitar has been one of my favourite albums in a long time. Mo has this natural ability to command his stage without doing much at all other than singing, playing his guitar and engaging with his audience with both eye contact and chatter.
Mo enjoys telling the stories behind his tracks which we, the UK fans love. Mo took the opportunity to play some new songs which were all excellent – some he had co written, some he had not. Mo’s set was very much impromptu, he would often ask the audience for requests and also played covers of artists such as Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard. Speaking of Merle Haggard, Mo tells us the story of the encounter he had with Merle and how he met him at a venue that his friend told him to come down and all Merle said was “Pleasure to meet you Mo” which is an actual line in the song titled I Met Merle Haggard Today which was inspired by that moment. That song is fantastic and the way Mo performs it is very laid back and he makes it look so easy, he also still has a beaming smile when he sings that line as if he is still overwhelmed by the casual meeting.
Other songs that Mo performed off of Behind This Guitar were Clean Up On Ailse Five which he received a standing ovation for on his Grand Ole Opry Debut, Country – one of his most popular tracks , Give Me Jesus and Boy & A Girl thing all of which are exceptional songs and were even more exceptional live.
Mo has a natural way about him on stage that is not only inspiring but totally captivating. Mo left his audience in awe of his performance. If there was one artist I could have listened to all evening, it was Mo.
Mo finished about midnight and despite the crowd wanting more, he was told to wrap it up but you know what? That’s ok, cause I saw Mo Pitney today.