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Track Premiere: Kelly Pardekooper’s “Long Goodbye”

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David Huckfelt w/ Kelly Pardekooper, Field Report

The Mill — Saturday, Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Kelly Pardekooper will perform at The Mill on Nov. 24. — Sandra Dyas/publicity photo

Next Friday, Oct. 26, former Iowa Citian Kelly Pardekooper releases his ninth studio album, 50-Weight (available for pre-order). And, as the title implies, he’s come back to the beginning: his very first demo, 30-Weight, was recorded 20 years ago in his Iowa City basement. Pardekooper recorded the new record in Iowa City, too, at Flat Black Studios. Iowa legend Bo Ramsey produced 50-Weight, his second for Pardekooper (he also produced 2011’s Yonder). And Little Village is premiering one of the tracks from the album.

“Felt like the right full circle bookend for my ninth album,” Pardekooper said in an email. “Flat Black Studios was perfect and it was the first time working there for both myself and Bo Ramsey … Nobody sounds quite like Bo Ramsey and we’re both really proud of this new album 50-Weight.”

Pardekooper’s bio claims the Americana and rock genres, but he’s often bundled into alt-country as well. Track six on 50-Weight eschews whatever that alt might mean, with a sweet, sad and evocative clean country feel. “It’s so pretty out here after midnight below these bourbon skies,” he sings, painting the lyrics — melancholy, but never despondent — onto a light, delightful, contemplative tune.

“I have an odd musical life,” said Pardekooper, who has made a living — and his last four albums — on songs used in film and television, including the Nicolas Cage film Vengeance, which financed 50-Weight.

“I don’t tour anymore,” he said. “Maybe two-three shows a year and often those are in Iowa around the holidays when I’m visiting my family.”

Next month, he’ll be in town for one of those few shows, performing at The Mill with Field Report and David Huckfelt (of the Pines). The Thanksgiving weekend show, Saturday, Nov. 24, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Kelly Pardekooper’s new record, ’50-Weight,’ is out Oct. 26.


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