Author Archives: todd wait

Some folks sit on the river bank and watch life roll right on by.

Five years ago, Todd Day Wait ditched most everything he owned on a curbside in Missouri. With guitar in hand, clothes on his back and a head full of music and dreams, he dived in.

Many miles and songs later, Todd Day Wait’s Pigpen disembarks in Bristol for Border Bash on June 6. Wait leads Pigpen, a trio of New Orleans-based musicians whose music hails from American parts far and wide and many decades deep.

“There’s only so much you can do halfway,” said Wait by phone from Missouri. “I put all my stuff on the curb. If I didn’t own anything, I had no reason to stay. Jumped in. Something was going to happen.”

Indeed. Most telling, the minstrel man owns an ever-changing sound.

“We’re a traveling, full country blues group,” Wait said. “We do our own material and pay homage to people from the 1920s to the 1950s. It’s music to show appreciation to those influences.”

Wait’s influences, like America’s highways and byways, stretch in all sorts of unpredictable directions. He as apt to summon names of old-time string band figures including Charlie Poole to 1950s honky-tonk king Webb Pierce. Love attaches equally.

“I love string band music from the ’20s and ’30s,” Wait said. “Jug bands, string bands, gospel bands. It was all melding a bunch. I’m a big fan of Lefty Frizzell. George Jones. Wynn Stewart. It makes me happy when I can play that stuff.”

With tunes including Pierce’s “Love, Love, Love” in mind, the guitar-toting troubadour has traveled the country and seen sights that he never would have had he stayed on the river bank. Get this. Within days of his appearance at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion in September, Wait will travel to perform in Italy, his first trip abroad.

“When I travel, I get to pick stuff up,” Wait said.

By stuff, he means music. As if it’s a crayon in a kid’s hand, he then adds a few more shades to his already patchwork sound.

“It might be from Milwaukee or Los Angeles or the deep south,” Wait said. “You can pick up influences that you might not have if you stay in one spot. Now, some states are big on fiddle or banjo or electric guitar.”

For instance, that which ignites a crowd in the buckle of the bluegrass belt may resound with a thud on the west coast.

“We can play Tom T. Hall’s ‘Who’s Gonna Feed Them Hogs’ in New Orleans and they love it,” Wait said. “We can play it in California and they don’t get it. In Tennessee, you better play banjo well because everyone from four-year-olds to 80-year-olds can. In California, if you can play five notes on the banjo they love you.”

Music. Thereby stands the one mark on the map in Wait’s life that makes sense of everything. With music, he’s Todd Day Wait and as American as the flag. Without music, he would be akin to the flag without the stars, and that just doesn’t fly.

“I can accomplish anything in life with this guitar in my hand,” Wait said. “This world can shake, but I’m gonna be stable. That’s the feeling I get from music.”

Read the full story by Tom Netherland on the


  • Music Stabilizes Todd Day Wait by Tom Netherland Bristol Herald Courier

    Some folks sit on the river bank and watch life roll right on by.

    Five years ago, Todd Day Wait ditched most everything he owned on a curbside in Missouri. With guitar in hand, clothes on his back and a head full of music and dreams, he dived in.


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  • JUNE 12th, 2015



    All right folks. Looking forward to a great Summer and Fall. The Pigpen just did a three week run out to the West Coast and had a great time performing at the Gator By The Bay Music Festival in California and had a blast playing up in the Central Valley and Portland, Oregon.

    Coming up we have the Pat Reedy & Todd Day Wait tour. Going to be hitting the Midwest with some great original country music. Going to have a top act backing band to play behind us and make the songs come alive.

    After that Todd Day Wait heads to England and Germany for around of shows and to record a new album. It’s going to be recorded by Blind Lemon Records in Germany. This will be a blast and some long lasting memories.

    To top it off, the group will be doing a large fall tour in the Southeast and Midwest. Glad to be asked back to the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Music Festival and to hit my old stomping grounds in the Midwest. Keep up with the shows on our tour page and hope to see you all this Summer and Fall.


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  • Hazel the Delta Rambler,  WWOZ/90.7 Radio New Orleans

    “Todd Day Wait’s Pigpen, a refreshing update on country blues that won’t make you blue, add in a bit of  jug band and old time, but more yet. Original songs that crackle. Harmonica solos swing. Real upright bass has the true bottom. All of it goes together, if you meet up with them on the street, you will stop and listen and they will make you smile.”

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  • November 12th, 2014


    Another Great Year

    All right folks, the Pigpen is wrapping up another great year touring in America. The group had a blast touring the Midwest, Southeast and California this year.  We were honored to perform at two great music festivals the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion and the Roots N’ Blues N BBQ Festival. Thank you to all the folks that set up the shows, the fans that came out to the events and everyone that helped support the group.

    The band put out an E.P. called “Travelin’ Blues” and has their song “Early Morning Blues” featured on a compilation album of New Orleans street bands. There is one more “special album” that is going to come out here in a few weeks, stay tuned folks.

    The group is going to end the year with a bang.  We have been invited to perform at The Umbria Jazz Festival in Orvieto, Italy for their New Years Celebration. This will be the first trip for the group across the pond.

    Thank you to all the folks that enjoy the music and help the group keep moving along. See you either in New Orleans this winter or your neck of the woods when the snow melts.

    Todd Day Wait and the Pigpen.

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  • September 17th, 2014


    Howdy Folks,
    We have had an amazing time touring the Southeast once again, promoting our new Album “Travelin Blues”!  And the band is honored to be playing 2 Festivals this weekend; The Edinburg Ole’ Time Festival, and the legendary Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion!

    This Festival of music, arts, crafts, parade, entertainment and great food!  Come see us play Saturday (Sept 20th) at the CHARTER SCHOOL STAGE from 2pm-4pm, right after the parade!

    BRISTOL RHYTHM AND ROOTS REUNION 2014:Every third weekend in September State Street in Historic Downtown Bristol, TN/VA is amped to the beat of Appalachia’s past, present & future. It digs down deep into the roots of the traditional Appalachian sound and lifts its branches to new heights! We have 2 sets at this city-wide Festival on Sunday (Sept 21st)!  We’ll be pickin’ and grinnin’ on the STATE LINE STAGE from 12:45pm-1:45pm.  Then we’ll be making ya’ll dance at O’MAININ’S PUB STAGE from 4:15-5:15! See Sundays full schedule by clicking here.

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