We’re pleased to welcome The O’s for today’s edition of Desert Island Discs. A couple of years ago, their debut album prompted Alternative Press to name them as one of “100 Bands You Need To Know,” an honor that reportedly got them a lifetime discount at Whataburger. The Texas-based folk duo will launch their new album Between The Two out into the world next week (although you can grab it exclusively at Itunes right now), so we thought we’d spend a bit of time today getting to know the two gents behind The O’s – Taylor Young and John Pedigo.

Taylor Young (Vocals, Guitar, Kick Drum, Xylophone)

1) Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys

It’s always been my favorite album.

2) Horsedrawn Wishes – Rollerskate Skinny

Rock critics, always fumbling for adjectives and superlatives, have used every word in Roget’s Thesaurus to describe Irish Alternative-rock quartet Rollerskate Skinny, so I’m not gonna try. I hear something different every listen and love it a little more year by year. Jimi Shields, brother of Kevin Shield (My Bloody Valentine) is on guitar.

3) Jesus of Cool – Nick Lowe

His self-produced debut album. Blueprint for power-pop. Clever lyrics and great Rock and Roll. Listen to “Heart of the City” live. Hit after hit.

4) Death of a Ladies’ Man – Leonard Cohen

It’s a beautiful and haunting album, and a little raunchy too. It gets me every time I listen to it, and I couldn’t live without it. Phil Spector produced and co-wrote the album. Things didn’t turn out too good between the two of them, and I don’t even think Leonard Cohen liked the record, but I still think it’s great.

5) Modern Times – Bob Dylan

The 2006 release by Bob Dylan. I’ve worn out all my other Dylan records, but can’t seem to wear this one out. Has some of my favorite Dylan tunes on it, all the way from rockabilly to some heart wrenching ballads. I think the man keeps getting better.

John Pedigo (Vocals, Banjo, Lowebro, Tambo, Harmonica)

Top five albums I would take to a dessert island:

Firstly, who wouldn’t want to be on a “dessert island?” How delish! Here I come CrÁ¨me BrulÁ©e!

Here are my deep cuts. I will begin by saying that this task is impossible and by no means a full comprehensive outline of what I would actually bring, but is a representation of what wouldn’t annoy me over an extended period of time; or at least what hasn’t annoyed me this far.

1) Teenager of the Year – Frank Black

This album takes me on a journey through my glorious, formative years. Every song seems better than the last, and each tune is a surprise. The way Frank Black toys with time signatures and melody is beyond impressive; the song “Two Reelers” is a masterpiece and a prime example. Frank Black is a living legend.

2) Bossanova – The Pixies

I heard this album when I was in fourth grade at my friend Lauren’s birthday party. Her brother played me the tape (along with a Smiths’ mix tape) and I decided to become a musician. This album literally changed my life, and ever time I listen to it now, it reminds me of how great pop music should sound… drowned in reverb.

3) O.C.M.S. – Old Crow Medicine Show

I have an ongoing debate (with myself) : what is the greatest “drive-around-Texas-farm-roads-while-sipping-on-a-frosty-beverage” album? It’s either this album or Bob Keen’s Live #2. But I think this wins. What an incredible journey. I don’t listen to Bluegrass at all, but I’ve had to re-buy this disc 3 times through burnout, loss, and general ickiness that it received from an extended stay underneath a car seat. The songs and instrumentation are just right for cracking the window, poppin’ a beer, and watching rural Tejas fly by,

4) The Dogs – The Dogs

Taylor and I bought this for a tour and it is the most impressive rap/comedy album ever. Holy smokes this Disco Rick guy is crazy! No one else comes close to this shit!

5) The Sun Sessions – Elvis Presley

The King must be represented on this Isle no question. These versions of his original cuts are the real deal. This is what we all wish we could play and sound like. It’s so live and fresh and… oh hell, what hasn’t been said about these recordings???

Honorable Mentions (Old 97’s – Too Far to Care, The Sparrows – Rock and Roll Days, Waylon Jennings – The Essential)

Not a bad bunch of picks!  As promised, we’ll give you some more information about the above dudes and their collective project The O’s, but first, how about a peek at their brand new video?

On Tuesday (2/8), The O’s return with their sophomore release Between The Two (Idol Records), the follow-up to their 2009 debut We Are The O’s. Lovingly produced by Grammy Award winner Stuart Sikes (Loretta Lynn, The White Stripes, Cat Power, Modest Mouse), Between The Two is an exacting reflection of the wanton passion that fuels The O’s raucous live performances. From the soggy-bottom ramble of the first single/video ”We’ll Go Walkin” to the Led Zep ”Gallows Pole” aura of ”In Numbers We Survive” to the exquisite green-grass harmonies of ”Sunshine” to the dueling banjos flair of ”Everything’s Alright,” the perpetually sun-soaked vibe that shines upon a mÁ©lange of banjo, Lowebro lap steel, xylophone, tambourine and harmonica paves the musical way; wheels-off, full speed ahead.

Wheels in perpetual motion, The O’s have played over 300 shows across the US, UK and Europe over a two-year span that saw these road warrior comrades sharing stages with Old 97’s, Dave Alvin, Ben Kweller, Justin Townes Earle, Mark Olsen and Gary Louris (of The Jayhawks), Joe Ely, Billy Joe Shaver, David Allen Coe, Slobberbone, John Dee Graham, Split Lip Rayfield, Guy Forsyth & Lukas Nelson (Willie Nelson’s son).

In addition to the brotherhood of The O’s, both guys continue to enrich their impressive Texas scene pedigrees with Young an active member of The Polyphonic Spree (drums) and Boys Named Sue (drums) as well as previous stints with The Backsliders, Hi-Fi Drowning, Young Heart Attack and P.W. Long. Pedigo is also an active member of Boys Named Sue (vocals & guitar) and a former member of Rose County Fair.

Between The Two will be issued on Tuesday (2/8) in a variety of formats; digital download, CD, vinyl and even as a super limited edition 8-track (only eight copies are being manufactured and will be sold via auction in conjunction with The Eight Track Museum in Denton, TX).

Sample some tunes from the new album using the handy player below – hit the play button and let the adventure begin!

Visit The O’s online at their official website for even more details, tour dates and things to buy.

About the Author

Matt Wardlaw

Matt Wardlaw is a music lifer with nearly 20 years of experience in the industry. Of course you all have shoes older than that, but that's okay, Matt realizes that he's still a rookie. His byline has appeared in the Riverfront Times (St. Louis), Cleveland Scene, Blogcritics, Music's Bottom Line and Ultimate Classic Rock, among others. In addition to writing for Popdose, Matt also has his own music blog called Addicted to Vinyl where he writes about a variety of subjects including but not limited to vinyl. In his spare time, Matt enjoys long walks in the park, Cherone-era Van Halen and driving long distances to Night Ranger concerts.

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