Pegi Young knows that with a title like "Lonely In a Crowded Room" and songs about romantic discord, her fourth album might seem like a rumination on her pending divorce from husband Neil Young.
Not the case, she says.
"I'm sure there's a connection that might seem to be obvious, but in actual fact these songs were written last year, and certainly at that time there was no indication of what my personal life is going through now," says Young, 61, who is also the co-founder of the Bridge School in California, which serves children with severe physical and speech impairments. She began recording in 2007, after singing backup in her husband's grup.
"The album's been done since January, and it was delayed in its release. So, yeah, sure, people can look at it and go, 'Whoa!' and put it in a context, but it's really not. It was written well before any of the other stuff and has virtually nothing to do with what's going on currently."
Young, not surprisingly, isn't saying anything about the split -- "Divorce is really painful. It's very personal and it's very private," she explains -- but is clearly happy to have an album to talk about instead. "Lonely In a Crowded Room," which sports a Neil Young guest appearance on one track, is her most upbeat and aggressive set yet, a diverse mix that touches on blues, R&B and honky-tonk country, with elements of jazz and gospel also stirred in.
"It was a lot of fun making this record," says Young, who chose its 10 tracks from an estimated 30 she recorded. "Obviously it's just my growth as an artist, just part of the evolution. When you're 20 and you start out, evolution isn't so unusual. But when you're my age and you start out it's like, 'Hey, what's going on here?'
"But evolution is evolution. I just see it as a natural progression of myself as an artist, and who knows what the next one could be. It could be reggae. It could be rap!...Well, probably not, but I feel like there's a lot of places I can go."
Pegi Young & the Survivors and Mountain Babies
Monday, Nov. 17. Doors open at 8 p.m.
The Pike Room in the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac.
Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 day of show.
Call 248-858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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