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Courtyard Concert Series | Dustin Pittsley

Never uneasy, never uncomfortable

Dustin Pittsley has a place in Tulsa’s long lineage of great blues-rock guitarists. Songs imbued with a laidback country feel and a love for John Prine boil over into soaring rock-and-roll power, with Pittsley’s solos channeling Hendrix, Clapton, and Warren Haynes. 

Pittsley’s rare acoustic performance in our Courtyard with keyboardist Chris Kyle was a testament to the fact that in the right hands, you don’t need big amps and stompboxes to melt faces. Before their set, Pittsley and I talked about finding inspiration in the small town lifestyle, sharing the stage with a legend, and not wanting to play on “Saturday Night Live.”

Catch Dustin Pittsley Band every Tuesday at Soul City and on Friday, October 29 at the Centennial Lounge’s Monster Mash Halloween Bash.

First song learned: I think my friend showed me how to play “God of Thunder” by Kiss. It’s not the one I wanted to learn, but it’s what he showed me.

Last music played on Spotify:

The new Doyle Bramhall II album, Rich Man.

Desert Island Discs: Tedeschi Trucks Band – Revelator. Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon…or Animals. I don’t know if I can pick between the Pink Floyd. And then it’d have to be a Hendrix record, probably Axis: Bold As Love.

Best show seen in Tulsa: Gosh, there’s so many. One I didn’t really expect that was just incredible was Ben Harper at Cain’s. I like Ben Harper, but it caught me by surprise and ended up being really incredible.

Anticipated upcoming shows:

I’m going to see Black Sabbath [at the BOK Center.] I’ve never seen them, and I figure I’ve gotta see Black Sabbath at least once.

Most memorable show: The most memorable was playing at Buddy Guy’s in Chicago, and he got up to play with us. He got up and sang for fifteen or twenty minutes and just had us back him up. It’s the most incredible thing I’ve ever done.

Dream venue: I don’t know why, but I’ve always wanted to do Letterman or Stephen Colbert, something like that. I used to always want to do “Saturday Night Live,” but I don’t think I want to as much anymore from what I see on it. I don’t think we’re gonna be on it any time soon. That and the Fillmore. I think that would be amazing.

Non-musical influence: My family. A lot of them live down in Chandler. It’s just kind of a more laidback lifestyle, and that has a big influence over me and where I take things, how I view music and life in general. It’s the country vibe out there that I really like.

Music is: That’s heavy. I’ve always been socially awkward, or just not comfortable completely, so for me it’s a way to get out. I’m never uneasy onstage, I’m never uncomfortable. It’s my release from feeling kind of awkward. It allows me to be me.