“I think it’s fun to play things that feel corny,” Hayden Pedigo says of composing “Tints of Morning,” a song off of his new record, Letting Go. Pedigo‘s instrumental fingerstyle pieces are more melodic and introspective than you might expect from a young, self-deprecating Texan.

You can feel a sense of exploration in Pedigo‘s playing; some references to country and western music are not unexpected from an artist with Amarillo roots, but there’s also a discernible reverence for avant-garde acoustic sounds reminiscent of artists like John Fahey and Leo Kottke.

Pedigo explains the process of writing “Tints of Morning,” saying the main theme got stuck in his ear, despite sounding “borderline schmaltzy, corny, and overly sentimental.” After playing the riff over and over, and over, the song grew into a complete piece.

Pedigo performs on a Blueridge BG60, that he purchased used for about $300. “It‘s an incredible guitar. When I got my first advance from a record label I told myself, ‘I’m done with the Blueridge, I’ve outgrown it.‘“ But after trying out a pricier Martin, he realized his BG60 “had been such a solid guitar. It has such nice bass, and a clear trebly sound that I want in an acoustic.”