If third time is a charm, it’s also a tradition.
For the third year in a row, former Iowa City native Kelly Pardekooper will return to his hometown for Thanksgiving. And while he’ll surely be enjoying some Thanksgiving food and fellowship while he’s here, he’ll also be working. If you can call a musical reunion of sorts work.
“So far I have old pal Marty Letz joining me on pedal steel guitar,” he says. “We’ll see what other old music friends might be around town for the holidays.”
The now L.A.-based musician returns to Iowa City for Friday’s concert at The Mill after recently receiving some good news. He “just got word from LALA land that my song ‘Drown in Alcohol’ is being used this season on the hit CBS show ‘Blue Bloods.’”
This isn’t the first time his music has been featured on television. In fact, after touring and recording relentlessly for the better part of a decade, he moved to L.A. four years ago — ironically perhaps — to slow down and create music for television and film.
“For 10 years, I was in the mode of recording an album and then having it released on independent labels here and in Europe,” Pardekooper told us in December 2010 before a previous trip back to his old Iowa City stamping grounds. “Ten years of that was enough. I don’t want to be in a van with a bunch of guys anymore.
“Creating music for TV and film “has been nice. I can still be creative, and I feel like I need music in my life, but I’m not all that motivated to make an album proper anymore,” says Pardekooper, whose television song credits include “True Blood,” “Cold Case,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “Make It or Break It,” and the Sundance Channel, CMT and HGTV. Film song credits include “Sex and the USA” and “April Moon.”
Now based in Indianapolis, he just released his sixth album “Yonder” produced by guitar master and fellow Iowan Bo Ramsey and recorded mostly live at Minstrel Studio in Iowa City,
With strong ties to Iowa City still, Pardekooper is always excited about his now annual return over the Thanksgiving holiday. He gets to perform with many people he hasn’t seen in years. Plus, he says he prefers playing in his hometown over his new location.
“It’s different playing in Iowa City because I grew up there,” Pardekooper says. “It’s also quite different in comparison to Los Angeles. The ‘cool factor’ doesn’t seem to matter in Iowa City nearly as much. But, honestly, I’m old enough that I’m irrelevant and don’t even care that I am. I don’t think a 42-year-old bald guy from Iowa is bringing sexy back anytime soon. But I still have fun with it, and I’ll continue to have fun with it here in Iowa City.”