About the Album
Label: Universal / Kingcuts
Three months, thirty states, fifteen thousand miles, and one dog. Set in motion by a chance meeting with a brooklyn-bound subway rider calling himself “The Lonestar Hitchhiker”, Don DiLego set out in search of inspiration to tell an account of the stranger’s story…a story he hoped would write itself on the open road. It did. A collection of journal, observation, rhyme, and confession, “The Lonestar Hitchhiker” is Don’s cinematic debut LP record. A concept album for the new millennium.
The album seems to draw significant inspiration from equal parts Johnny Cash, David Bowie, Wilco and Beck. An experiment in pop gone awry with all the subtle trappings of a rusty barbed-wire fence, bad cowboy poetry, and a coin-operated acoustic guitar.
ALL MUSIC GUIDE REVIEW: “Inspired by a rather innocent New York City subway conversation, Don DiLego spent months traveling along Route 66 to discover different people and their stories. The end product is an Americana, trip-hop account that is as intriguing as it is quirky.”
“Not since Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska has a concept album been more stirring or truthful. Lonestar Hitchhiker calls to mind a sense of the down-trodden romantic America that has laid in torpor since the Beat Generation. DiLego’s surprisingly twangy voice brings a heartfelt realism to his incredibly diverse soundscapes and his songs demand to be listened to. With a rich sense of orchestration, the album is masterfully arranged in a way that is reminscent of “Smile”-era Beach Boys. The instrumentation is more than amazing, it remains wonderfully understated, highly befitting, and never distracting. If songwriting isn’t hard enough in keeping genuine and unique, then concept albums are down right next to impossible. Don DiLego manages both with great ease, making Lonestar Hitchhiker a true and significant masterpiece.”-PERFORMER MAG- Nov 2001
The Lonestar Hitchhiker is a strong debut. It presents a man who is obviously confident about who he is and what he is doing. The title track here ought to be a big hit. “Goodnight, Aliens” is even better…a soft and subdued piece which shows just how good this guy’s voice is… (Rating: 4++) -BabySue.com (Oct 2001)
“Immediately, I thought it was perfect driving music. This album could only have been made in America. It has that certain feel of rugged individualism and romantic rambling that artists like Johnny Cash and Jack Kerouac exemplify. . Lonestar Hitchhiker is inspiration and reflection that goes further with each listen. 24-7 Reviews Online (Nov ’01) (Four out of Five Stars)
DiLego really is quite accomplished as a crafter and arranger, brilliantly blending samples and loops with more traditional singer-songwriter instrumentation. Unexpectedly, this talent manifests itself in a series of piano-based ballads that would put a smile on Ben Fold’s face. His best hook, “Ohio Fight Song” locks into an insanely catchy organ/infectious guitar riff groove for a track that could swallow up a good portion of Top 40 radio if it got the chance. There is little denying his extensive talents in writing a tune. -Delusions of Adequacy (Nov. ‘01)
This is a concept record at its trippiest. DiLego comes away with a cinematic album-a spacy, visual journey replete with madness, menace and cheap hotels. Intricately arranged pieces of quirky Americana that beg to be filmed as a kind of documentary/feature. Has Hollywood ever optioned a record before? -Performing Songwriter (Dec. ’01)