WHAT: Heart Behind the Music: Songwriters showcase
WHO: Deborah Allen, Darryl Worley and Mo Pitney
WHERE: Mars Theatre, Springfield
WHEN: May 4, 7 p.m.
TICKETS: $50 show; $75 for show and pre-show Meet & Greet; To obtain tickets, visit marstheatre.com/films-events-concerts/concerts-events/.
SPRINGFIELD — Feelings of self-doubt and worry were born with Mo Pitney’s first child on Jan. 12, 2017.
The misgivings initially hindered the up-and-coming country music star’s creativity. Ultimately, however, they, pushed him in a productive direction.
“There was a while when I had to learn how to be a dad,” Pitney said during a Thursday telephone interview. “I went through kind of a downward spiral with a lot of negative thinking about my ability to be a dad and take care of the family well.”
Fortunately, Evelyne Nadine’s father is doing fine these days. She is, too, after enduring an emergency C-section delivery.
“Coming out of all that, I ended up learning a lot,” Pitney said. “I had a lot to write about and, looking back, I can tell that it all happened for a reason. I’m really proud and thankful of what we’re doing now.”
Pitney’s first album since 2016’s “Behind this Guitar” will be released this summer. He will play some of its songs at Springfield’s Mars Theatre on May 4 when he appears with Deborah Allen and Darryl Worley for “The Heart Behind the Music: Songwriters Showcase.”
“I think the timing is just right,” Pitney said.
The three-year gap in album releases was prompted by Pitney’s family situation and a constant juggling of producers.
“Life was intervening and I was being a little bit experimental,” he said. “I was just really trying to find the right (producer) and I didn’t feel confident for a while in really giving it my biggest push. We actually did some recording during that time but I wasn’t one hundred percent on the things we were coming out with.”
Pitney’s outlook changed when he settled on a producer.
“We got together, did a little writing and ended up recording twenty-two songs in a matter of a week,” Pitney said, “and I can’t pick between any of them. I thought I would be able to throw away five or six easily but we love every single one of them.
“Now our only problem is trying to pick the songs that will actually make the project. That is a good problem to have.”
Up to 10 songs may get left out. The final call on which ones will be Pitney’s.
“Between me, the producer and the label, I try to get everyone’s input from a marketing standpoint because I do like (all the new songs),” he said. “If some of them think, from a marketing standpoint, that one (song) will outweigh the other, I will heed that information. I also play all the songs live and try to see which ones go better because some songs work really well on record and, for some reason, don’t work well live.
“I just play them out and see which ones are speaking the most.”
The album will be likely be called “Ain’t Looking Back.”
“It’s one of the cuts on album,” Pitney said. “It just explains a lot about my life and the things I went through during my low point before making this record. It also kind of hints to the music I’ve made in the past.
“I’m trying to pave my own way and carry what I’ve learned with music from the past.”
Pitney’s latest tunes frequently center on his role as head of his family.
“I’m actually standing right next to a half-built house with brand new freshly poured concrete,” he said. “I am involved in every step of that so I am not writing as many songs but I’m doing a lot of living apart from the music. That is giving me a lot of material from the wife, baby, building a house.
“Every point of it makes me feel more human because I am doing human-life type stuff and it helps me connect with music better because I know what to say. I actually have something to say.”
Pitney’s most important message is for people to remain connected to their Creator.
“When you do feel disconnected, the only two things you can do are get proud, puff up your chest and believe that you can take on the world and, essentially, say that you are God and you can direct your future, or you can realize that you are not God and you don’t control your future,” he said. “When I felt disconnected, I just tumbled because I didn’t feel like I had His help to be a father, a husband and hold this family together. I just had to learn things about myself and the ways I was looking at Him and my relationship with Him.
“Now that I feel a lot closer to Him, I feel stable because I have a place to put my faith in something other than myself.”
Pitney was a big hit when he appeared with Linda Davis and Billy Dean during a songwriter showcase at the Mars Theatre last summer. Many in the crowd said he stole the show.
“I appreciate that,” Pitney said. “I just kind of do what I do and I am thankful when people enjoy it.”
Pitney said he looks forward to his second Springfield visit.
“I don’t know if I will do the same set,” he said. “I never carry a set list. I will just be up there and, hopefully, we will just play off one another. ... If the spirit is right, it can normally turn into a pretty special show.”
To obtain tickets to the songwriter showcase, visit marstheatre.com/films-events-concerts/concerts-events/.