‘We’re Not Lost’ - The Show Ponies - red hot bluegrass-folk driving a distinctly rocky edge(October 17, 2013)
The new album ‘We’re Not Lost’ from The Show Ponies arrives with a charge that would do credit to roused thoroughbred stallions rather than any lesser equines. They describe themselves as an indie-folk band with ‘Old Tyme Country’ tendencies – but you could quite happily add a phrase to that description: “… with the drive and passion of red hot bluegrass-folk driving a distinctly rocky edge.” Well that’s my view anyway. Listen to ‘We’re Not Lost’ to see if you agree.
The Show Ponies are totally unafraid to push their brand of roots-inspired through the roads of punch and power. From the outset there’s ‘Baby I’m In Love With You’ driven by a freight-train rhythm section that drags you along, with the razor sharp fiddle and break-neck vocals. With barely time to take a breath, Andi Carder’s vocals hit the spot with ‘Gone’ as it strikes you with handclaps and foot stomps, then you’re into the sparkling duet and true-tale narrative of ‘We’re Not Lost’ – and once again that machine-gun percussion takes hold.
As you move further through the album, the power decreases somewhat to show the band’s more pensive side. With its acerbic lyrics ‘Whisky and Wine’ offers a mocking reflection on relationship - including the pastiche of the familiar love-song line: “Girl you take my breath away” with the response: “Then go ahead and suffocate.” They soften still further with a move to the despondent expression of ‘Pieces Of The Past’ - delicious melancholia and forlorn fiddle, and the contemplative ‘If I Die Tomorrow’.
‘Spring Has Sprung’ revives the drive with singularly vivacious vocal, dancing fiddle and more sure-fire percussion, while ‘Brother Do You Love Her’ is a gentle duet evoking remembrances and passing years. The closing song ‘I Regress’ begins humbly enough with Andi’s single vocal over simple strings to steadily build with voices and instruments into a wholly imposing presence of musical landscape over power percussion – astounding.
The Show Ponies are Clayton Chaney lead vocal and bass, Andi Carder lead vocal and guitar, Jason Harris banjo, guitar and vocals, Phil Glenn fiddle and Kevin Brown percussion. How long do we have to wait for them to make the journey to these shores? Not long I hope – in the meantime find them here: theshowponiesmusic.bandcamp.com
Reviewer: Tim Carroll