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The Show Ponies

We're Not Lost

(Self-Released; US: 12 Oct 2013; UK: 13 Oct 2013)

A Refreshing Mix of the Old-Timey and the Modern

The Show Ponies are a West Coast-based bluegrass/old-timey band who, at their best, embody all the raw energy and enthusiasm inherent in the genre, fortified with on-target lyrics and a refreshingly modern sensibility. Opener “Baby, I’m in Love With You” rips out of the speakers on an irresistible tide of energy, while “We’re Not Lost” adds a sweet wistfulness into the mix. The sounds are all classic bluegrass – fiddle and mandolin and banjo, ably supported by a solid rhythm section and surmounted by high lonesome vocals both male and female. The gospel inflections of “The River” are a nice touch, too.


Alas, not all the news is good, and not every track is a winner. The record sags a bit in the middle, with hokey numbers like “Whiskey and Wine” striking a note that is cloyingly familiar both musically and lyrically, while “Pieces of the Past” is rather watery and formless. The band does better with high-octane tunes like “Spring Has Sprung” and “Choppin’ Wood”. More of that, please.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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The Show Ponies - "We're Not Lost"
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