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Fri, May 03



Pony Bradshaw

North Georgia Rounder, Pony Bradshaw leads the listener on an exploration of the woods, rivers, and mountains of Appalachia, more specifically, the area for which the album is named and he’s called home for the past 15 years. BUY TICKETS HERE

Pony Bradshaw
Pony Bradshaw

Time & Location

May 03, 2024, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Stillwater, Lakeview &, N Country Club Rd, Stillwater, OK 74075, USA

About the event

On his new albumNorth Georgia Rounder, Pony Bradshaw leads the listener on an exploration of thewoods, rivers, and mountains of Appalachia, more specifically, the area for which the album is named andhe’s called home for the past 15 years. “It’s got its hooks in me,” Bradshaw says of NorthGeorgia, and itshows, with songs that quickly establish a setting, much like the one he initiated with the album’spredecessor,Calico Jim. The sonic excursion includes stops along the Conasauga River, visits to theholler, and a few diversions—nearby Knoxville plays a supporting role, as do Louisiana and Arkansas. It’san impressionistic journey of introspection and connection all at once.Will Stewart's tastefully-understated guitar leads and Philippe Bronchtein's atmospheric pedal steelprovide the perfect backdrop for Bradshaw's impassioned vocals in lead-off track "Foxfire Wine." Itsswampy, bluesy intro makes way for an interesting amalgamation of Sturgill Simpson and The GratefulDead, serving as the perfect aperitif for “a hell of a heaven and a hell of a show.” From that point on tillthe album wraps with the aptly titled “Notes on a River Town,” not only do you see and hear NorthGeorgia, you even smell and taste it.Take, for example, "Safe in the Arms of Vernacular," a pensive, melancholy track that delights all thesenses and is reminiscent of Ray Lamontagne’s mellow side. When Bradshaw sings of the “bonafide gasmask” his Dad brought back from Desert Storm and describes the Saudi Arabian sand as turning to“glass sharp as a sultan’s sword,” one can almost see it. As quickly as it sets the ever-vivid stage, thetrack shifts its focus to a waitress downtown. "Draped in Bedouin gown, smoking Kent cigarettes in theunderground" in an attempt to "escape all those voices," she naturally drinks whitewine—"Riesling roomtemp from a coffee cup," to be exact.A voracious reader, Bradshaw credits his talent for expressing such rich details in his songs not so muchto other songwriters but instead to books, fiction, short stories, essays, and literary criticism. With suchcolorful descriptions as “teeth stained red with Lebanese wine, long hair ... in sweeps of oil blacker than acypress pool,” one might assume he bases the subjects of his songs on real-life people he interacts within North Georgia; instead, Bradshaw describes them as “nameless characters” compiled from “fragments”he’s collected, pieces that usually start with just a line or two. These fragments all add up to a remarkablycohesive 10-song collection, despite Bradshaw being a self-professed admirer of (and writer of) the non-sequitur. This is thanks in no small part to his own masterful vocal delivery and the expert musicianship ofhis backing band, one that includes the aforementioned Stewart and Bronchtein with Robert Green onbass, RyanMoore on drums, and Jenna Mobley on fiddle.“I really enjoy records that are actual records of time,” he explains. With this in mind, Bradshaw looked tocreate an album that relied less on innovation and experimentation, aspiring to capture the songs' livespirit. He and his band did just that, makingNorth Georgia Rounder—vocals, overdubs, and all—in justfive days at Jason Weinheimer’s Fellowship Hall Sound in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he had alsotrackedCalico Jimin 2020.“Me and balance ... we’venever really worked out,” he confesses, acknowledging the irony of his questfor order and structure despite having chosen a path that is often chaotic. But as he sings in the moodyyet catchy “Holler Rose,” “you’ve got to be willing to play the long game.” “If it’s worth it, there’s a beautyin suffering,” he explains. “It’s taken me a long time to realize that, but I’m thankful for all those terribledecisions I’ve made.”“Every day, I wrestle with the moral consequences of being a touring musician,” headds. “I’m alwaysfinding ways to make it okay to be doing this. I feel irresponsible sometimes,” he professes, "because Ibasically make my living off the goodwill of others and chance. So I'm always trying to battle those twothings."“The poet soon stops experimenting and innovating and starts his life’s work,” Bradshaw expounds, citinga quote from one of his favorite writers, Wendell Berry. A single album as a life’s work may seem like agrand, overambitious aspiration. But for Pony Bradshaw,North Georgia Rounderis just that–a life'swork, one that, as he describes it, is a culmination of “sweat and work and joy and pain and anger andpatience and restraint."


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