BENNINGTON >> From the American southwest to small-town Vermont, the Show Ponies bring their indie-folk story telling to the stage at the Masonic Hall this Friday.
The beats, melody and Johnny Cash/June Carter voices that get your feet stomping comes from vocalist and banjo player, Andi Carder, and vocalist and bass player Clayton Chaney. Both grew up singing in church. Carder from Texas and Chaney from Arkansas, both landed in Los Angeles, Calif. with mutual friend Jason Harris, who grew up in the same town as Carder.
Violinist Phil Glenn later joined the Ponies with his expertise in classical music, folk and Celtic, but learned he loved to play folk the most, according to the band's website. Following the first album release of "Here We Are!" in 2012, that Harris produced, jazz, rock and hip-hop drummer Kevin Brown completed the roster.
Chaney explains on their website, "Our music expresses the hope of moving forward towards a destination that you believe exists even while the evidence may only hint at it."
Even though the Ponies' digs remain in Los Angeles, they only perform there three or four times per year in between touring the pacific northwest. Chaney said crowds range between 200 and 500 at any given show. The people are what he's most excited about for Friday's performance.
"We always find that when we go to cities that are smaller we find a more loyal and interested crowd than some of the bigger towns," Chaney said. "There's so much going on in big cities that people care a little bit less. We do enjoy the people we meet. It's always a surprise, you can kind of imagine what it's' going to be like, but there's always the element of surprise."
He explained that the band name came about as a joke when Carder asked what she should bring to rehearsal one day and Chaney responded with 'Your miniature ponies," and it eventually stuck.
The way in which a Show Ponies song is born is when lyrics are formed by Carder and Chaney added with the band's influences of different musical backgrounds, and Harris' production skills. They've already released three albums with a fourth coming in the next months. Chaney said some of the new songs will be played in upcoming shows.
The Hale Mountain Pickers, a local, old time, bluegrass band will open for the Show Ponies at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 12. Their influences include Bill Monroe, The Grateful Dead, Old Crow Medicine Show and Johnny Cash.
Tickets for the show cost $15 for adults and $10 for students at the door only. Doors open at 7 p.m. The Masonic Hall is located at 504 Main St. For more on The Show Ponies, visit their site, theshowponies.com.
— Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.