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The Show Ponies

We're Not Lost – 2013 ( Self-released)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by The Show Ponies

The second release from the Show Ponies is a mix of country, bluegrass, folk and rock. Founding members Clayton Chaney and Andi Carder wrote all 11 tunes and share lead vocal duties. The most effective tracks are the more serious ballads, such as If I Die Tomorrow on which Carder sings of the promise of relief when death is imminent ("That there's no need for sorrow/'Cause I'm no longer in pain") and a practical appraisal of burial versus cremation ("If I die soon, my dear, would you not bury me in a grave/'Cause I would rather burn my bones than become wasted space").

The duet Pieces of the Past has Carder and Chaney trading off on verses documenting a failed relationship with such observations as "Though what was never considered/Were the cards that I'd been dealt" and "The look on your face/Made my stomach turn and toss" but ending with the hopeful sentiment that "the words of forgiveness/That we never spoke will be known."

One of the stronger tracks is the folksy ballad Brother, Do You Love Her, which features clever internal rhymes such as "Sister, is your mister/Getting blisters from his gloves" and "But I need some shut-eye/In a rut I find myself."

The band is also effective on harder edged country rockers, such as Baby, I'm in Love With You and the title track, which feature ferocious drumming by Kevin Brown. Elsewhere humor is used nicely on Choppin' Wood and Whiskey and Wine, the latter stylistically reminiscent of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' "Home" - though less sweetly sentimental with such lines as "I hate your guts but you got soul."

With solid compositions, strong vocals and stellar musicianship the Los Angeles-based Show Ponies' "We're Not Lost" is a thoroughly entertaining project.