Bonepony Traveler's Companion (Super Duper)

SXSW Records

Bonepony

Traveler's Companion (Super Duper)

Back in the old days, boy, all we had to keep rhythm with was our own feet stompin' on the front porch while we was a-playin. Yessir. Gospel shouters, twanging hillbillies, blues bellowers, all providing their own handclaps, finger snaps and boot stomps. The three Bonepony dudes from Nashville follow the same philosophy on Traveler's Companion. Dobro, acoustic guitar, fiddle, mandolin, mandola, bells, spoons, tubono (what the hell?), kiddie drum set, size 12 Doc Martens -- anything to make a racket. It could easily become a tiresome gimmick if the band couldn't write songs and play, but "Mountainside," "Knees," "Voodoo Banjo," and "East Texas Rhythm" prove that just the opposite is true. "Sweet Bye and Bye" is a poignant adios to a loved one that matches the music to the song's bittersweet mood perfectly. The Bonepony-ites would do well, however, to edit down the length of their songs (four and five minutes are a bit long these days, guys) and to stay away from more mainstream arrangements; at times, the band's harmonies are a bit too pat, with "Antidote" and "The Crush," in particular, straying dangerously toward Seventies hippie-pop (think the dreaded America). All told, not a bad effort from an inventive band that needs only a bit sharper more economical songwriting. (Friday, Mar 17, Scholz Beer Garten, 10pm)

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