At seven pm tonight (July 30) at Shake-It Records in Northside a Georgia-based band called Ponderosa will be performing an in-house. Interestingly, Ponderosa isn’t playing in Cincinnati later that same night; they’re simply excited about their new album, Pool Party, and they’re eager to spread the word about it.
To these ears, Pool Party contains lots of rich melodies with a huge, wide-open sound that befits the connotations you might get from the band’s name. I was surprised – in a good way – to learn that they record for New West, as Ponderosa has a poppier and more heavily-produced sound than most artists on that label, whose roster includes Steve Earle, John Hiatt and Buddy Miller. Another thing I like about New West is that they’re very vinyl-friendly. If you’re not familiar with New West, you can check out their website here. And here’s a cut off Pool Party:
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A quick word on the Carmon DeLeone New Studio Big Band show that took place at the Blue Wisp yesterday. The place was packed; I got there when the opening number was being played, and the only seat I could find was to the side of a piano, and visually my site was mostly limited to a big black piece of wood and several pairs of feet tapping all at the same time. I ended up getting up and walking over to the entrance, where I could see better but I was constantly moved this or that way as people entered or exited.
And that, my friends, is all good. With jazz you never know what kind of crowd you’re gonna get, but the New Studio Big Band got a damn good one, and that’s proof that jazz still has some life left in it. Between sets I had a chance to meet Carmon, who I thanked for helping a great deal with an article I’m writing about his friend David Matthews. It was David who arranged the following song for the big band, “Someday My Prince Will Come.” (By the way, people have asked me how I achieve the dark, noirish quality in my videos, and my first hint is, buy a cheap camera.)