Sunday, May 31, 2015

Rediscovered Albums - Ponderosa / Moonlight Revival

Most of my rediscovered albums are albums that I had never given a chance.  For some reason or another they were looked over only to have my find and champion them.  Sometimes there are albums that you just forget.

At one point in my life I had decided that my OCD had gotten out of control.  To get it back into check I had purged the listening stats on my Last FM account.  Shortly after that my iTunes crashed and I lost all of my listening stats there as well.  All gone.  There are times where that is a good thing.  You start new.  You discover.  You gain a new appreciation.  I may have shed a tear but all in all this was good.  If you had a time machine and could go back and look you would find this album in the top 10.  It didn't get old. It had just become a casualty of new music discovery.  Time marches on.

I recently was watching the Butch Walker documentary on Amazon Prime, which was a birthday present from fellow My Music, My Concert, My Life writer Stephanie.  As they interviewed drummer Darren Dodd and he described the conflict of wanting to be in The Black Widows all while his other band, Ponderosa, was taking off it hit me.  Ponderosa!!!  How could I possibly forget?

It's not an old album.  It was released in January of 2011.  The founding members met in a recording studio as they were engineers and session musicians.  They found their love of music and the rest was history.  I found 'Moonlight Revival' on the streaming service Rdio at the time and instantly fell in love.  It was gritty and dirty country rock based in blues with great harmonies.  It was a whiskey soaked version of the Black Crowes.  The delinquent kid of Lynyrd Skynrd and Led Zeppelin.

This band immediately reminded me of another favorite band, The Brought Low.  The is a much needed rock element in this record but they know their way around pop tendencies as well.

Like many other of my favorite albums, I started off obsessing about one song and them move on to the next until I love every song on the disc.  They rock, they sing the blues, they do soul, ballads, and pop.  Each song equally as strong.

I expect that this is what Kings of Leon would sound like if they didn't suck, let loose, got drunk, and played a roadhouse.  I am not lying when I said that I played this album to death.  I could't get enough.  I wanted more.  To my surprise they released their follow up album, 'Pool Party', the following year. To my even greater surprise it wasn't anything at all like their debut.  They did a complete 180 degrees in a different direction.  It was college radio dreamy psychedelia. It wasn't bad but it wasn't what I wanted.  I wanted a road hardened band that was ready to release an opus.  Instead what I got was a band confused about their identity.  It was after this that I moved on to other pastures but thanks to an old birthday gift I have it back.  It sounds as refreshing now as it did then and I can only dream from more.  Maybe I still have a birthday wish left.

See you when the needle drops!


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