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Channeling a myriad of influences, Pony Boy released a series of singles by producer John Would (Warren Zevon, Wanda Jackson) mostly done in one-take performances between warm beers and Mexican food in Echo Park.
Pony Boy, the moniker of singer-songwriter Marchelle Bradanini, may not yet be a household name. But her music has already been in many households. Most notably, her languid stomper “Happy Ever After” popped up on Gotham and her swoony slow-dancer “Trouble” got sizeable airplay on Nashville, lending intrigue to her beguiling songs.
The resounding approval of these tracks was a surprise, if only because her mission was far more modest. “I just want to like my own music,” says Bradanini, who’ll soon release her debut full-length, Blue Gold, on the boutique imprint, Cosmic Thug Records, which Bradanini co-founded alongside Nashville producers, Adam Landry and Justin Collins. “It’s the stupidest thing to say, but the hardest thing to do.”
She speaks from experience. Before forming Pony Boy—named after a character in The Outsiders to capture that “classic American feel”—Bradanini had an eclectic past of starts and stops from singing Puccini to Punk Rock to Pop and even a stint working in Politics, publishing, and studying poetry before returning to her first love of music.
Those setbacks actually inspired the persistent depth of themes and sounds that permeate Pony Boy, starting from the outlaw spirit of her breakout EP, The Devil in Me, to the refined cinematics of Blue Gold.
The latter opens, perhaps tellingly, with the epic “When Tomorrow Comes,” which cautions of failing to fulfill one’s potential. “For better luck how I could taste it,” she sings. “To live a life that is not wasted.” A reverb-laden soundscape dripping with twang, it sets the tone for what’s to come: a darkly romantic exploration of angst that Wanda Jackson would’ve made back in ’61—the year Bradanini’s guitar was made—had she presaged punk rock.
Pony Boy spends a lot time on airplanes, but mostly resides in East Nashville, Tennessee by way of California. She is a native of Vacaville, a small town in Northern California, which literally means cowtown in Spanish.
Her critically acclaimed EP, The Devil In Me, was recorded in Nashville. All to tape on a 8 track by producers Cosmic Thug aka Adam Landry & Justin Collins (Deer Tick, T Hardy Morris, Diamond Rugs) and also feature’s Robbie Crowell and Carey Kotsionis.
Her upcoming full length, Blue Gold, features the same cast characters and will be released on Aug 28th on Cosmic Thug Records.
Hank Williams, Tom Waits, Bobbie Gentry, Patsy Cline, Nick Cave, Gram Parsons, Elvis, Etta James, Mississippi John Hurt, Son House, Howlin’ Wolf, Betty Lavette, Loretta Lyn, Betty Davis, Jimmy Reed, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey, 1950’s Rock N Roll, Doo-wop, Leadbelly, Big Star, Brenton Wood, Dylan (Bob & Thomas) Kafka, Charles Bukowski, Tennessee Williams, Marlon Brando, Merle Haggard, The Sonics, The Monks, Chuck Berry, The Penguins, Ricky Nelson, Little Richard, John Prine, The Highwaymen, Kris Kristofferson, Chris Whitley, Dirty Three, The Cramps, Dolly Parton, Spooner Oldham, Percy Sledge, Swamp Dogg, Patti Smith, Woody Guthrie, Bruce, Raymond Chandler, Solomon Burke, Bad Brains
Pony Boy – Vocals, Guitar, John Would – Guitars, Heartbreak Slide, Myriad of other sweet analog shit
Yogi Boo – Drums, Magic Touch
Micky DryMend – Keys (B3, Wurlitzer, Rhodes, Accordion Apprentice, etc)
Nervous Fuller: Bass
Video: the Devil in Me
Album: “The Devil in Me”