(note: this review was originally written 12/22/12 but was not posted on GotFolk.com until 12/27/12 due to technical – holiday inebriation – difficulties; THP will be at Luna Star on January 10th)
Okay, okay. Get this one. What do you call a pile of 400 cats? A meow-ntain! Ha, ha ha, ha, ha. Oh, how I love that one. And boy did I love Tina And Her Pony (www.TinaAndHerPony.com) last night at Your Big Picture Café (www.YourBigPictureCafe.com). But before I get to that, first let me set the record straight.
For all of you who have been wondering these past few years, the truth is that Dr. Bob never wrote nothing in his life. No dear readers, it has always been I, Pinky Van-Thorton The Third, his cat and owner who has written and CATaloged all of these reviews for him. After all, this is a guy who failed Freshman English 101 in undergrad five times in a row! Sure, sure, he goes to the shows and talks like he knows how to write. But it is I, Pinky Van-Thorton The Third, who re-programmed that dumb-*ss’ smart-phone while he was sleeping so that it sends me video of everywhere he goes and everything he sees and hears. So in the end, when push comes to shove, it’s these paws that are pressing the keys on the keyboard while he drunkardly dozes, and these paws have a meow-ntain of praise to heap on Tina And Her Pony.
Tina And Her Pony – a.k.a. Tina Collins and Quetzal Jordan – are an indie-Appalachian duo whose lyrical, cello, ukelele, guitar and banjo craftspersyn-ship are outstanding, uplifting and inspiring. Now I for one, Pinky Van-Thorton The Third, have always subscribed to the ideal that the difference between a banjo and a trampoline is that you must always take off you shoes before jumping on a trampoline (oops… I wasn’t supposed to let you know that cats wear your shoes while you’re asleep – just skip that last line and remember, Santa’s real!). After hearing Tina And Her Pony last night, I for one will now always take off Dr. Bob’s shoes before jumping on his banjo. And that, dear reader, bring us to the music.
Thank goodness Phil Spector was wrong and his 1960’s Wall Of Sound came a-tumbling down. No, you don’t have to cram yet another note into every minute pixellation of time and space. There’s something to be said for that silent inter-space between the notes where harmonies and dissonance thrive and grow: that special place where one plus one equals nine. Tina and Quetzal intrinsically understand this, and one is immediately and energetically drawn into that inter-spacial synergy that blossoms in their voices, their instruments and their arrangements. You think you know “Oh! Susanna” (Stephen Foster 1826–1864, first published in 1848). Well you don’t until you’ve heard it performed by THP. And originals. Yep, they got great originals. What, with songs like “Walkin’ In My Sleep” – a composition combining the genius of the likes of Johnny Cash, Patsy Kline and Sleepy John Estes – you’ll be CATcalling along to each and every one of their songs.
So if you’re lucky enough to read this in time, get yourself down Sweat Records (www.SweatRecordsMiami.com 5505 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 33137) tonight to see them perform. Otherwise, I think you can CATch them at Luna Star Café (www.LunaStarCafe.com) in January. As for now, I just heard Dr. Bob pull up in the driveway. So it’s time for me to turn off the computer, take his shoes off, jump on his banjo one more time, poop in the litter box, and then retire to sleep. It’s a thankless and tiresome job, but at least now there’s Tina And Her Pony to put a song in my heart and a smile on my face as we climb life’s meow-ntain.