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Bonepony: Tramp, Scott, & Nick

JUBILEE (Super Duper) • Bonepony

We got your force of nature right here, man, it's called Bonepony!

I caught these cats at the recent Earth Day celebration in Nashville, and was totally knocked out. Lead singer and percussionist Scott "Happy Hippy" Johnson out front was whipping the crowd into a good natured frenzy, so I went up front for a closer look. There was no bass, Tramp on stage right was playing mostly expert fiddle and mandolin, and he plays many things with strings. Nicolas Nguyen on stage left was playing super acoustic guitar and was the bass "drum" sound via his "Stomp" foot. He had a mic in his shoe or near his foot, or something...it was working, whatever it was.

It's about spirit, this combo. And I'm not generally a person who likes that "high energy acoustic" thing where people who don't play very well or have very good songs are strumming their asses off and beating on a drum, no. It's not about that at all. These guys are fabulous musicians and singers with very cool songs, who beyond all that possess the very unique talent of being able to reach out and involve, indeed, incite a crowd right out of their bag.

I picked up two CDs at the show, Traveler's Companion and Fun House. I wondered if their show would translate well to disc, and in what way. Although Traveler's Companion was mostly a studio disc and Fun House was recorded in various live locations, they both sounded like a show, and had all the juice that turned me on. (We'll also include a couple of clips from Fun House to give you a taste of that.)

But this just in: the new album about to hit the streets is called Jubilee, and it's the best one yet. Great drummers like Mickey Grimm and Craig Krampf are driving the party home, Kelley Looney and Bob Wray pushing bass and Bobby Wood on keys are making Bonepony even more radio friendly. Jonell Mosser and Nanci Griffith sing some backup, Chris Carmichael arranges and tracks some strings, this is deep. Jubilee has all the soul and punch, and a really wide dynamic range. This is a unique high octane trio that combines Led Zep and Bluegrass, gospel and pop. Better check 'em out on the Listen page. We're official Bonepony people. Buy Jubilee here.  • FG

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