- Joe Kendrick
Somehow, I missed out on James “Pony” Bradshaw’s major label debut, Sudden Opera, a well received record that was really his second album following his self-released debut. I almost missed out on his next album, the newly minted disc Calico Jim. Skimming over the songs to get an initial impression did not stop me in my tracks, which is a qualifier that is as necessary as it is so often ill suited to recognize great music in a world such as mine, where there is always too much worthwhile music to take in and not enough time to sort it all out. So, yes, Pony Bradshaw is probably not going to jump up and grab you on first listen. Just as driving through the rolling hills of Appalachia will not give you a real sense of their beauty and their corresponding, equally defining flaws, giving a cursory listen to Calico Jim will likely leave you with only a fuzzy memory or where you really were. But stop a while, stay for an extended listen, and it becomes clear that Pony Bradshaw has given us an incredible collection of songs, one that draws these mountains and their people into sharp focus.
Thank you for visiting, and I hope you might talk to someone you know, and let them know about this podcast. You can subscribe to the series on most every platform where you can find podcasts. And once you subscribe, it helps even more when you give it a good rating and a review. Spreading awareness by giving this series a top rating, and even more so with a review, will make Southern Songs and Stories and the artists it profiles more likely to be found by more people just like you. Southern Songs and Stories is a part of the podcast lineup of both public radio WNCW and Osiris Media, with all of the Osiris shows available here. You can also hear new episodes of this podcast on Bluegrass Planet Radio here. Thanks to Corrie Askew for producing the radio adaptations of this series on public radio WNCW, where we worked with Joshua Meng, who wrote and performed this show’s theme songs. This is Southern Songs and Stories: the music of the South and the artists who make it. – Joe Kendrick