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Darlings of San Francisco's indie music scene, on the strength of their sparkling 2009 self-titled debut EP, first full-length I Better Better the following year, and a relentless schedule of enthusiastically received live shows around the Bay Area, Sugar Ponies take a giant step forward with the impending release of It's A Sign this October.
Helmed by multi-platinum and Grammy-winning producer Ed Stasium (Ramones, Talking Heads, Smithereens, Living Colour and many more), It's A Sign is a brilliant expression of Sugar Ponies' irresistible sound: a sexy, sassy, rocking, unfailingly melodic blend of country, rock, classic pop, folk, and whatever else these fearless songsmiths feel like tossing into the mix.
At the core of the band are vocalist Suzanne Kramer, who draws inspiration from Lucinda Williams, Patty Loveless, Patti Cathcart, Kenny Loggins, and Paul Simon; and guitarist Michael McGovern, who tips his hat to XTC's Andy Partridge, Pete Townshend of The Who and Tom Petty guitar slinger Mike Campbell.
Together since 2004, Kramer and McGovern seamlessly weave their diverse influences into a delightful musical tapestry on the new album. From the energetic cover of Bob Dylan's "You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)" that kicks off the LP; to the heart-breaking ballad "Give This Girl A Break"; the lusty rocker "Hey Cowboy!"; the tender, wistful "Happy Is For Humans"; and the effervescent indie-pop of "Please Pull Over", the Ponies go from strength to strength — there's not a weak moment on this record.
With the release of It's A Sign, Sugar Ponies emerges as a major talent. It's as accomplished and winning a recording as you'll hear this year.
Kenny Aronoff, drums
Jason Slota, drums
Tim Vaughan, drums
Aaron Leigh, bass
Jamie White, bass
Tony Glaser, bass
Austin de Lone, Hammond B3, piano
Ed Stasium, percussion, blues harp, Wurlitzer, Whip, Ebow guitar, Hammond B3
Danny Allen, lead slide guitar
Rebecca Roudman, cello
Produced by Ed Stasium
Additional production and engineering by Ari Rios, Danny Allen, David Jenkins, Elton Cunniffe, and Pete Mrdjenovich
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound