Lonesome Brothers,
Pony Tales
(Captivating, 2002)

Lonesome Brothers' music is packaged with a very low-key warm country look: horses on the cover, barn in the background and grass, dry old grass, and I think there's horse stuff in the grass. Right off the bat that tells me these guys are pretty real, probably enjoy their music a lot and aren't going to try to sell any fluff.

I could be way off. No matter, what I found on this CD was pleasant enough to get me in the groove. County and western music doesn't fascinate me much. Rockabilly can get tired. Guthrie can be so serious. So these guys put it all together and get a freshet of new sounds called Pony Tales.

It's true, the sound is strong on the country and western side, but there are beats, like in "Dumbstruck at the Dumpster," that reach into blues, and "Queen of Where I Go" moves into an upbeat song from the '60s.

It was impossible to pick a song I liked the best. I liked the drawl in the vocals and the music in every track was a full-bodied mesh of instrumental genius. The lyrics certainly weren't run-of-the-mill; some imagination and inspired thinking went into these songs. I felt there could be improvement on the vocals -- some of these songs deserved a stronger delivery to lift the lyrics out of the robust music.

Yes, it's worth your while to catch these Pony Tales. Ray Mason, Jim Armenti, Tom Shea, Jim Weeks and Doug Beaumier put together a sturdy bunch of driving, loving, sighing and drinking songs.

- Rambles
written by Virginia MacIsaac
published 26 April 2003

Buy it from Amazon.com.