Ponderosa, "Moonlight Revival"

This Atlanta quartet's brand of country-flavored Southern rock isn't quite the soundtrack that Ben Cartwright and the boys might have chosen. But like hometown forebears the Black Crowes, Ponderosa stirs a wide array of sources into the mix on its debut album, "Moonlight Revival," blending energetic riffery with steely melodicism to good effect. References abound, whether it's the Rolling Stones in "Old Gin Road" and "Pretty People," Tom Petty in "Girl I've Ever Seen" and the strident "Revolution," Merseybeat bounce on the outlaw tale "Pistolier" and any number of "Nuggets"-era favorites in the driving "Devil on My Shoulder." The tracks "Broken Heart" and "I Don't Mind" incorporate more country flavors, as does "Penniless," with its front-porch acoustic arrangement. Elsewhere, "Little Runaway" flaunts a '70s folk tinge and "Hold on You" steers in a heavier, darker blues direction. Kalen Nash's vocals and Joe Chiccarelli's smooth production tie together what could well have been a messy sonic hodgepodge, making "Moonlight Revival" a promising-albeit inconclusive-start.

- Album Review


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