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Traveler's Companion

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Album Review

In the four-and-a-half-year interval between its first and second albums, Bonepony suffered both a personnel change, with the departure of Kenny Mims and the arrival of a multi-instrumentalist known only as "Tramp" (whose name comes complete with service mark), and the loss of a major label contract with Capitol Records. Maybe that's why Traveler's Companion sounds a little less raucous than its predecessor, Stomp Revival. Tramp proves a complementary addition to Scott Johnson and Bryan Ward, joining in on their playing of mandolins, fiddles, and dobros, though there are more guitars (even the occasional electric one) this time. Nevertheless, the group's sound still sounds right for a rural hoedown, especially since this self-produced album is less polished than Mims's production on Stomp Revival. Bonepony continues to come off as one of those "too rock for country, too country for rock" bands, but at least this time they're supported by fellow hybrid artists Lucinda Williams (who harmonizes on "Sweet Bye And Bye") and Ken Coomer of Wilco. As with their first album, this one makes you think that the best way to appreciate a band this dynamic is in a bar somewhere, probably on the outskirts of Nashville.


Formed: 1989 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Bonepony was formed by singer/songwriter Scott Johnson and guitarist Bryan Ward in Baltimore in 1989. The duo moved to Nashville in 1991, where they hooked up with Kenny Mims, a producer, who became a band member. In 1994, they signed to Capitol Records, which released their debut album Stomp Revival in 1995. Mims then left the band and was replaced by Tramp, who played a variety of stringed instruments. In 1997, Capitol rejected the group's proposed second album and dropped them from the label....
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Traveler's Companion, Bonepony
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