While I’m still in an “Austin kinda mood” I figured I should now tell you about another one of my all time favorite bands, both live and on record. And another band that probably knew me as “the guy with the camera” before they knew me as the “radio guy in NJ.”

More a “collective” than a “band,” Poi Dog Pondering, was formed in Waikiki Hawaii in 1985 by vocalist/guitarist Frank Orrall, violinist/vocalist Susan Voelz, and multi-instrumentalist Dave “Max” Crawford, the only constants in the group’s history. They enjoyed a great deal of success during their “Austin Years” (1987-1992). And it was at this time that I got to know them and I consider myself lucky to still be able to call a number of the many members a “friend.”

First video, first single, first album…

Living With The Dreaming Body (from Poi Dog Pondering, 1989)

Here are 2 videos from a great show in Central Park NYC. I was at this show. I might even be in the video, I was way off on the side stage right taking photos.

Living With The Dreaming Body (from Poi Dog Pondering, 1989, live in Central Park 21 July 1990)

Wood Guitar (from Poi Dog Pondering, 1989, live in Central Park 21 July 1990)

Reliving their Hawaiian roots…
U Li La Lu (from Wishing Like A Mountain, Thinking Like The Sea, 1989)

Everybody’s Trying (from Wishing Like A Mountain, Thinking Like The Sea, 1989, live on David Letterman)

One of the greatest love songs ever written.
Be The One (from Volo Volo, 1992)

Starting to get a vibe of what was to come after the move to Chicago…
Jack Ass Ginger (from Volo Volo, 1992)

After being dropped by Columbia Records 1991, Orrall put the band on hiatus and eventually relocated to Chicago. With the addition of many Chicago based musicians the band’s sound evolved from the eclectic worldbeat/folk-rock of the Austin band to the slightly more dance music oriented Chicago band.

Catacombs (from Pomegranate, 1995, live TV appearance)

Pulling Touch (from Liquid White Light, 1997; originally from Poi Dog Pondering, 1989, live)

Simple Song (from In Seed Comes Fruit, 2003)

They’ve released 8 studio albums, 2 live albums, and more EPs, singles and side projects than I can remember. Without question, Poi Dog Pondering are one of the most fun, uplifting, exhilarating, musically proficient bands I have ever seen in concert… And you can imagine how many bands I’ve seen play live in the last 30 years. They have also made some of the most musically diverse albums I have ever heard. Yet, each one is undeniably a Poi Dog Pondering album.

A highlight of every Poi Dog show…
Complicated (from Pomegranate, 1995, live 14 January 2012)


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