One Great Song – Ponybird – I Am With You

One Great Song – Ponybird – I Am With You

lsg spot
by Lisa Sanchez Gonzalez

Twitter at @lsgoriginal


“One Great Song”
“I Am With You”

Ponybird I Am With YouEarlier this year, I had the opportunity to be involved in a project sponsored by On Deck Sound Studio and Performance HUB.  “One Great Song” is the brainchild of Tracy Walton, owner and producer of ODSS as well as a veteran musician in his own right.  It’s simple really.  Solicit songs from Connecticut songwriters and pick the best to record and video.  48 wanted that opportunity.

So who won?  Song-writer and musician, Ponybird, had the wining song called “I Am With You”.  I have had the good fortune of participating as a judge and watching the process in producing “I Am With You”.

The video and download are being released today.  Ponybird has decided to donate all proceeds from purchases of the song to American Indian Relief.  It’s an organization to help Native Americans with their heating needs during the winter.  For more information on the charity, please see the link below.

We’ll be embedding the link to her new song into this when received, but it will be distributed on Monday via Ponybird’s page



What follows are responses from both Tracy and Ponybird regarding the contest and Ponybird’s new song.


Ponybird’s new song and video, “I Am With You”, came about from a contest you held via your recording studio, On Deck Sound Studio, to find “One Great Song” from Connecticut musicians.  Why did you decide to run this contest?

It just seemed like an exciting idea. Some of my ideas, like lighting a piano on fire and riding it down main street playing Tom Waits tunes, are more just fun to think about. This one seemed like it could actually have some legs. I was curious to see how many really good songs are sitting out there waiting for a platform. It turns out there are quite a few.


How many people presented songs for consideration and how did you choose Ponybird or was it completely by public opinion?

Public opinion did not have anything to do with it. I wanted this search to be more about the song, rather than seeing who could get more of their friends to vote for them. I understand the necessity of that format.  I just wanted this to be different. Limiting the search to CT bands, I put together a panel of CT music folks including: Bob DAprile, Rick Allison, Chip McCabe, Gary Gone, Mike Karolyi, Robbie DeRosa, and LSG to decide the winner. I did not have a vote. We had 48 entrants. A panel of 3 narrowed it down to a top 20. The top 20 were then sent to the panel of judges. Each judge picked their top 3.  It actually was a 4 way tie up until the last judge’s votes were tallied. I didn’t want to get too tied to a tune before the votes came in, but “I am With You” was definitely in my top 5.


Aside from Ponybird, who else was involved in the making of the song and the video?

The Performance Hub out of Torrington stepped up to sponsor the entire event. Founder Jay Roberts, who just finished recording an album here, played lead guitar and sang harmony. Krizta Moon was also here finishing her album and sang harmony. I engineered, played upright bass and sang harmony. John Roper worked his magic on the final mix. The energy was really amazing. Ponybird is a creative force for sure. She had a vision for what this song should sound like. There are some artists where a producer needs to take a more active role in steering the session. With an artist like Ponybird, so much of the good stuff comes when you are patient and give her space to articulate her vision. Once you get in her head space, it is than much easier to collaborate and share ideas.


Do you have any plans to perhaps record any of the runner–ups?

The runner-ups were, The Rivergods, Sam Perduta, and Kindered Queer. I was a bit hesitant to call them, because I wanted this search to remain about songs and not a vehicle for me to make a sales pitch for my studio. But I have talked with them all because the judges and I all thought their songs were excellent.  No date has been set, but I think Sam and Kindred Queer will end up doing something. I like both of their stuff and would love to have them here. It has always been about songs and the music for me, so we will find a way to make it happen.


Will you consider doing a contest like this again since you received so many responses and came out with such a great winning song?

I am hoping to get all of the judges and sponsors back on board and make this an annual event. It was great that Ponybird had the idea to have all the proceeds go to the charity of her choice. I am hoping that is an idea that will stick. I think artists, myself included, can be a bit skeptical of contests. Hopefully people will see that we are really doing this to give back to the CT music scene and we will double our entrants next year.



So, you were the winner of the “One Great Song” contest sponsored by On Deck Sound Studio where you recorded your song “I Am With You”.  Were you surprised that you won?

Yes, I was surprised. I did not enter expecting to win. I typically don’t believe in the idea of contests, because song-writing is personal and takes a lot of risk. There can’t really be “winners” at that …But because it generated songwriting in our community and more than 40 artists from across the state contributed, I decided to join in on the momentum. I enjoyed getting to hear other people’s music, and ended up meeting a bunch of musicians in CT I hadn’t had a chance to connect with before. The end result seemed like a great chance to do a give back and use the “award” as a chance to help be cared for too.


Why did you pick this particular song to submit for the contest?

I have always loved this song. It was one of the first songs I’d ever written. I’ve only ever recorded it in various forms through the inboard mic of my laptop. I thought the song deserved its due. If it happened to get picked, then the song would have its chance to shine out a little bit more.


Tell me about the song and the video?

As I mentioned, this is one of my first, if not the first song I had written as Ponybird. I feel the song may have been gifted from me because it acts as more of a prayer than anything else. If you listen to the conversation between the verse and the chorus, you will find there are two players: the concerned person struggling with duality, and the affirming spirit assuring that all will be well. I Am With You. Another tidbit is that the part in the song where it says, “Climb yourself up to the top of the stairs” is a riff off of “Halfway Up The Stairs Is The Stair Where I Sit” from Robin in the Muppets.

The video was Tracy’s idea. He wanted to capture the recording process and give a little peak into the Ponybird flavor. My husband and drummer, Jay, came to mix with us.  He’s in the video too, but he took a break on the recording so that wifey could play drums! I hope he’s not disappointed in my performance. LOL!


What was the recording experience like for you?

There’s a bit of closure to the writing process in having it be rendered into a full production in the more developed phase the song is in now.  When you hear the single, you’ll hear Tracy on upright bass, Jay Roberts on backing vocals and some lead guitar parts, Krizta Moon on harmony vocals, and myself on lead vocals, acoustic guitar, and drums. It’s a really clean recording, with great contributions on everyone’s part. Tracy did a great job working to get the best performances on tape, and John and Tracy both have a great ear for bringing high quality through in the mixing too. I think the production come across as traditional, and I love that. We aimed for that! I love that Ponybird can take on different values and tones of genres without having to fit any. This recording really emphasizes Ponybird’s Americana and traditional qualities.



The proceeds for the single will benefit The American Indian Relief Council, as many reservations in the Mid-West prepare for the cold of winter against drastic fuel costs. I’ve been adamant about advocacy for Native Americans and their continuing need for visibility and support in our country, and throughout North America. My father’s family shares ancestry with Native Algonquians from Canada, so I carry this close to my heart. It’s important to honor that past, but not just in a romantic way. The reality is what cultural genocide has done to these indigenous people, and the state of poverty and isolation they are living in today. It is usually during this time of year that I turn my monetary or material contributions to the reservations. Downloading the single for $1 will help to connect reservations with much needed resources.


For more information regarding this charity


It’s a beautiful song.  Plans to put it on your next album?





Local Band Review is pleased to share this new song with our readers.  The link to the song download will be on Ponybird’s Bandcamp page and can be found in the video information.  We hope you will consider purchasing the song.











Lisa Sanchez Gonzalez – lsg Original

Lover of music and the visual arts, Lisa Sanchez Gonzalez is the insanity behind lsg original photography. lsg specializes in artist and performer photography. She’s had the honor of photographing national bands such as Weezer, Snoop Dogg, A Simple Plan, Paramore, Whitesnake, Wye Oak, and The Antlers along with countless local bands and performers.

Hailing from Hartford, CT, Lisa is a life- long music connoisseur. Growing up, her mother exposed her to everything from The Stones to Simon and Garfunkel to Earth, Wind, and Fire to Loretta Lynn…and everything in between. No genre was left unexplored in her vinyl collection. She saw her first concert at 14…Rod Stewart at the (then called) Hartford Civic Center. Thirty years later, it’s still her favorite pastime.

Lisa has two kids (grown!) and a day job. Her loves of music and photography have melded into a second career. And her love of CT keeps her promoting and pushing for local artists and performers. Lisa spends the greater part of her free time seeing and shooting live bands, performers, and artists and art work…and purchasing vinyl!

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