Great news for fans of East Nashville duo Wild Ponies. The husband and wife duo of Doug and Telisha Williams have dates set for a European tour which will include a good run of UK dates. The visit coincides with the release of their new record 'Radiant' due June 24th on the No Evil Records label. Please read on after the break for those all important tour dates and loads more abour 'Radiant'.
When you lay every fear and foible, every hurt and healing out for the whole world to see as Wild Ponies did on 2013's Things That Used to Shine, the album's follow-up surely can't be faulted for cutting a little bit loose. That's certainly the case with Radiant, the rough and tumble new release from Wild Ponies duo of Doug and Telisha Williams. The set bucks and rumbles through 11 songs that pull from all manner of sources - poetic tweens, Catawba trees, homophobic politicians, dying small towns, and tarot cards. The tie that binds them all together is the thread of moments and memories, of cycles and seasons that make up a life well-lived.
How does one describe those precious moments in life when we are able to transcend our small daily self-interests, and can somehow hold onto those rarefied breaths of the deeper human experience? Radiant explores those moments with alternating delicacy and raucous abandon. At times, it’s as though Telisha is sitting right beside you, fingers on your shoulder, whispering in your ear. Seconds later it’s hard to believe this full, confidently reckless sound is coming from only four players – Doug and Telisha Williams along with Megan Jane and Fats Kaplin.
On Radiant, the Wild Ponies community includes songwriters Amy Speace, Sally Barris, Jeff Barbra, Robby Hecht and Amelia White along with the aforementioned tween, Mariah Moore, who Doug and Telisha met through volunteering with the Country Music Hall of Fame's Words & Music program. The pair were so struck by the imagery of the then-12-year-old's lyrics that they finessed them a bit, until her co-write emerged as the centrepiece — and title track — of Radiant. Telisha says of the various, sometimes unusual collaborations, “I have to admit, there’s probably a little defiance in all of this. Bucking the way things 'should' be done: 'You can’t put a song you wrote with a 12-year-old on your REAL record!'” Wild Ponies are always open to receiving inspirations for songs from anywhere and everywhere. “We’ll take them however they want to come,” Telisha adds, “whether that’s through a dream, through tears and snot, or wrestling it out with the help of some friends. Melody or lyrics first? It doesn’t matter. The song chooses how to reveal itself.”
A key choice Wild Ponies made for Radiant came in its sonic expression, with Doug ditching his acoustic guitar in favour of plugging all the way in. Though it doesn't represent a seismic shift in their sound compared to Shine, it is some distance from the original “Doug & Telisha” acoustic duo that fans once knew. Fear not, though, fans of folk - “I think we’ll always be a folk duo,” Doug insists. “I joke from stage sometimes that all my favorite folk musicians played a Telecaster - Joe Strummer, Merle Haggard, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan…”
Looking further ahead, plans are already in the works for the summer recording of an all-acoustic project, as Doug tells it, “We’re going to record it underneath that Catawba tree with a bunch of guys my grandfather used to play with in Virginia and a bunch of our Nashville friends - throw ‘em all together and see what happens. Maybe that one will turn into a real rock and roll record.”
For Doug, Radiant is about reaching out from within, looking at the world around, relating to it, and trying to find some empathy. For Telisha, it's also about standing still, tall, and true - "Listening to our last record, Things That Used to Shine, I hear the struggle. I hear the transition of a victim pushing, pulling, letting go, standing up, and shouting”, she said. "This record is more stable and secure in some ways but raw and exploratory in others. There's an acceptance and love for myself. I'm feeling confident in my own skin. A skin that's full of battle scars and flaws, but that I've learned to love and appreciate, maybe for first time."
Wild Ponies – June-July 2016 UK/European Tour
Doug & Telisha Williams with Rob Heath on drums
Thu 16 Menai Bridge, Anglesey The Victoria Hotel
Fri 17 Scarborough The Crescent Hotel
Sun 19 Beverley Beverley Folk Festival
Mon 20 Beverley Deli No. 1
Wed 22 Launceston Café No. 8
Thu 23 Plymouth The B-Bar
Sat 25 Lewes The Con Club
Sun 26 Crawley Crawley Folk & Beer Festival NB. Afternoon show
Sun 26 East Grinstead The Dorset Arms
Wed 29 Sheffield The Greystones
Thu 30 Stroud The Prince Albert
Fri 1 London The Slaughtered Lamb
Sat 2-Sun 3 Easton, Suffolk Maverick Festival 2016
For latest updates check www.wildponies.net/tour, including July dates in Germany, France & Luxembourg