Nashville Duo Side Pony Release Debut Album, "Lucky Break"
Sometimes when opposites attract, it just works. In this case, the more subdued west coast yodeler and folk singer-songwriter Alice Wallace and alt-country singer-songwriter Caitlin Cannon, compliment each other’s styles, personalities and sound. The two had met in Nashville before either were living here back in 2018, but when they finally got together to write a song, both say something just clicked and before long, Side Pony was born. Lucky Break is the debut album from Side Pony out now on Nashville’s Mule Kick Records.
AnaLee: Happy release day! Lucky Break is your debut album and it’s out today via Mule Kick Records. It seems like this all came together pretty quickly. Alice, I believe you had just moved to Nashville right before the tornado in March of 2020, can you tell us about forming Side Pony and how it came together during the pandemic?
Alice: Yes, I had just moved to Nashville in December of 2019. Perfect timing! So I was in Nashville, quarantining like everyone else, and Caitlin was back in Colorado doing the same. But we really relied on each other to keep creative and it helped our friendship and co-writing partnership grow.
Caitlin: The pandemic certainly played a part in our expediting the project. We were prioritizing our weekly co-writes because there wasn’t (and still isn’t!) anything better to do. And after 6 to 12 months of that, we had a cohesive body of work.
AnaLee: Talk a little about discovering the strength in your differences and how that plays into your songwriting and performing.
Caitlin: I like to tell jokes on stage, even if they aren’t funny. And If people don’t laugh, that’s when I pick up my guitar and launch into a song. I think being on stage with Alice Wallace adds a certain amount of legitimacy to the whole thing!
Alice: Yes, we really do come from such different backgrounds and influences. But every comedian needs their straight man! I just never knew that was me! We have such a great time on stage together, and we help compliment each other’s styles on stage and in the writing process.
AnaLee: You recorded the album here in Nashville with veteran guitarist/producer Doug Lancio. His work includes producing John Hiatt, Nanci Griffith, Patty Griffin and Jack Ingram, to name just a few. Can you tell us about recording the album and the others involved in bringing Lucky Break to life?
Alice: Doug was such a great producer to work with. He is so knowledgeable but is also so open to us bringing in all of our ideas. The process felt very collaborative. And when we first went in to record our single, “Lucky Break,” Doug brought in session players he was familiar with and they absolutely killed it: Chris Autry on bass, Bryan Owings on drums and Danny Mitchell on keys. And, of course, Doug is a phenomenal guitar player himself. But then when we went in to record the rest of the songs on the album, we brought in our Nashville band we’d been working with and that’s when the Side Pony sound really started to gel. We have Andrew Sovine on guitar, Caleb Mundy on bass and Erin Nelson on drums. Plus, we had the chance to bring in Michael Webb on keys, whose resume is long and impressive, and Dan Dugmore on pedal steel, whose credits include people like Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor.
Caitlin: Getting to be in the studio with those kinds of creative minds for a number of days, where everyone is free to explore sounds and ideas, is more fun than a sandbox.
AnaLee: Now that you’ve found a home here in Nashville and with Nashville’s new Mule Kick Records, where do you see Side Pony in the next few years? Is Side Pony still a side project and do plan to you continue with solo releases as well?
Alice: Side Pony has definitely become much more than a side project to us, but we will still be working on solo releases, as well. We want to see how far we can take this release and keep writing!
Caitlin: Side Pony is a nice adjunct to our solo projects because we are so different. It’ll be interesting to see how far we lean into those differences in our solo work now that we have something so creatively fulfilling that’s more in the middle.
AnaLee: Any shows you want to tell us about in Nashville or tour plans? Thanks for filling us in on Side Pony.
Alice: Yes, we will be finishing up our east coast tour this month with a Nashville release show!
Caitlin: Come see us at The East Room on Sunday Oct. 24th at 8pm with The HawtThorns and India Ramey!