Poi Dog Pondering

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Poi Dog Pondering
Poi Dog Pondering 2009 ACL by Ron Baker.jpg
Poi Dog Pondering performing at the 2009
Austin City Limits Music Festival
Background information
Origin Hawaii
Austin, Texas
Chicago, Illinois
Genres Alternative rock
Occupation(s) Musicians
Years active 1984–present
Labels Platetectonic Music
Associated acts Susan Voelz
Abra Moore
Website Official site
Members Frank Orrall
John Nelson
Ted Cho
Dave Max Crawford
Susan Voelz
Kornell Hargrove
Dag Juhlin
Ron Hall
Rick Geherenbeck
Charlette Wortham
Robert Cornelius
Carla Prather
Ryan Murphy

Poi Dog Pondering is an American musical group, noted for its cross-pollination of diverse musical genres, including various forms of acoustic and electronic music. Founded in Hawaii in 1984 by Frank Orrall, initially as a solo project. In 1985 Orrall formed the first line-up of PDP to perform its first concert; at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. The band then embarked on a yearlong Street Performance Busking tour across North America, eventually settling in Austin, Texas in 1987, where they recorded their first three albums. In 1992, the band relocated once again, this time to Chicago, Illinois, where they began to incorporate Orchestral arrangements & elements of Electronic, House Music and Soul music into their Acoustic Rock style. The membership of Poi Dog Pondering has changed from album to album.

Hawaii / Street performing years; members[edit]

During the Hawaii years (1985–1986), the band had the following lineup:

  • Frank Orrall – Guitar, vocals, marimba, penny whistle
  • Abra Moore – Guitar, vocals
  • Sean Coffey – Drums
  • John "el John" Nelson – Percussion
  • Kalea Chapman – Guitar, vocals
  • Jean Francois Berneron – Photographer, vocals
  • Cliff Kamida – Guitar
  • Ted Cho – Mandolin, guitar
  • Joe Espinda – Guitar, recording engineer
  • Matt Miller - Bass, vocals

Austin years; members[edit]

During the Austin years (1987–1992), the band had the following lineup:

  • Frank Orrall – guitar, tin flute, drums, vocals
  • Ted Cho – electric guitar, mandolin, bass
  • Dave Max Crawford – organ, trumpet, accordion
  • Darren Hess – drum kit (1991–1992)
  • Bruce Hughes – bass
  • John Nelson – congas, maracas, tom-toms, background vocals (1989–1992)
  • Dick Ross – drum kit (1987–1990)
  • Adam Sultan – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals
  • Susan Voelz – violin, guitar, vocals

Additionally, the records featured literally dozens of musicians credited as "Satellite Poi Members". Most prominent amongst these satellite members were vocalists Abra Moore & Malford Milligan, sound artist Ellen Fullman, drummer Sean Coffey and (on their third album) turntable operator Ashton "DJ Cassanova" Irons.

Beginning with that third album, 1992's Volo Volo, the band began to experiment with new musical styles, including fully incorporating DJ Cassanova into the line-up. Orrall's emerging interest in dance and house music led the band to relocate to Chicago in 1992, where it developed a loyal local following and was named best band by Chicago magazine in 1997 & "Best Pop and Rock Act" in the 2009 Chicago Readers Poll.

Early Chicago years; members[edit]

From 1993 to 1999, the band recorded the albums "Pomegranate" & "Natural Thing" and performed live with the following members in the lineup:

  • Frank Orrall – guitar, vocals
  • Dave Max Crawford – keyboards, clavinet
  • Paul Mertens – sax, clarinet, flute
  • Susan Voelz – violin
  • Dag Juhlin – guitar
  • Eddie Carlson – Bass
  • Brent Olds – bass
  • Tom Ray – Bass
  • Nick Kitsos – Drums
  • Steve Goulding – drums
  • Leddie Garcia – Percussion
  • Arlene Newson – backing vocals
  • Kornell Hargrove – backing vocals
  • Robert Cornelius – backing vocals

Satellite Members

  • Brigid Murphy – Alto Saxophone
  • Jason More – Berimbau
  • Lloyd Brodnax King – Alto Flute
  • Katherine Pisaro – Oboe

Mid Chicago years; members[edit]

From 1999 to 2013, (and for the album releases: In Seed Comes Fruit, "7" & "Audio Love Letter") the band had the following Members in the lineup:

  • Frank Orrall – vocals, guitar, piano, synth. vibes, drums, samples, sequencing
  • Susan Voelz – violin, vocals
  • Paul Mertens – flute, sax, clarinet
  • Leddie Garcia – congas, bongos, ganzas, bells, shakers, various percussion
  • Kornell Hargrove – vocals
  • Ron Hall – bass
  • Rick Gehrenbeck – rhodes electric piano, clavinet, organ, synthesizers
  • Charlette Wortham – vocals
  • Alison Chesley – cello
  • Carla Prather – vocals
  • Tim Gant – piano, synthesizers
  • John "El John" Nelson – Percussion, drums
  • Earl A. Talbot – Drums
  • Dan Leali – Drums

Current Poi Dog Pondering Line-up; members[edit]

  • Frank Orrall – vocals, guitar, piano, synth. vibes, drums, samples, sequencing
  • Susan Voelz – violin, vocals
  • John Nelson – congas, bongos, drums, various percussion
  • Ted Cho – Guitar, Mandolin
  • Dag Juhlin – guitar
  • Kornell Hargrove – vocals
  • Ron Hall – bass
  • Rick Gehrenbeck – rhodes electric piano, clavinet, organ, synthesizers
  • Charlette Wortham – vocals
  • Robert Cornelius – vocals
  • Carla Prather – vocals
  • Ryan Murphy – Drums
  • Paul Mertens – flute, sax, clarinet

Releases[1][edit]

Early 4 track Cassette albums[edit]

  • Poi Dog Pondering PDP X 1 (1984)
  • Poi Dog Pondering Soliloqui PDP X 2 (1985)
  • 8 Songs by Poi Dog Pondering PDP X 3 (1985)
  • Poi Dog Pondering Dig PDP X 4 (1986)

Studio albums[edit]

  • Poi Dog Pondering (1988)
  • Wishing Like a Mountain and Thinking Like the Sea (1990)
  • Volo Volo (1992)
  • Pomegranate (1995)
  • Natural Thing (1999)
  • In Seed Comes Fruit (2003)
  • 7 (2008)
  • Audio Love Letter (2011)
  • EveryBody's Got A Star (January 2015)

Other Releases[edit]

  • Fruitless (EP) (1990)
  • Palm Fabric Orchestra (1994)
  • Electrique Plummagram (Re-Mix Album) (1996)
  • That's the Way Love Is (Re-Mix EP) (1999)

Live albums[edit]

  • Liquid White Light (1997)
  • Soul Sonic Orchestra (2000)
  • Live at Metro Chicago (4-CD set, paired with DVD release, Dec 21, 2012[2])

Compilations[edit]

  • Sweeping Up the Cutting Room Floor (2001)
  • The Best of Poi Dog Pondering (The Austin Years) (2005)

DVD Releases[edit]

  • Audio Visivo (2004)
  • Live at Metro Chicago (2 DVD set, paired with CD release, Dec 21, 2012[3])

References[edit]

External links[edit]