The Pre-War Ponies was formed in 2007 by Daria Grace, who wanted to put to use her growing collection of sheet music and repertoire of not-quite hits from the 20s, 30s and 40s. You may have heard of Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Johnny Mercer, but you probably haven't heard some of their under-rated chestnuts like "Pardon My Southern Accent" or "Find Me A Primitive Man." Since then the Ponies have been playing NYC venues like Barbes, Superfine, Brooklyn Rod & Gun Club and the Rodeo Bar as well as private events.
members always: Daria Grace, J. Walter Hawkes; often: Russ Meissner, Jim Whitney, Ian Riggs, Tim Luntzel, Mike Neer, Andrew Burns; sometimes: Doug Wamble, Matt Munisteri
The Ponies officially released our new record on January 20th, 2016! It's titled Get Out Under The Moon, and it includes 14 new tracks and features many fantastic musicians. You can read a review of the new record from New York Music Daily blog here. You can buy the record digitally on Bandcamp, iTunes or Amazon. If you'd like a CD, vinyl LP, or tote bag, you can buy one (or more!) also on Bandcamp.
The Pre-War Ponies was formed in 2007 by Daria Grace, who wanted to put to use her growing collection of sheet music and repertoire of not-quite hits from the 20s, 30s and 40s. She quickly recruited her old friend, trombonist and soprano uke player J. Walter Hawkes to be a part of the madness, and they have become the core duo of the band.
As for the band's mission, we see no reason to re-hash standards that have already been done so beautifully so many times. We like to dig a little deeper. You have likely heard of Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Johnny Mercer, but you probably haven't heard some of their under-rated chestnuts like "Pardon My Southern Accent" or "Find Me A Primitive Man." We don't just stick to the famous songwriters, either. There are plenty of gems from that golden era by the likes of Fred Ahlert, Joe Young, Chas Tobias, and Eddie Jones, none of whom are exactly household names. But maybe they should be...
Daria has been playing music in NYC for quite a while now. She started out as a bass player and has toured and recorded with avant-rockers God Is My Co-Pilot and pop noir sextet Melomane, among many others. She was also a founding member of Hawaiian swing quartet The Moonlighters, and cut her teeth on the baritone ukulele in that band. More recently Daria has been playing and singing with The Jack Grace Band and Sasha Dobson in addition to leading the Pre-War Ponies.
Originally from Pascagoula, MS, three time Emmy Award winning composer/trombonist/ukulele player J. Walter Hawkes has been an active musician in New York City for almost two decades. He's played with Norah Jones, Jon Hendricks, Elvis Costello, and many others. He is now serving as musical director and lead composer for PBS' "Peg + Cat", and has also composed for "Blue's Clues," "Wonder Pets," "Third & Bird", and many other shows you have no idea about unless you have a 3 year old.