After 38 years, it’s easy to take a band like Poi Dog Pondering for granted. They’ve been consistently putting out albums every few years and touring almost constantly. So it seems crazy that Keep On Loving Each Other, which came out in January, is their first album in five years.
Given the period of time that these songs were likely written over, it’s comforting to hear the songs dripping with hope and optimism, with not even a whisper of disconnection. This is their tenth studio album, and it doesn’t take a super ear to recognize that these musicians understand one another. Even though the music is pretty loose and breezy, their sound is as tight as anyone recording today.
The group has been a Chicago institution since 1992, but you can hear the influence of all their stops before that: the island vibes of Hawaii, the freewheeling swagger of Austin, TX, and all the other little things they’ve picked up crisscrossing the country for over 30 years. Frank Orrall and Ted Cho, who produced the album, condense all those musical bits into a soulful record at times fun and at others cathartic.
After five years away, Orrall and company haven’t lost their talents at song craft. Of the ten tracks on Keep On Loving Each Other, there’s a few really good tunes. The one I’ve embedded above is my favorite after a few listens, but there are others that could take that spot eventually.
You can check out the album on Bandcamp, and it looks like you can find all their older albums on Spotify.