Taking risks is essential to art, and life itself. Playing it safe is predictable, mind-numbing and dull. New England's Pondering Judd have long-pioneered the blurry waters of rock, folk, and Americana since 1993, intermingling all three genres to create a unique blend of music best described as roots rock. Pondering Judd's latest, Coalesce, is their sixth release in seven years, continuing a prolific run of songwriting dating back to the band's creation in 1993. Coalesce is laden with visually-poetic lyrics and emotionally-charged melodies which swarm the senses and rouse the imagination. Sequentially, the ten tracks on Coalesce represent a musical arc, the day's first beams of sunlight eventually giving way to the dark edges of night. It also represents PJudd's finest work to date, at once documenting and showcasing the band's collaborative framework. PJudd's approach is simple: songs before individual performances; the whole before thyself. With a culture suddenly absent of storytellers, this thought line is often viewed as a death sentence for many bands. For Pondering Judd, who pride themselves as torchbearers for storytelling and melody making, it's taken as a challenge. "I believe every song you've ever written is already inside you, a sort of median that runs constantly," Pondering Judd's singer/songwriter Martin England said during a recent interview. "The trick is being able to hook into that stream at the right moment. Sometimes it wakes you in the night, other times it'll come on the drive home from work. I think I've nearly died writing lyrics on the back of a car registration or oil bill at least thirty times. " In spring 2006, Pondering Judd completed its first-ever US Tour with Ireland's Sawdoctors, including performances in Boston (The Roxy), Chicago (The Vic Theatre), Baltimore (Rams Head Live), New Haven (Toad's Place), Cleveland (Agora Theatre), and Alexandria, VA (The Birchmere). The tour was secured solely through patience, hard work and perseverance, without the benefit of a major label deal, a true testament to PJudd's DIY nature. Pondering Judd is the aforementioned singer/songwriter Martin England, guitarist Mark Edgerly, bassist Brian Gosselin, and drummer Steve Jacques. Collectively, Pondering Judd continue to redraw the lines between rock, folk and Americana. With Coalesce, PJudd kicks the door from its jamb by adding blues to that list, pulling in various elements previously thought of as inaccessible to the band's core. "Americana has hope in these men, and we have hope that there is still good music such as this out there waiting for our ears." -Daniel J Lavagna, Northeast In-Tune Magazine Pondering Judd's high-energy performances capture the attention of a vast array of generations and music lovers alike. They have shared stages with Guster, Sawdoctors, Entrain, Push Stars, and Dispatch, to name a few. Through the years, PJudd have always considered themselves as a live band, first and foremost. Their diverse musical nature allows them to perform in music halls and living rooms alike. "Pondering Judd put on a blistering set, before I knew what hit me, I was swept onto the dance floor." -Margaret Logan, Northeast Performer Pondering Judd has been recognized both locally and regionally for its efforts, winning the 2004, 2005, & 2006 Spotlight Awards for Best Rock Band, the 1999 & 2000 Spotlight on The Arts Award for Best Alternative Band, and in 2000, P-Judd's release of Curve of Her Soul received top honors as Best CD by an Established Band. The band will be inducted into the Spotlight Hall of Fame in Spring 2008.
From AMERICA NORTH: USA: New Hampshire (NH)