PDP is not the newest designer drug or texting acronym. No, it's the hip way to name-drop Poi Dog Pondering, the cross-cultural band that flirted briefly with mainstream success in the 1990s and has managed to stick around without it. Why? Because there are never enough party bands on tour when you need one, and for PDP, it's been a nonstop musical party for 25 years. Formed in Hawaii in 1987, the band's tropical, eclectic style fit nicely within the mainland's diverse musicality (first Austin, then Chicago), and aspects of folk, rock, blues, and electronic music filled in the holes in the group's world-beat base. With something for everyone (perhaps due to consistent lineup changes), PDP secured a loyal following behind such quirky radio-ready wonders as "Jackass Ginger"— an Hawaiian swimming hole — from Volo Volo, and "Bury Me Deep," "Sugarbush Cushman," and "Spending the Day in the Shirt That You Wore," from Wishing Like a Mountain and Thinking Like the Sea. These songs remain staples of the band's infectious live show, which typically bleeds off the stage as founder and vocalist Frank Orrall works his magic vibe. You might not get lei'd, but PDP still gives a fine buzz.
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