Frontman Mike Maddux of Ameripolitan honky tonk country group The Ponderosa Aces joins us at Knottea Cafe in Stanton, CA to chat about the band’s so-to-be-released album No Particular Way, their adventures in touring, and their goal to move past the standard ‘country’ genre definition.
The Ponderosa Aces is comprised of:
Art Rodriguez – Drums
Jonny Bottoms- Bass & Voice
Alex “Hoss” Griggs – Lead Guitar & Vocals
Steve Meister – Pedal Steel
So you’ve got an new album coming out soon called No Particular Way. Wanted to ask you if you would like to give us a little sneak peek on what we should be looking forward to?
Mike Maddux: Sure! So, our last two albums were recorded in a kind of quick, rag-tag, within a few hours kind of thing, but we actually started recording this album in May of 2016. It’s everything from the stuff that we’re known for, like, outlaw country honkytonk to a western swing number in there and there’s a rockabilly number in there. So it’s kind of pushed our boundaries, and I use that as an opportunity to push my own boundaries as a songwriter.
Awesome! It sounds like it’s been a long time coming since it started back in 2016.
Mike: Yeah. We had a lot of personnel changes and were touring throughout that time. And then the Ameripolitan Awards kind of came up right after we recorded our second CD Honky Tonkin’ My Life Away. The Academy of Western Artists and the Ameripolitan Awards go into Europe so it took a lot of time. Also, you know, we don’t want to sit in our little hobbit hole and record and not play shows. That’s just what’s in our blood. So even though it did kind of get put on the back burner for a while, we ended up having this awesome new bass player Johnny Bottoms come in and just the harmonies and the bass lines that he was putting in, it really deserved to be re-recorded with him on there, so that’s what we did. Yeah, it took a little bit more time, but taking time usually makes for a better product.
Agreed. And you know, people will be excited for it because they’ve been waiting.
Mike: What’s funny is people actually have been waiting! *laughs* I get people asking about it and I’ve sent a couple of sneak previews to a couple of good friends and all of their sponsors are very good let’s just put it that way.
That’s good to hear! And how was the recording process for this album different than your past work? You kind of started to mention a little bit already.
Mike: You know, the speed of everything goes back to us being a real do-it-yourself ethic kind of group. You pull favors when you need to record, or maybe somebody says, ‘Hey! Let me do you guys a favor because I like you guys.’ We kind of cashed in on those opportunities the last two albums, and I don’t want to say they bit us in the ass a little bit, but we’ve had to rush through things a little bit more than we wanted to do. Like, there’s one time we were playing this gig and this guy comes and he says, “Wow! You guys sound great! I want to record you guys!” I’m looking at the guy and I’m like, “Marty?” I’m over here wearing sunglasses and my cowboy hat and I pull them both off. And he’s like, “Mike?” And this is a guy that I’ve known for a lot of years, so we start recording over there. We get a new bass player. Our guitar player Hoss, he’s like a brother to all of us, he had to leave the band to take care of his family and do stuff, he had to do what all of us have to do from time to time. So split, there was no ill will there, no beef, no issues, but we had to replace him because we were in the middle of recording an album. This guy who is recording our album steps up to the plate, and he just brings a whole new, you know, talking about pushing the boundaries, he just pushes the sonic boundaries of what we were doing before. Having Marty in the band and having Johnny Bottoms in the band, it definitely deserved to re-record the tracks that became No Particular Way.
It’s always interesting to hear when you have someone come in and they bring this new light to the songs that you didn’t realize was there.
Mike: Yeah! You know, when you talk about ‘new blood’ it kind of implies that the old blood was bad or stagnant in some way, and that definitely wasn’t true. I oftentimes find myself playing my songs with people that I don’t know and seeing what they add to the mix just because it’s interesting to see what interpretations anybody wants to do, and what they think of my lyrics or how they play musically with me.
Yeah. That’s the interesting thing about music is that everybody’s interpretations always tend to be slightly different than what you thought.
Mike: You know, they say it’s the universal language, a lot of people just think, ‘Oh yeah, everybody listens to it.’ Then they just bob their heads along without thinking of what language ‘X’ song, or whatever it is, is. But no, the universal language is really interpretation itself and what one person thinks of the song versus the other person. That’s what I write from.
Which song was your favorite to write and record for this new album?
Mike: *laughs* I’ve got two kids, and that’s like asking me which one’s my favorite. It’s really really hard to say, but I’ll throw a couple ideas out there. Every one of these songs has been molded and shaped and has had The Ponderosa Aces punch put on it. I’ll bring it to the boys, there are songs that get rejected, there are songs that we’re just like, ‘Eh’ you know, like maybe we’ll play it. I mean, we like it initially, but they just don’t seem to pick up. “Come Around” was a song that we debuted on a tour in Texas, and I heard this guy coming up and saying, ‘Oh man! It’s got that Southern Rock vibe!’ or something like that. Now, will tell you that it definitely does not have a ‘Southern Rock vibe’ to it, but everybody seems to like it so that’s good. I tend to write long, wordy, sing-along songs, and this one is short, nice, kind of radio friendly within three minutes kind of thing, and I’m happy with the finished product on that. I guess the best story of those songs relating to that is “Last Cigarette” because it was a song that I wrote about a honky tonk bar in St. Hedwig, Texas called Big T’s Roadhouse. I mean, it’s this place where they’ve got a table, which is basically a piece of plywood, it’s got some numbers on there, and they put a chicken there and then they put a cage over top of the chicken. They sell tickets in the back and you look at your ticket and it’s got a number on it. If the chicken does its business on the number you have you win $124.
Oh my goodness! *laughs*
Mike: They call it Chicken Shit Bingo. I’ve hosted that and played over there a few times, and it’s just this great vibe of Central Texas. Kids run around in the back climbing on trees, everybody’s having fun eating hot dogs, it’s a great kind of local little place to go to. So I wrote this song about it and the lyrics were happening, but musically it just was not. Something was not clicking with everybody, which happens in a band. And our old guitar player Hoss, Alex Griggs is his name, but we call him Hoss because he looks like Hoss from Bonanza. So Hoss says , ‘That’s too good of a song to throw away. Let’s tweak it a little bit.’ And we sit there and we got this place called The Outback where we rehearse, and we sat there, just me and Hoss, for a while and we rewrote that song musically. We cut it and it just worked. It’s beautiful to see because it’s like the phoenix rising from the ashes where it’s come back. That’s a great song, and I think it’s going to get a lot of good play.
And kind of going into the notion that you had mentioned that about the radio friendly songs having like the standard three minutes kind of thing. Do you feel that modern music kind of has a time cap on what they say is an acceptable song to play on the radio where artists tend to be stuck in a box?
Mike: Well, you don’t want to get me going on the modern music rant first of all. *laughs* But yeah, I mean, it’s a formulaic thing. It’s people in eight story buildings sitting behind cubicles writing these songs for ‘X’ pop country artist kind of thing. You’ve got to think, most of these guys that are out there, and I’m speaking from the cuff here so if anybody wants to disagree it’s all good reasons out of their opinion, but the way I look at it is most of the people that are out there making those number one and number two Billboard hits, whether it be in the country scene or whatever, they’re not writing their own songs. You’ll know that every song we play and release is something that I’ve written and is something that I have put my heart, my soul, my blood, my sweat, my tears, everything into. Literally sometimes.
That’s when you know it’s a good song.
Mike: Not necessarily to be honest, because you could put emotion into a song and that did not relate to anybody you know and that definitely happens. I mean, there’s people that don’t like sad country songs or people that don’t like hypothetical songs about something like murder. I’ve got a song called “Judgement Day,” and it’s about a man who goes to heaven when he knows he should be in hell. It’s basically the story of how he kind of mocks his way around heaven basically because he knows he shouldn’t be there. So many people have misinterpreted that song into different things, and when that happens I love it. It’s like, take whatever interpretation you want, take it as dark as you want to take it, take it as happy as you want to take it because it means something to everybody else. But going back to that original question, I don’t feel like my friends that play the kind of same music that I do and myself feel like we are locked into a box because we do what we want. I mean there’s this whole thing called outlaw country, and people say, ‘Well, what is outlaw country? For me outlaw country means that yeah, I play something with a twang to it, but I don’t follow the formula that makes everybody that money in Nashville. I just kind to do what I want and hopefully people like it.
Now do you guys tend to get the song lyrics done first or more of the composition side or a little bit of both together?
Mike: Both, but it also depends on the song. I don’t usually talk about this much so it’s kind of weird to talk about,*laughs* but I’d say from three aspects. It’s either I’ve got a really good idea for a chord progression that I like musically, then something lyrically follows to that, and then I title the song. Sometimes, oddly enough, the title comes first and I have an idea for this because the title is there, but I’ve got nothing else so I got to drop everything else to it. Most of the time for me it’s lyrics coming first. Most of the time it doesn’t all come at once, I have to sit there and do the lyrics and then come back the next day and I go ‘OK. This might might be good.’ Want to hear a funny story relating to that?
Mike: Alright! So there’s a song called “Simpler Life,” and I’ve told a lot of people this story and not a lot of people believe it, but my good friends believe it because they know me. So I woke up in the middle and I’m about four in the morning, and I didn’t want to disturb the loved one laying next to me so I got up and I went to the bathroom, not going to the bathroom, but just sitting on the toilet. I’m over here dictating into my phone basically the idea of this song because I had this dream, woke up, and had the whole song. I had the chords and the idea and everything jotted down in about fifteen minutes and that was “Simpler Life.” It just kind of came to me all of a sudden, and that was the only time that’s ever happened where all the stuff you’re talking about came together at once.
That’s so cool to hear though! I believe this story. So many things come to us in our dreams.
Mike: It’s a long winded story that we don’t have time for. *laughs* When the muse calls you don’t refuse the muse. That’s always been my thing. I’ve always said that you don’t refuse the muse. I’ve even gotten to the point where I’m keeping a notepad in my pocket for years on end just in case I have lyric ideas to write down.
It’s the creative person’s mindset. The non-creative’s just don’t understand.
Mike: And that’s touching on a different thing because some people come up to me and ask, “How can you write songs?” or “How can you do this?” or “How can you do that?” I’ve played guitar for 25 years and I’ve taught guitar for a long time, and this ‘T’ word comes up, not with me, but with my students, and that’s ‘talent.’ Talent is is not something everybody’s born with. Just like a runner that runs marathon, you don’t have a talent for running marathons, you work your ass off at it. And that’s the same thing with guitar, you just kind of mess around with it, and if you have that creative mind you can do it. Sometimes if you don’t have the creative mind, you just don’t see deep enough to understand why you should do it.
Kind of going into a little bit of a different direction, but you guys do a great job promoting the venues that you perform at. That’s super awesome because you’re showing some love for the local businesses.
Mike: I look at it like this, if they’re going to take the time to take the chance to book us, I want to do everything I can to bring people in. If they want to book us as entertainment and they’re not really worried about us bringing people in, I want to do our best to push their brand. I’ve got this thing where I’ve spent my last few bucks on tour buying shirts from the venues we’ve played at, and they’ll say, ‘Oh and I would just given you a shirt, you did just play for like five hours.’ and I’ll be like, ‘No, I want to support you guys because you’re supporting us.’ That’s how you pay it forward.
What are a few of your favorite local venues you’ve played so far? I’m sure there’s a lot of them because you’ve been to so many cool places!
Mike: Every place has its charm. My boys in the band are so understanding with me and we’re so driven musically to just do what we do. We’re not living in false dreams in being rockstars, we just love our music. Let’s put it this way, if we don’t play music we’re going to all go insane. *laughs* That’s just the kind of guys that we are. We’ve had these great opportunities. I told the boys, ‘Look, I’m like just gonna book us anywhere.’ Any bar, club, Bar Mitzvah, birthday party, bowling alley, all that kind of stuff. We actually have a running joke that we’ve still never played a bowling alley, but we’ve done everything else.
It’ll happen one day. Especially in L.A., we’ve got a few of those. *laughs*
Mike: I think the best places,well, the ‘most interesting,’ I’m not going to say ‘best’ because everywhere is ‘best,’ but the most interesting places were: the show that we did for the Lawn Bowling Association of America. That was interesting because I didn’t know there was a Lawn Bowling Association of America. *laughs*
You learn something new every day! *laughs*
Mike: Yeah! Great people there. They’re actually a bunch of party animals. *laughs* Disneyland in France was another one because it was really interesting to see how it completely mimicked of Downtown Disney for the folks that know the Anaheim area. It’s exactly the same thing, but instead of the House of Blues they’ve got Billy Bob’s Western Saloon. And instead of walking around in hearing Disney teenage pop stars, you hear old country artists. In Brighton, England, there was an amazing venue called The Haunt. The Borderline in London was awesome too just because I was able to grace the same stage as some of my heroes. Locally around here, I mean, there’s some some kick ass places that we’ve played. The Escondite is one my favorite places to play. Being on stage there is like playing in my closet. *laughs* The place is huge and the stage is tiny, but it gives me a chance to get it real close with my brothers and kind of like screw around with them like slapping they with my guitar and stuff like that. Big T’s Roadhouse. That one’s not around anymore but it was fun when we were there. The Double Diamond Saloon is one of my favorite places to play and that’s in Seguin, Texas. My number one on my list that I’ve played is still The Continental Club in Austin, Texas. It’s this old punk rock venue, and guys like The Reverend Horton Heat and Dale Watson, you know, guys that cut their teeth playing there. Just being able to play the same stage as those guys is pretty pretty humbling. It was awesome! Oh and The Rattle Inn in Austin too! I felt like we really had to step up our game when we booked those shows.
And it’s cool that you named a few places that are outside of California and international as well. What are some differences that you’ve seen in regards to the live music scene and how people show support to the artists?
Mike: Well, the thing is this: I have a lot of friends that do the same thing that I do and the trend that I see here is that California everybody’s got a side gig. Everybody it trying to pay rent, trying to pay bills so they can go do their thing.
Because it’s too expensive here!
Mike: Exactly! Everything is too darn expensive. But it’s like, when you’re tired as hell after that long ass work day do you really want to go out to watch some jackass like me sing sad songs for three hours to bring you down even further? So that’s kind of one of those running jokes in the band. I’m definitely not going to say nobody in L.A. or California values live music, because that is just nonsense. There are some real sweethearts out there that support the hell out of us, but the general consensus is this is not an area where people get off work and say, ‘Hey honey!’ or ‘Hey family! Where are we going tonight?’ It’s more of a ‘Let’s hunker down here and not go anywhere’ now. Anywhere else years ago used to be basically, and Texas is one of those great examples, where you get off work, maybe you go down to the local bar or the local dancehall and you drink a little bit but you dance around to burn that stuff off, and then you know you go home. That’s how you would spend your time rather than sitting there in front of the mindless boob tube kind of thing. Overseas it’s completely different. I mean, I’ve been playing for years and years and years and when I went to England last year for the first time it was just like these people are sitting there looking at me, and instead of sitting there at the bar doing their thing or talking to the lady next to them, they’re sitting there with their hands folded looking directly at me.
Mike: Proper, yes. You know, when we got off stage that was one of the words that would come to mind. So they’d sit there, they’d stare at us quietly, we’d finish the song, they’d clap politely, and then go back silence. At almost every venue, we’d finish the set, go off stage, and we realize everybody’s getting up, not to leave, but to go into this receiving line kind of thing so they can all talk to us and shake our hands. We kept on saying, ‘Wow. This is very proper. Proper country. OK.’ The people in England are sweethearts. Actually, nobody knows this so you’re actually going to get a little exclusive thing right now.
Mike: Yeah! We are releasing a Live In England album. It was recorded at four different venues in England, and we’ve picked out some songs and some fun stuff to put on this little album. Not exactly sure when it’s going to be released. It’s literally something that the band just put together going into that DIY ethic again. We didn’t hire a sound engineer, we didn’t go straight off the board, we didn’t do any fancy stuff, we just recorded stuff straight up and sound quality was great. Our tour van blew up in Austin, Texas on our last tour and we had some friends that took care of us. We did a Go Fund Me, which I hate doing something like that, but we did it because we were just stuck there. We are going to give some those those folks some pretty sweet packages including that new Live In England CD.
Never underestimate the power of fans!
Mike: Never underestimate the power of somebody who appreciates their fans. That’s the biggest thing I think.
And how do you guys balance your personal lives with your professional lives?
Mike: Does anybody? *both laugh* We don’t balance it well to be honest. I mean, we would like to be in our profession, but were are living in a day and age where a five-piece country band playing in Southern California ain’t really going to be making mortgages or rents with the with gig money or merch money or whatnot. Every dollar that we ever get from anybody or any venue or anything goes right back into the band, and it goes right back into merch, promotion, website, stuff like that, and everybody carries on and does their thing and we all try the best that we can. That’s how we how we balance. Everybody has a significant other. Everybody in the band has a child or multiple children. We just try to do the best we can because this is what we love, and luckily for us, we have extremely extremely good people in our lives that love us and are very understanding.
Sometimes that’s all you really need out of life is someone to support you in you want to do.
Mike: Yeah, just the moral support is the most important thing. I have songs about other people that are on financial support and they’re doing their thing and acting like this or that or whatever, I’m not going to go into any details on that. But to have somebody that’s going to support you and say, ‘Even though times are tough, I know this is what you need to do, and you need to do this in order for me to be happy and us to be happy.’ It’s always good to be around a rational human being let’s put it that way.
And going into what you had mentioned about the funds that the band gets going into to not only the website and mech but also to promotion. We were connected through Instagram. Wanted to ask if you feel that social media has risen to be the most popular and efficient way to market and if you think it’s easier for bands now or making it harder for bands to break out?
Mike: I would say it’s a fickle issue because in recent past years it became the format. I mean, I remember when my old band used to have a MySpace page. From a fans’ aspect, the algorithms are just against you. You’re trying to keep up on your favorite stuff on Facebook or whatever it is, but you don’t get updated on everything that you should be let’s just put it that way. If you’re one of those bigger money bands that can throw money into the Mark Z Campaign or whatnot, you’ll get more to play with. The floodgates open more and your stuff gets out there more. We’ve got a song called “Play The Game” and it’s kind of about how if you play the game you’ll get your play, but if you don’t play the game then you don’t get your play. So where are you at? How much do you care about that play? Me personally, I don’t care about that play. We don’t buy into Facebook ads, you’ll rarely ever see anything ‘sponsored’ next to our posts. We do everything as grassroots as we can, and we feel like we have a fan base that does what they can for us within their everyday lives and we appreciate that. That’s all we can ask. And that’s how they balance their everyday lives with liking music too.
So a fun question for you. If you could choose three artists to go on a world tour with, who would you choose and what would you name your tour?
Mike: Are we talking living or dead?
You can bring them back from the dead if you want to. Whatever your little heart desires. I’m not going to put a cap who you want. *laughs*
Mike: Wow. Three artists. I might need some time to think about this. *laughs* Ok, three artists. Here’s an interesting one: Hank Williams Sr, Hank Williams Jr., Hank Williams The Third, and The Ponderosa Aces, and we’d call it ‘Three Hanks and an Ace.’ There’s there’s one thought, just because Hank Williams, like, come on. If I had to assemble like a living and nonliving crew, I would say George Jones, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson. I mean,at this point you’re basically just asking me to name my heroes. *laughs*
Isn’t that everybody wants to tour with though? *laughs*
Mike: *laughs* Yeah, but that was the easy answer. As a songwriter, I would go with Billy Joe Shaver, Townes Van Zandt, and throw some crazy oddball one in there like Jerry Garcia. That’s just the kind of band we are. When I assembled the Aces, I started it as a country band because I was in a blues band and we just kept losing people because they were like, ‘Your stuff sounds too country and not blues enough.’ When I started the Aces, I intentionally did not want to get country players. I did not want to go get the normal everyday guys that everybody hires around the area to do their thing. Not just because I didn’t want to pay anybody., that’s the default that everybody says right there, but because I wanted to get guys that were like funky and rock n roll, maybe they knew a little twangy thing or they were a little jazzy or whatnot, and just throw it on a big ass pot, mix it up with some twang and guitar and my lyrics and see what happens. And that’s where the Aces were born.
Cool! And which artists and bands would you say have influenced your guys’ style and sound? Apart from everyone that you had just mentioned of course.
Mike: Directly influenced our style. We do play Texas-style honkytonk all the time and we do play Outlaw Country, so I’d have to say Waylon Jennings. It’s almost like if you were asking what CDs are my car, there’s a lot a lot of Willie Nelson, there’s a lot of Waylon Jennings in there, there’s a lot of old bluegrass stuff, I’m a big fan of the Osborne Brothers, traditional country stuff. I don’t listen a whole lot of country after 1975. If I do it’s a Ameripolitan, which was started by a guy named Dale Watson. This is the guy looked up to. This guy has help me out, helped the band out. When the van blew up and people were chipping in into that Go Fund Me, in the meantime Dale said, ‘Come on over and use my van to finish up your tour. Take it back to California if you want.’ Getting nominated for the Outlaw Group of the Year for the Ameripolitan Music Awards 2016 and 2017, that opened up an incredibly immense group of people who are loving and supportive and look at this whole movement as a family, and I say ‘movement’ because it is a movement. I’ve got to take a moment to spotlight the Ameripolitans because a lot of people don’t realize why the Ameripolitan Music Awards are around and why it’s gaining momentum and it’s so popular as a movement. It’s because it showcases Western Swing, Rockabilly, Honkytonk, and Outlaw music. The biggest set of any one of those is Rockabilly and it’s Brian Setzer. So Brian Setzer, where is he going? He’s not going to go the Country Music Awards because he’s not going to fit in that crowd. When he goes to the Billboard Awards or The Grammys, he’s sitting in whatever category and he’s not getting showcased for what he can really do in his style of music. He’s getting put up against the other guys who can sell stuff. For Ameripolitan, they kind of take time out for folks that write original music that have traditional roots and showcase that outside of those big award scenes. It’s the only time I’ve had to put on a suit for the last few years. *laughs*
That’s a good reason though!
Mike: I mean it was just an incredible night to go to. You’re at The Paramount in Austin, Texas and it’s this big, nice theater, and you sit there and you have the people that are your compadres around you. I’m crashing at a house and the guy who’s house I’m crashing in is sitting over there and he’s winning awards. And then you have the guys you look up to and you’re just like, ‘Wow, I’m in this like crappy little honky tonk band in L.A. and I’m sitting here next to my heroes.’ It’s kind of cool.
Yeah! And it’s really awesome to hear that they’re starting to be more awards that are focused on a niche market instead of, like you said, having the general ‘Country’ section that ends up being more like pop-country.
Mike: In the last 20 years, I’m just throwing that out there, it may be 25 or 30 years, but country as a genre has become a little separated. You’ve got your 90s country like Garth Brooks and Shania Twain kind of stuff. Or you’re Americana, which people when they think Americana they think folk, they think non-electric, they think you’re sitting up there with your quiet little hippie songs or something like that. It’s just different, it’s a different style, it’s a different time, different day, different age. People have things to complain about for a lot of years and people were complaining. I’m just an old punk rocker, so for me, this is where punk rockers go to calm down. It’s our retirement home. *both laugh*
And what do you hope your audience away from your music?
Mike: Overall, I hope that they listen to a song and they go back, replay the song, and go, “Wait a minute. Let me think about that again.” That’s what I hope. The realist in me thinks that’s probably not going to happen a whole lot, but in the general consensus, I just hope that people know that everything we put down on record shows that it all comes from the heart. They’re all songs that we have chosen not because we think that it’s going to fill the tip jars, but because they’re songs that we love and songs that we identify with. We play the song, it’s an old Wind Stewart song called “Another Day, Another Dollar, but I started playing that because Wind Stewart had this weird Southern California connection. I love him, I love his singing, I love the songs about working people, like I’ve said, we’re all working guys in the band. Wind Stewart’s family contacted us and said, “We appreciate you carrying on the legacy and playing his songs.” I has to, like, pinch myself. Somebody posted online about it from playing overseas and it got a little bit of airplay on YouTube and stuff, but we didn’t make a dime off of it and honestly, I don’t want to because all I want to do is just play that song because it means a lot to me. We got the crowd involved, the crowd likes it, and it’s just become one of our mainstays. To actually have permission from the family and for them to pretty much say, ‘Go ahead, do your thing with it.’ is just amazing.
That’s so awesome! We kind of forget that the families still have a tie to those songs as well even if an artist passes or stops releasing new music.
Mike: Absolutely. I mean, I rarely think of what Georgette Jones thinks of me when I’m doing a George Jones song. It’s just not what’s usually not on my mind. But we were just coming off of this European tour, and we got the email and opened it, and it was one of those things where I had to take a moment where I was like, ‘Wow.’ I mean, like I said, we’ve still have never even played a bowling alley. *laughs*
Just submit that video and be like, ‘This is our ticket in!’
Mike: *laughs* It ain’t even my video though. It’s some video that some dude shot in France. But I’m happy that people enjoy it.
So apart from the release of No Particular Way, and the live album, what big plans should we be expecting from you guys?
Mike: Oh, fun stuff! Well, you should expect the usual rigorous Southern California touring that we always do because we just like to play. If you’re sick of seeing our Facebook posts and whatnot or Instagram stuff, well, go to hell because we just like to play it we’re just going to keep playing. You can keep an eye on The Ponderosa Aces website for updates on all of those venues and whatnot. We’ve got that new Live in England album that’s going to be released sometime when I can figure out what I want to do with, it might be before No Particular Way, it might be a package deal with No Particular Way for some friends, it might come out after No Particular Way. That’s going to all depend on how things roll here basically and that’s kind of how we roll. *laughs*January 2019 is the official worldwide release of No Particular Way. It’s 11 tracks of the finest Ameripolitan music that you’ve ever heard. We’ve released of our first single off that album, which is “Come Around.” It’s a song I wrote about not being able to come around and do things right even though everybody wants me to. So keep an eye out for all of that fun stuff.
About Knottea Cafe:
As someone who willingly admits that she’s not the biggest fan of boba teas, I fully admit that I sometimes forget that boba shops do in fact carry other types of drinks. Knottea Cafe in Stanton, CA is exactly one of those shops that makes sure to have a decent variety of beverages to meet any visitor’s needs. They have everything from milk teas to smoothies to a build your own favor option, and of course, they have some wonderful coffee options for the bean lovers out there. A mere ten minutes away from Knott’s Berry Farm and twenty minutes from Disneyland Park, Knottea Cafe is a great pitstop on your way for a fun day at the amusement park.