Caitlin Cary rides her pony
The Knitting Factory, Hollywood, Cal., June 13, 2002
By Dan MacIntosh
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - Common wisdom assumes that every little girl wants her very own pony, but the semi-tough looking (and sometimes tough-talking) Caitlin Cary doesn't strike one as your typical pony-owner-wanna-be. But it was a song called "Pony," which compares the finding of new love to an pre-teen girl's reception of that much longed for pony, that acted as the highlight of Cary's enjoyable concert performance.
With it's harmonized backing vocals, lilting pop melody and Cary's romantically-inspired singing, the song was saturated in joy - which is an element conspicuously absent from the singer/fiddler's former gig with the band Whiskeytown.
But this is not to say that melancholy has been completely erased from Cary's post-Whiskeytown work. "What Will You Do?" wonders aloud what a user girlfriend will become after the excesses associated with the celebrity lifestyle eventually kill off her famous boyfriend, while "I Ain't Found Nobody Yet" speaks of that seemingly hopeless desire to be loved. It was co-written, by the way, with Cary's former Whiskeytown partner, Ryan Adams.
Then there's "Too Many Keys," which tells of a woman's hope to find happiness in a move to New Orleans, since such contentment wasn't found in other previous locales.
Cary opened with "Please Don't Hurry Your Heart," which jump-started the show with a blast of endearing jangle-pop. And while she also played a lot of fiddle throughout, only "Hold On To Me," which praises a father's love, sounded anything like traditional country. This was mostly a night of gentle pop rock.
Cary admitted to being nervous about playing in a big city such as Los Angeles. But since this North Carolina girl sings with such sweetness and also writes plenty of engaging songs, she really doesn't have to worry about pleasing her audience. She might as well just ride this pony of hers with pride.
Cary's set was preceded by a brief appearance by the permanently down-in-the mouth Mark Eitzel. Fortunately, he leavened his sadness-in-song with comedic song introductions in a set that ranged from a patriotic number about a gay stripper (you really had to be there) to a tune that investigates why animals love music.