"Jennifer Dauphinais is a songwriter’s songwriter. She takes her time with her compositions, seeing them through the stages of life, the way a parent watches a child grow. Heavy-handed when necessary, helpless at other times, in love from start to finish. "
- Chip McCabe, Lonesome Noise
Ponybird is the moniker of Connecticut songwriter, Jennifer Dauphinais. Her music is a blend of Americana, Gospel, and Alternative Folk. Dauphinais has played previously as a drummer and accompanying vocalist for Christina Abbott in the duo the Karner Blues, with Travis Moody and Kriss Santala in their blues-rock trio, Belle Starr, with Martin Earley and her father Robert in a reunion of their early 80s punk trio, Editors, and alongside members of Blue Rose Liar (Todd Rodgers, Mike Farrelly, and Gerry Stopper) in Spider & Fly. She and her father are descendants of the Anishinabek Solutrean Metis Indigenous Nation and Aboriginal Peoples of Canada (Cree, Ojibwe, Algonquin).
Dauphinais is currently a teacher educator in the greater NYC area and taught previously in New Haven Public Schools. She works with other songwriters in a cooperative writers group, and mentors youth circles and individual lessons for emerging songwriters. Dauphinais had a previous career in journalism and marketing, frequently working as a freelance writer for local papers, bands, businesses, and radio. She is currently completing a Doctorate in Curriculum and Teaching at Columbia University.
Ponybird has taken many forms; either as a full band with a carousel of players borrowed from other CT bands, as a pliable duo accompanied by either fiddle or bass and solo as a robust singer-songwriter that stands on her own. Performing regionally, Ponybird has also shared the bill with Americana and psychedelic acts such as Richard Buckner, Jeffrey Gaines, Vetiver, Sarah Lee Guthrie, Blood Warrior, Amy LaVere & Will Sexton, Alexander Turnquist, Arborea, Violent Mae, and Kerri Powers.
The studio recordings sound different than what you hear live. Much of Ponybird’s studio pallet engages in a psychedelic twist on the rustic originals, adding vocal layers, delays, and instrumental oddities, often played by the songwriter herself as part of the song development process. Her husband Jay Bates (Crooked Hook, MT Bearington, Zero Years) is a co-producer. The live recordings capture the more pared back sound of the songwriter bringing the lyrics and emotionality of each tune to the forefront. Climb Yourself Up (2008) and Full Cold Moon (2009) were both home-recorded, while Modest Quarters was recorded at Dirt Floor Studios with Eric Lichter and James Maple in 2014, featuring a staple of Dirt Floor artists. In 2015, Dauphinais won a CT song-writing competition that enabled her to record the single, “I Am With You” at On Deck Studio along with supporting artists, Krizta Moon, and Jay Roberts, and engineer Tracy Walton (Belle of the Fall). An upcoming album is expected in 2020 and will be home-recorded and produced by Dauphinais & Bates.
Ponybird is on Bandcamp, CD Baby, Twitter (@ponybirdmusic), Instagram (@ponybirdmusic), and Sonicbids