Near the end of Huckleberry Finn¸ Huck announces, "But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she's going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can't stand it. I been there before." Through Huck's longing for the Territory ahead, Mark Twain transformed the ending of a story into an invitation that has come to define the American imagination. In his words we come to the conclusion of a story as one comes to the top of a mountain—to behold where we've been, and where we've yet to go.
The Show Ponies offer such vistas of the imagination on their newest EP, Run for Your Life (2014). Channeling the momentum of a few momentous years, founding ponies Andi Carder (lead vocals, banjo) and Clayton Chaney (lead vocals, bass) weave story and song with the same charm, pathos, and boldness that brought them from Texas and Arkansas to California where the Show Ponies were founded in 2011. Like so many iconic American voices over the generations, Carder grew up singing in church and performing in musical theater—musical heritage often apparent in performing what she likes to call "folk sassgrass." Chaney's musical upbringing compliments Carder's sensibilities in drawing on the deep wells of country and folk. The themes of his songwriting echo his penchant for wanderlust: "Being on the road is the most exciting thing for me. I love waking up in a different place every morning."