Snake Oil Medicine Show
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Snake Oil Medicine Show

Band Americana Reggae


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Alive in Wilmington"

Snake Oil Medicine Show’s tunes are, among other things, very alive. After all, they are songs of creation. Reverberating sounds of Saturday Jan. 5th at the Soapbox Laundrolounge in Wilmington remind me of why Snake Oil Medicine Show recently began performing together again: LOVE. The band’s quest to initiate unity and awareness is never without breaths of beautifully entertained spiritual enthusiasm as well as the giving of respect to the “down-home” sphere of living.

The sound of Caroline Pond’s twenties-style vocals and her astonishing skills on the fiddle have made me feel like a fairy of the wood once again. The Art Party is always growing, with roots in bluegrass, newgrass, old-time, reggae, funky psychedelic variety and branches of unique twists and turns. “Where’s Andy?” I asked of another Pond, but answers were vague. Taking his place was a hOOla hOOp artist who was responsible for much of the colorful display that littered the front stage and who also performed a wild hOOla-dance during set-break. The cyclical motion of the hOOp intensified the band’s livelihood: harmony and artistic displays of verve.

The band’s ability to incorporate so many unique sounds as well as messages within their arts is what I believe to be the initial attraction for many new fans. Mirroring a little bit of the east coast’s lifestyle, this go-round brought neon jellyfish and painted skateboards to the stage thanks to hOOla-girl’s vibrant antics.

The band’s regular artist, “Painter Phil” Cheney, actively painted upon his canvas as the music bounced from corner to corner of the non-smoking venue. Each individual graciously offered love for their talents and their fans to the complete stage. For those of you who may not have ever been witness to the spirit of Snake Oil Medicine Show, the elf-like Cheney with his costumes and gravity toward the floor paints colorful scenes as the band plays on. The experience is like an illusory reverie; for when the Vaudeville-style showing comes to a close, the crowd seemed to be frolicking in the same metaphysical field. It is like we had all just shared an endless supply of positivism that could set us for life—if only we didn’t have to go to work on Monday.

George Pond, a.k.a “Warpextor Cosmoverse,” usually a dose of surprises larger than the zoo, is the bassist and also adds funk with the kazoo and his one-of-a-kind vocals. His voice followed instrumental sounds as if they—he and the instruments—were moving up and down a staircase. Husband to the female star of the show, the stage lights gave witness to his connection with Caroline as their energies fed off of one another for all the audience to savor. However, it is to be said that Sean Foley (piano, accordion) and Billy Seawell (drums, percussion) of this band did not only complete the portrait, but made it worth the trip to give homage to a band unlike any other.

Caroline’s sweet reminder, “I’ll see you in my dreams,” rings in my ears and lets it be considered that some things are everlasting, even when you think time would sweep them away. The Snake Oil Medicine Show has recorded 6 international releases and two DVD projects and can be found at different times next to the likings of Bela Fleck, Yonder Mountain String Band, Larry Keel, Leftover Salmon, David Grisman, Toubab Krewe and many others. No two shows are the same, but the cover of Bob Marley’s “Do it Twice” is just a piece of what keeps their fans wanting some mo’ of something so nice.

- Heather Bauer

"*art. from 1998 Will you buy the snake oil pitch?"

Back in college I was jealous of George Pond. A girl I was infatuated with spent a lot of time hanging around George, and the rest of the time telling me how great he was. In addition to this they had a mutual interest in the Grateful Dead, a local Atlanta band called the Aquarium Rescue Unit, and another band I had never heard of called Phish. I, being a big Led Zeppelin and Who fanatic, thought they had really odd tastes (hey, this was 1992).

One day, as we sat in the student center, George said, "Dude, I've always thought if I ever had a band I would call it The Snake Oil Medicine Show." That was a catchy name, I thought. A few months after that George moved to North Carolina and got married, but not to the girl I was jealous of; she just evaporated. He married Caroline, a fantastic classical violinist.

Four or five years pass and I see the name Snake Oil Medicine Show in the local entertainment listings. I call the club. Its George. He's on tour. Wow!

Another year passes, and by now I've figured out what the whole Grateful Dead/ARU/Phish thing George was into is, because now I'm into it, too. I finally drag myself down to see George's Medicine Show. They are one of the most instrumentally cutting bands out there, with George's metaphysics-inspired lyrics, high-pitched vocals and rap combining Bill Monroe, Flavor Flav and your college philosophy professor into one stew. During a break in the set the microcassette recorder comes out of the pocket and the interview begins.

George had been learning acoustic guitar as his brother Andy was learning banjo well over ten years ago. Even as George and I were attending Kennesaw State College in the early 1990's the duo had performed at a few downtown coffeehouses as Snake Oil Medicine Show. Later George met his wife, Caroline, and the couple and brother Andy moved to Boone, North Carolina. Pond describes Boone as, "This wild scene of all these great, amazing musicians. We ran into those people when we moved up there and everything just evolved." George and Caroline took on day jobs while perfecting the Snake Oil pitch, doing short tours on the weekends. The trio fleshed out to a full band, but when asked how the band came together George Pond says, "Its still happening. Its an evolution."

Andy Pond -- five string king.

They like each other.
I tell George that I've seen his band mentioned on the site, and he says, "We're on the fringe of that." What does he mean by the fringe? "The fringe inclusion comes from, just as you told me a second ago, you see our name on the JamBands site. So that instantly puts us in that whole group, and that's the fringe. I mean, we jam. Tonight we played a 20 minute song, or it felt like it. I had my eyes closed at one point." Would he take the label of "jam band?" "Sure, by default. There's been so many people who've said so many different things, and I accept each and every one."

The band's slogan is "Is Was Be," which is also the title of their second record. George has an interest in metaphysics and explains "Is Was Be" as, "All the conjugations of the verb 'to be,' 'to be' being the Big Question, and some people like Edmund Husserl, who coined phenomenology, which is all about 'is, was, be.' Phenomenology: the study of the phenomenon of perception."

Mixing such high-brow abstract ideas in between brother Andy's soaring, machine gun-fast banjo solos, George says, "We get good reception. We get really good reception. We can guage to hillbilly level and throw in as much of that as needed."
The band's songs are a combination of abstract thought-rap and overpowering instrumental prowess. You should go to the Jam Jukebox on this site and listen to their song "Never Cry Pig Wolf;" the banjo and mandolin solos are incredible, with George's raps about the pig wolf partitioning them. That's from their eponymously-titled first CD. Since that 1996 debut Is Was Be and the latest, High Speed Highway Parade have been released.

With such an amazing flurry of notes flying around him, I'm sure it won't be another six years before I see George again, and (insert cute ending here) this is one Snake Oil I'll be happy to buy!

Learn about the curative powers of snake oil at

Snake Oil Mediicne Show plays the Harvest Fest at Atlanta's Back Porch in Fairubrn, Georiga October 8th and 9th

- Voyager Mag./ Art Howard


Snake Oil Medicine Show – Snake Oil Medicine Show

Snake Oil Medicine Show - Is, Was, Be

Snake Oil Medicine Show – High Speed Highway Parade
Acoustic Syndicate – Tributaries
HeadFace – HeadFace
George Pond - Bass

Acoustic Syndicate – Crazy Little Life
AVAS – The Acoustic Vibration Appreciation Society
Jay Sanders – Bass : Andy Pond – Banjo
Let Some Sun Shine Through – The songs of Matt Rue played by an all-star cast of Western North Carolina Musicians. Issued on Grewv Music

Jeremy Saunders – Schoolboy
Jay Sanders – Bass : Andy Pond - Banjo
Abbott Vaughn Meader and the Blue Bunny Express – Rise In Love
Jay Sanders - Bass
Cort Armstrong and Blue Rooster – My Heart Is Fixed
Jay Sanders - Bass
AVAS – Live Vol. 1
Jay Sanders – Bass : Andy Pond - Banjo

Acoustic Syndicate – Live From The Neighborhood
Snake Oil Medicine Show – The Love Album

Acoustic Syndicate – Terra Firma

Snake Oil Medicine Show - BluegrassTafarI
Snake Oil Medicine Show – We Make It Nice
Acoustic Syndicate – Long Way Round
Wiseapple – Wisepple
Jay Sanders – Producer
Snake Oil Medicine Show – Rick & Rocky Film Soundtrack
The Overtakers – 'Pon Scenic Isle
Feturing Andy Pond, George Pond and Billy Seawell

Andy Pond – Andy Pond and the Cygnus X-1 Blackhole Bluegrass Boyz
Aaron Burdett – The Weight of Words
Jay Sanders – Bass : Andy Pond – Banjo

The Overtakers -Jamaican Roots Music

Andy Pond- CX-1
George Pond – mcWarpCosm -vs- mcE=MC squared

*most of these full-length EP's are played in heavy rotation on XM radio, Sirius Radio, and countless radio stations around the world.



What do you get when....? The art and music created by Snake Oil Medicine Show are vivid expressions of love. The positive vibrations the band members share with their audiences communicate a sincere belief that through unity, awareness, and spirituality, the world can change for the better. Cultivating a dynamic Art Party wherever they go, the variously textured music of Snake Oil Medicine Show finds Appalachian bluegrass and old-time coexisting in delicious harmony with early jazz styles, reggae, post-newgrass instrumental expression, and warped psychedelia. Snake Oil Medicine Show presents colorful, uplifting music that is humorous, yet serious. Bright paint colors on the canvas swirl together with fantastic costumes, positive energy, and a sense of loving family as the band members strive for new levels of artistic expression while consistently letting their roots show. Though the original purveyors of snake oil medicine may have been hucksters, the fine people of Snake Oil Medicine Show convey a heart-felt message of Peace Through Music that is absolutely genuine. So come on, y?all, follow your dancing feet and see what everyone is smiling about! - Patty O'Furniture Atlanta, GA 2004