They've been playing around town a few years now, and Snit's Dog and Pony Show make no bones about it -- originality is overrated. They seem to take as much pleasure in turning the amps to 11 for a rousing version of "Down, Down, Down" from the first Dave Edmunds album as in playing their own songs. As on their covers-heavy first album, Three Chords and a Cloud of Dust, the new No Good Deed Goes Unpunished (this gig is its release party) finds Kevin Fitzpatrick and his like-minded mates sifting '80s vinyl and the rocking B-sides of their childhood. They faithfully dig into "Got You on my Mind" by Gulf Coast legends Cookie & Cupcakes and smoke through two little-remembered tunes by Scottish blues legend Frankie Miller. Their closing take on Professor Longhair's "Roberta" is especially choice.
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It's surprising, given Pony Show's penchant for faithful interpretations of faded classics, but the clutch of originals on the disc not only work alongside the classic nuggets, they manage to catch that working-man's-boogie vibe that informs the best work of Houston artists from Lightnin' Hopkins and Albert Collins to Roy Head and Rodney Crowell. If Pony Show guitarist Sam Dunlap's "Whiskey Highway" isn't cut from a strip of pavement along Telephone Road, my GPS is busted. Makes you wonder how much longer these guys will keep underrating that pesky originality.