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about Jennings and Ponder

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Rutland Herald

Seven Days

Vermont Times



January 13, 2008
Sunday Rutland Herald / Barre-Montpelier Times Argus

feature article by Patrick Timothy Mullikin

It's All In Your Mind
Vermont storytellers put their spin on ancient tradition

Once upon a time there was a woman who came from New Mexico and man who came from Philadelphia. Each had an eye, ear and tongue for language and a love of its magic. Then one day, many years ago, they met ...

When Tim Jennings was a child, his mother used to sing him to sleep every night with the English ballad "Barbara Allen."

His grandmother told him folktales from the Brothers Grimm. There was no book, no illustrations. Just her voice and his imagination. The stories she told came alive in his mind.

As a child, Leanne Ponder grew up listening to the Saturday radio program "Let's Pretend." "The thing about hearing something rather than seeing it is that your brain goes to work on it. It is so much better," she says.

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Dec 27 2006
Seven Days
feature article / CD review by Pamela Polston

Wolf Tales
Tim Jennings and Leanne Ponder spin ageless yarns for new audiences

...While the tales are foreign in origin and seem to take place in the misty past, in their telling they are universal and timeless. Jennings and Ponder, partners in life and on stage, have mastered a brilliantly overlapping delivery — “I call it ‘narrative counterpoint,’” Jennings says — that enhances the stories’ drama, suspense and humor. They also punctuate the performance with concertina and harp, respectively, and vocalize auxiliary sounds such as a wolf’s growling stomach and the threatening snorts of an angry mama pig.

The pair is also visually arresting: Jennings, with chest-length blond hair and a beard, is elfin and animated; Ponder, also long-haired and usually long-skirted, is Earth-mother calm and graceful. His voice can boom and growl; hers is mellifluous and soothing. Together, they’re captivating.


How is it that the words “Once upon a time” can instantly focus the attention-deficient and charm the cynical? (more)

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Novermber 1994
Vermont Times
feature article by Amy Rubin

The Art of Relating
Tim Jennings and Leanne Ponder are co-conspirators in music, storytelling, and life.

The artist's struggle between creative work and romantic relationships is ageless. Leonardo d Vinci addressed it in his notebooks 400 years ago. He wrote, "If you are alone you belong entirely to yourself; if you are accompanied by even one companion you belong only half to yourself."

While the image of the solitary genius captures our romantic imagination, we will always be taken with artists who-- as half of a creative team with their significant other-- simultaneously court their muse and their lover. Burns and Allen. Hepburne and Tracy. Tomlin and Wagner. Although legitimate individual artists, both partners reach a level of achievement together which they could not have found alone. And we love the results.

Such is the case with Tim Jennings and Leanne Ponder-- co-conspirator in music, storytelling and life. After years of individual success, these two merge the best of their respective talents to create sturring evenings of collaborative art.

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November 1999
The Vermont Cynic
John Bounincontro

A Tale on Hallows Eve

What better way is there to spend Halloween night than sitting in a dimly lit, warm cafe, surrounded by people, nursing a mug of hot spiced cider or coffee, and listening to great music and scary stories? I'm not talking about your typical campfire ghost stories, I mean the stories that Tim Jennings and Leanne Ponder tell. The type that capture your imagination, catch your breath, and make you wish they would never end.

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Reviews of Recordings

Wolves! (storytelling)
World Tales (storytelling)
Weatherbeard (storytelling)

The Water Kelpie (music)
Sheefra (music)

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