Salt Lake City’s Tara Shupe started playing mandolin at age four and took the stage of Telluride Bluegrass Festival for the first time by age 16. Releasing her first solo Indie-Americana album in spring 2018, she set out to match the world class musicianship of her studio musicians locally, and Tara Shupe and the Ponies was formed. Heading up the band on guitar, mandolin and lead vocals, Tara brought in her brother and life-long musical collaborator Daron on banjo, Megan Nay, the 2018 Utah State Fiddle Champion with the voice of an angel, on fiddle, and long-time friend and former Puddle Mountain Rambler bandmate Matt Ligman on bass
Shupe’s vision for the band is an exercise in creativity, a place where her songwriting can be manifest into a musical moment listeners carry forward. “The unique challenge of bringing a song to an audience as honestly as possible through any performance scenario is something that drives me,” Shupe says. “It’s hard, so it doesn’t always feel great, but I always want to try again.” And it shows in her high energy band performances, bringing an amalgamation of the bluegrass they all grew up on to elements of folk, Country, rock, and old-time, creating a new flavor of Americana planted firmly in roots music, with subtle pop sensibility and a whole lot of soul.