The squeezebox has a special place in Texas musical history. A mainstay of polka, conjunto and zydeco, the “button accordion”, as it is more properly called, has done much to define and unite the diverse peoples that built the post-Columbian version of the Lone Star State.
Ponty Bone grew up in San Antonio, also home to the famed accordionist Flaco Jimenez, and started squeezing at a young age. He played with Joe Ely in Lubbock for a number of years before assembling Ponty Bone & the Squeezetones in the eighties. Since then he’s played with pretty much everybody on the Texas scene, including Ely, Terry Allen, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Robert Earl Keen, Bruce Robison, Terri Hendrix, Omar & the Howlers, Tommy Hancock, Jesse Taylor, John X. Reed, Angela Strehli, The Texana Dames and even Timbuk 3. Bone has also appeared with luminaries like Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Clash, Linda Ronstadt and Ronnie Lane. Like they say, a sober accordion player is hard to find.
In 2001, Ponty and the band released Fantasize, a primer on the music and mischief that can be loosed by a squeezebox in the hands of a talented Texan.