Trick Pony Listening Party
In stores August 23rd, 2005.
Pony - R.I.D.E.
The letters in the title of Trick Pony’s third album, R.I.D.E., stand for “Rebellious Individuals Delivering Entertainment.” But the music inside stands for a whole lot more.
It’s the next step in the evolution of one of country’s most popular bands, an album that expands the boundaries of what Trick Pony is and what it does—even as it refocuses the live-wire energy and barroom grit that first made stars of natural-born honky-tonkers Heidi Newfield (vocals), Ira Dean (bass, vocals) and Keith Burns (guitar, vocals) five years ago.
“This album is probably the most diverse of
anything we’ve cut yet,” says Heidi.
“It covers a lot of territory,” agrees Ira. “We’re a honky-tonking, whiskey-drinking, sawdust-on-the-floor band, but we can grow emotionally and musically, and cover new ground.” That growth took place over nearly two years of work in the recording studio, a period during which Trick Pony’s commitment to music and to one another was tested by business and personal turmoil.
“We lived this record, from the good times to the bad,” says Ira. “We
had to hurt a little bit to get those hurtin’ songs out, and love a little
bit to get those lovin’ songs out.”
life changes are reflected in the music, but never at the expense of—as
the title declares—delivering entertainment. “We’re
a high-energy band, but there’s more than that to us,” says Heidi.
“This album is chock-full of songs that show our personality – what
makes us tick.” And does it ever. R.I.D.E.
kicks off with “Ain’t Wastin’ Good Whiskey,” an attitude-laden
kiss-off in high Trick Pony style and one of several tracks that transfer
the group’s juiced-up onstage energy directly to disc. The secret? Keeping
things simple. “We set up in the studio just like we do live, and we
don’t overdub,” declares Keith. “We go right to tape, and hopefully
capture more of the live sound because of that.”
After “Whiskey,” the band moves swiftly
and skillfully from the glowing old-school ballad “When I Fall” to the
Branford Marsalis-arranged horns on “Cry, Cry, Cry,” the Latin sizzle of
“Senorita,” the SoCal “Sad City” and the startlingly intimate
closing tribute to Heidi’s late mother, “Maryann’s Song,” complete
with recitation from Kris Kristofferson. “We wanted to, in the true Johnny
Cash spirit, broaden the horizons of country music,” says Ira.
Between those musical extremes, “What’s
Not to Love” is a Bakersfield strut through new love, “Once a Cowboy”
heads for the wide-open spaces, “Stand in the Middle of Texas” sways in
the wake of hopeless love and “I Didn’t”—about a blowhard
boyfriend—is one of several tracks that showcase the group’s sense of
humor. (Also on the funny side are a couple of priceless interjections from
the legendary George Jones).
No matter which musical path R.I.D.E.
rides, what you hear is still what you get with this band. “We wanted
you to hear us, to hear on this record what we sound like live,” says
Trick Pony’s horizons have broadened
considerably since Heidi, Keith and Ira first joined forces in the
mid-1990s. Several years of intense touring followed, during which they
developed one of country’s most explosive stage shows and began exploring
their unique chemistry.
The trio released its hit self-titled debut
in 2000, followed by On a Mission
two years later. A string of hits has established them as radio powerhouses:
“Pour Me,” “On a Night Like This,” “Just What I Do,” “On a
Mission” and the two crowd-pleasers already spawned by R.I.D.E.,
“The Bride” and a winning cover of Bonnie Tyler’s classic “It’s a
During those years, the band’s music grew
right along with its personal dynamic. “We have a very honest
relationship,” explains Heidi. “We tell each other what we think. Keith
and Ira are great people, and that’s what it comes down to I would say our
relationship has evolved. I think being in a band has taught me more about
who I am personally.”
“We’ve become friends, and we have more
trust in each other now,” says Keith. “We know now when to be creative
with one another, and when to give each other a little space.“
At every step, the band’s musical progress
has inspired ever-growing loyalty in a burgeoning fan base. “I think
we’re getting better at finding out who we are as artists,” says Heidi.
“I think that’s all you can hope for when you go into the studio – to
evolve and outdo yourself.”
It’s all been leading up to R.I.D.E.
Give it a spin and you’ll hear the sound of Trick Pony declaring its
identity, character and intent. You might have a few laughs, or shed a few
tears—and you’re sure as hell going to have a little fun with a band
that’s earned its reputation for having a rip-roaring, party-rocking good
time with one another and its listeners.
“At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about,” declares Heidi. “Three friends making music together.”