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Trick Pony Listening Party

In stores August 23rd, 2005.

01 - Aint Wastin Good Whiskey.wma
02 - Whats Not To Love.wma
03 - Its A Heartache.wma
04 - When I Fall.wma
05 - I Didnt.wma
06 - The Bride.wma
07 - Sad City.wma
08 - Stand In The Middle Of Texas.wma
09 - Senorita.wma
10 - Hillbilly Rich.wma
11 - Once A Cowboy.wma
12 - Cry Cry Cry.wma
13 - I Can Live With That.wma
14 - Maryanns Song.wma

01 - Aint Wastin Good Whiskey.rm
02 - Whats Not To Love.rm
03 - Its A Heartache.rm
04 - When I Fall.rm
05 - I Didnt.rm
06 - The Bride.rm
07 - Sad City.rm
08 - Stand In The Middle Of Texas.rm
09 - Senorita.rm
10 - Hillbilly Rich.rm
11 - Once A Cowboy.rm
12 - Cry Cry Cry.rm
13 - I Can Live With That.rm
14 - Maryanns Song.rm

Trick 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.”

Those 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 Heidi.

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 Heartache.”

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.”

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