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Trick Pony Biography

Last updated: 03/05/2002 11:57:04 PM

Remember the good old days when musicians played clubs, had a blast on stage, created a buzz, and then — after years of honing their act and gathering friends and fans — finally got a record deal? Trick Pony is just that kind of authentic band, a trio of musicians with natural talent who worked long and hard to achieve their dreams — together.

Spunky, energetic, mischievous, brimming with great music and an onstage presence that's irresistible, Trick Pony got its start when guitarist Keith Burns called his friend Ira Dean. "I was playing in Joe Diffie's band and trying to get out of the situation of being a side guy," recalls Keith. "I always wanted to write and play my own music, but I got sidetracked. So, I approached Ira, who was playing with Tanya Tucker at the time, about starting a trio."

When Keith heard Heidi Newfield's demo tape, he knew they'd found the perfect third vocal for the trio. "Keith and I hit it off immediately," Heidi says. "We had a lot of the same influences. We were both big fans of Waylon and the outlaw country stuff. When he told me about wanting to have a trio rotating lead vocals with one female and two male voices, I loved the idea. It sounded fresh and no one had done anything like it yet."

As it turned out, Heidi already knew Ira, and the trio's first meeting was an instant success. "All of our voices melded together well and our personalities mixed well. So we immediately put our band together and started working," Heidi says. While the group perfected their high-energy road show, they also began writing songs together.

"All three of us are writers and wanted to have our own sound and our own material," Heidi says. "Our favorite artists were those who wrote their own material and we fully intended to do that. When I was young, I'd flip over a band like Van Halen. Their albums would say 'All songs written by Van Halen.'" "They were a group," Keith adds. "They wrote together, they lived together, they played together, and I think that commitment is what brings the sound together."

Trick Pony's commitment to hard work certainly helped them create their own sound and become seasoned entertainers over the years. The trio plays an average of 200 dates each year, captivating many more fans with each performance. Their charismatic, incandescent personalities literally light up a stage-the fact that this threesome has a real good time and it shows, clearly gives them an edge.

For now, the band is just thrilled to have their self-titled debut album released, and to be out on the road working together. "That's the great thing about not being solo, we have each other to work off of. We know each other backwards and forward, so we're very comfortable working with each other," says Heidi. After playing together for many years and performing countless live shows, does Trick Pony have a group philosophy? "Yes," laughs Ira, "always get the insurance on the rental."