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Trio hopes it is not a one trick pony

By Rick Teverbaugh, March 2001

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"We spent five years going up and down interstates playing mostly in honky tonks," says Burns. "We have a feel for that music." The group plays mostly more traditional country while on the road together.

Perhaps some of that feeling rubbed off from an experience in recording "Big River," written by country legend Johnny Cash.

Dean had the biggest connection to putting the plan together. "We wanted to cut a song from the Sun Records days," he says. "When I first moved to town and I was starving, Johnny Cash's son snuck me in through the back of their house and gave me a place to sleep. Johnny and I became friends, and I told him if I ever got a record deal I'd like to record 'Big River' and asked him if he'd sing it with me. When he said yes, I'm sure he never believed I'd actually get a deal."

"When we got the deal, I called him up and told him about it and asked him about recording the song. Then I just waited. He says to name the time and place. Our producer put in a call to Waylon Jennings, and he agreed to join in."

When Cash arrived for the recording session, he asked what key they had recorded the take. They had a surprise waiting for him. "I told him we hadn't recorded it yet," says Dean. "'We're going to track it with you. We're going to record it live. After we were finished, he says it made him feel like he was 18 again."

"Of all the songs, and they're all special to us, 'Big River' is the most special," says Newfield. "We just ran through it a couple of times. That's my scratch vocals on there. There were no overdubs."

The entire experience left a very warm spot with all three members of the band. "They were just incredible," says Dean of Cash and Jennings. "I'm still in shock about how easy the whole thing went down. Even when we hear the recording, I don't think it has sunk in yet what we accomplished."

There even a tip of the hat at the start of the cut to Cash's signature opening of "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash."

So now Trick Pony is out on the road giving people a taste of the group's live show and drumming up business for the debut disc. The second single will be "On A Night Like This," somewhat of a challenging choice considering it is one of the few songs not written by any member of the band and because Newfield speaks her way through some of the tune's most important lines.

"We've played so many tour dates that we're real comfortable out there," says Newfield. "Our shows are a roller coaster kind of like our album. We might play a Fleetwood Mac or Waylon Jennings cover, but mostly we just play our album."

"We've got other material we do that just didn't make the first album for one reason or another," says Burns. "Maybe a song was bit too much like another we already had on the album. So people will hear some material new to them even if they've got the album."

With strong writing, tight vocals and a infectious enthusiasm for the music, Trick Pony seems determined to avoid anyone ever having to put the number "1" in front of the group's name.

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