Contemporary country trio Trick Pony
drew heavily from the sounds of the '70s, particularly outlaw country and country-rock. The group was formed by guitarist Keith Burns
and bassist Ira Dean
in 1996; the two had known each other for five years and were both working as sidemen for established artists -- Joe Diffie
and Tanya Tucker
, respectively. They decided on a two-man, one-woman format in which lead vocals would be shared, and Burns
' wife at the time discovered a perfect fit in California-born singer/guitarist/harmonica player Heidi Newfield
, who quickly joined the band. Trick Pony
spent several years honing their sound on the Southern club circuit and gradually incorporated more and more original material into their sets. They landed a deal with Warner Brothers in 2000 and issued their self-titled debut the following year. Their first single, "Pour Me," narrowly missed the country Top Ten, and its follow-up, "On a Night Like This," climbed into the Top Five; third single "Just What I Do" was another near-Top Ten. Trick Pony
was certified gold within a year of its release, and in 2002 they followed it up with On a Mission
, whose title track made the Top 20. R.I.D.E.
followed in 2005. Singer/songwriter Aubrey Collins
joined the group in 2007.