Itching for some good smooth country music that will have you aching for a warm summer evening at a Nashville honky tonk? Take a listen to Trick Pony's latest effort R.I.D.E. and you're almost there.
Trick Pony, America's orneriest and feistiest barroom-rockin', butt-kickin', hard-core honky-tonk band, looks you in the eye and lays its new album, R.I.D.E., on the table. And in this game, everybody's a winner.
But that's just the first hand. R.I.D.E. mixes their dancin'-and-drinkin' sound with songs that reflect the challenges that Ira Dean, Keith Burns, and Heidi Newfield have confronted over the past couple of years.
Plenty of artists have been derailed by such events -- positive and negative, personal and professional. But maybe they haven't been toughened enough on brutal club tours, or forced to handle heights and depths of emotion within one brief stretch of months, or drawn together in ways that only the tightest bands can understand.
And nobody puts on a show like these three -- certainly no one woman put on a show like Heidi before she crashed onto the scene, with her headfirst stage dives to body-surf audience waves to the bar for one fast shot and then back again in time to hit the next verse.
Trick Pony has done all that. They're still doing it. And judging by the passion and pain and celebration and flat-out, honest-to-God country soul of R.I.D.E., they'll be doing it long, long past last call...