Black Music Matters Festival

Trick Pony

R.I.D.E. – 2005 (Curb)

Reviewed by Rick Bell

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CDs by Trick Pony

Saddle up and strap in, buckaroos; Trick Pony delivers arguably their best ride ever.

The title of their 14-cut third album stands for Rebellious Individuals Delivering Entertainment, and boy howdy, this trio delivers with all the venom of a coiled up rattlesnake. Heidi Newfield Johnson's throaty vocals turn on a dime from the wink-and-nod "The Bride," struts through "I Can Live With That" and waltzes through Matraca Berg's "Stand in the Middle of Texas."

The trio steps from the safety of the honky tonk as bassist Ira Dean and guitarist Keith Burns contribute the vocals on Los Lonely Boys' "Senorita" and the amped-up "Hillbilly Rich," a tale of a redneck who hit it big on the lottery.

The assists from country legends Kris Kristofferson and George Jones, and "Maryann's Song," the touching tribute to Newfield Johnson's late mother, reveal a depth not normally associated with a party band line Trick Pony.

While this may Trick Pony's wildest ride yet, it's apparent they still appreciate the sunrise too.