Burns and Poe (Keith Burns and Michelle Poe) are hardly newcomers to the music industry. Most recently Keith was part of Trick Pony and Michelle has been on tour with Dierks Bentley and Hank Williams Jr. playing bass and singing back up vocals.
Together they bring zing to country music with their humorous pokes and jabs at each other (some call them Sonny and Cher of country music). Their ability to combine their musical talents and wit makes for a new and stimulating sound. We spent some time talking, a lot of time joking and in between we discovered what makes these two country stars tick.
Bev: Appreciate you taking time to spend with me, how are you?
Keith: Fantastic, just got done doing a show, it was an ammunition gun channel. We will take anything we can get.
Michelle: We are really busy.
Bev: As long as they didn’t make you shoot at each other! You sound good together, everything is going really well. Where are you at with the project?
Keith: We have most of it done but we are going to go back into the studio at least one more time and cut some more things before we have to put the CD out. To be honest, we just keep out-writing ourselves. Just the other day, Michelle and I wrote another couple of songs. To her and me, they are better than anything we already have.
Michelle: Yes, I don’t know what happened.
Bev: It is good to have choices.
Keith: Yes, she rhymes really well with why, like Levi…
Michelle: Why? Like “guy”?
Bev: I can only imagine what it is like to sit in a room with you two when you write! It is probably non-stop. What is it like Keith coming from Trick Pony and Michelle; I know you have been out with a lot of different people. What is it like to be just the two of you on stage as artists?
Keith: I know from my end, it is fantastic. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Trick Pony and we had a great run but this is just one on one with Michelle and me, there is not that extra person in there that weighs in. I just have a little bit better chance of getting my way. Michelle and I are very fortunate to be at a perfect stage in our careers right now. She doesn’t want to be the lead singer all the time and neither do I. We love what we are doing and we love being on stage and we love making fun of each other. We are just having a blast!
Bev: What are your plans for when you go out on tour? Do you have a game plan ready or are you just focusing on the album right now?
Keith: As of right now, we are doing a lot of radio station promotions.
Michelle: We are doing a lot of charity things right now, also.
Keith: We have several shows coming up but I don’t have my schedule right in front of me. We are just waiting for the single to get out there and do what it is suppose to do!
Bev: So how did you two get together to be a duo.
Michelle: Actually, Trick Pony was looking for another lead singer after Heidi left to do her own career. James Stroud actually recommended me to audition. So I auditioned under the pretense that I was going to be Heidi’s replacement. I auditioned and got the gig and then the next day, Ira left. So we couldn’t really pull it off as Trick Pony and I really didn’t want to sing Trick Pony songs for the rest of my life when I had my own stuff I wanted to share. It just worked out the way it was suppose to. Keith and I kept writing and singing together and we brought it to our management and they said “heck, you all are an act, right?” We clicked personality-wise and it just worked.
Bev: Michelle, you were close to a solo career a few years ago, right?
Michelle: I was. The day or week that my single came out is the day that Dreamworks merged with MCA and Mercury and I actually got dropped from the roster. I had made the video and everything. I was real close.
Bev: So, third time is a charm. This is twice you have been in the saddle and twice you got dropped.
Keith: Yes, they dropped her on her head, that’s the problem.
Bev: I am excited for you guys. You sound amazing and have so much fun on stage. I am assuming you are getting your name out there with the social media websites, do you have Twitter accounts?
Michelle: We have the Facebook and Myspace and we are learning how to Twitter.
Keith: Michelle might be a Tweeter, but my problem with that is I am a very emotional kind of guy and I don’t really think an emotional guy really needs to be using Twitter. It is right there at your finger tips and you send stuff out that is right now, right on the tip of your tongue and I need that buffer area. I need that 5 minute cool down period to think about what I am going to say.
Bev: I know you have some other promotional ideas in the works, anything you can share?
Keith: We are also going to launch a special web TV on the website BurnsandPoe.com. Everybody needs to be looking for that. We just did a Cowboy’s theme song for the Dallas Cowboys. We did it with Cowboy Troy and we will have some footage of us and Cowboy Troy singing in the studio. We will finish our new video and it will be out soon. All kind of exciting things!
Bev: How is the Burns and Poe TV thing going to be set up?
Keith: The TV on our website will be snippets of things. We will probably add to it weekly, right Michelle?
Michelle: Goofy little tidbits of things we are doing.
Bev: Sort of like a YouTube thing?
Keith: In fact, you just gave me a great idea. On our website, our TV, we are going to interview other stars on our website! “Join Burns and Poe next week when we interview Bozo the Clown for our first show!”
Bev: What has been the biggest surprise since you came together? Has anything gone different than the way you thought it would?
Michelle: Nothing surprises me anymore.
Keith: Nothing in this business. We were on another record label and the day our single was suppose to come out, we had written the entire album, or so we thought. The very day the single was to come out, I called the record label and asked them if they were excited about our record shipping to radio and they said actually, we are closing our doors today. In this business, if I can say anything to someone wanting to get into this business, it is, you have to be able to adapt. You have to have amnesia, a very short memory for this business.
Bev: I can only imagine you two on the bus; it would be a non-stop “Laurel and Hardy”.
Keith: Our bus is going to be an open door. Between Michelle and I, we are two of the friendliest people you will ever meet. It is all about the whole experience of it and we are not going to stop until we get to Branson Missouri.
Bev: You have a few years left until you have to go to Branson.
Michelle: We will play it now! We will play anywhere.
Bev: Tell me about your single you have just released.
Keith: The single, we are very excited about the single. It is an up tempo slice of Americana, it is United States, Red, White and Blue, wind blowing through your hair, getting on a Harley, going to the beach, going to the ocean, forgetting about your worries, your cares and just having a good time. It is about being very thankful that we are in a country that we are able to do that.
Bev: Did you or are you making a video to go with it?
Keith: We are going to go up to Fort Campbell, Kentucky and shoot some footage. There is talk of doing the world premiere of the single and the video along with a show there for all the soldiers. We are excited about that. We hope to get to go overseas and play for the troops also; we would love to entertain the troops. This song kind of represents that. It has a whole lot of America in it, God bless the United States.
Bev: I know we do not have a lot of time today; I would love to jump on the bus with you one of these days and spend some more time. Thank you for our visit and best of everything to you.
Michelle: C’mon girl, let’s do it. We would love to have you come with us. Thanks for doing this for us and we want to see you again soon.
For more information on Burns and Poe visit www.myspace.com/burnsandpoe or www.burnsandpoe.com