February 14, 2008 - After a dozen years playing bass with Trick Pony, Ira Dean announced his departure from the band yesterday, saying it was time to start a new chapter in his career.
"I had the best time of my life with Trick Pony," Ira said. "Keith [Burns], Heidi [Newfield] and I traveled the country making the music we loved. This past year has brought on many challenges, and it is just time to step back and evaluate my life and career."
The challenges were numerous. Heidi left the group at the end of 2006 to pursue a solo career. Ira and Keith installed Aubrey Collins as the new lead singer, but she left after just a few months with the band. Ira's father, Owen Dean, died in November.
Ira has had songs he's written recorded recently by Montgomery Gentry, Gary Allan and Joe Nichols, and he's in the process of evaluating material for a solo album.