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National News / Entertainment

Wednesday, 4 May, 2011 2:36 AM

New country duo Burns & Poe releases two-disc, self-titled debut album

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Keith Burns and Michelle Poe make up the new country music duo Burns & Poe.

by Jason Rzucidlo



NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Burns & Poe is a new country music duo made up of Keith Burns and Michelle Poe. These are not your average rising stars in country music. Both Burns and Poe have been touring for years as band members of Dierks Bentley, Steve Holy, Hank Williams Jr., Joe Diffie and with Trick Pony. They decided to leave their respective bands and come together to form this new duo. Music Row Magazine recently named the duo as its 2010 Independent Artist of the Year. Their new self-titled debut album, which consists of two discs, was released worldwide on April 26.

"The way I got started in the music business is I broke my ankle playing football in high school," Burns said in an exclusive phone interview. "I picked up the guitar and started playing music. I knew right then at age of 14 that's what I wanted to do the rest of my life. My musical influences, growing up, it was Elvis, Neil Diamond (early) and then I moved on to Waylon Jennings and Alabama and Tom Petty, Allman Brothers."

Poe said: "I grew up in a family band. Since I was eight years old, I have been playing professionally. That's how I got started. Keith and I met in Nashville, Tenn. almost about three years ago now. My musical influences were Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Barbara Mandrell, Steve Wariner."

How does it feel to be called the Sonny & Cher of country music?

"They're kind of like a variety show, which is kind of similar to what our show is on stage," Poe explained. "We dance back and forth, kind of tease and poke fun at each other. The audience gets involved and its sort of a fun-loving show. We don't take ourselves too seriously. I think that's how Sonny & Cher were. That's probably how we got dubbed the Sonny & Cher of country."

Burns added: "Somebody told me the other day, I read in a review, that we're not quite as cheesy as Sonny & Cher were. I loved that. I think that people out there in America, they don't get enough of that. They hear a lot of music that just goes out there and they're just singing. They're singing at the people and not to the people and for the people. Michelle and I, we just like to have fun. Hopefully, the crowd will come with us and have a ride with us."

What's the story behind your song "Don't Get No Better Than That"?

"That was a tune that our producer and I wrote that song," Burns said. "We just sat down one afternoon and wanted to write something uptempto and positive and fun about having a good time in America with your friends. We went in and shot the video for that. We went up to Fort Campbell in Kentucky and shot some footage up there with the soldiers. It just kind of turned into a dedication song for the men and women of our armed forces. It's just a fun song. I kind of rap the verses and kind of talk them."

Burns & Poe released their two-disc, self-titled debut album for exclusive sales on their website in October 2010. The album was released worldwide on April 26, 2011.

"It's a double CD, in the times when people are just releasing like six songs, we just wanted to give everybody their money's worth," Poe explained. "The first disc is Keith and myself by ourselves out front. The second disc is all duets. Then, we have an acoustic medley that we did live at a bar of three songs that we do. There's about 16 or 17 songs on the double-disc CD. We're really proud of it."

What was it like winning the Independent Artist of the Year award from Music Row Magazine?

"It was fantastic, it kind of gives a little validity to what we've been working for the last couple of years," Burns said. "It's our first award. So we were very proud of it. It's totally based on radio plays and it's not a popularity contest. We were the No. 1 played act in radio in 2010. It's a huge offer for us. In country music, you kind of live and breathe by radio, the amount of spins you get on the radio. We were very honored and very proud. They only gave us one plaque though. Michele and I keep having to fight over it."

The new country music duo will be performing in Jackson, Mich. on Sept. 25 and in Saginaw, Mich. on Sept 26.

"Those shows we're opening for Juice Newton," Poe said. "Those are two of the ones we're doing. I don't think I've ever sang any of her songs. I've just enjoyed her music."

Burns added: "Michelle and I are going to do acoustic kind of performances. It's going to be really cool. We really enjoy doing that. It's just her and I sitting there on a couple of stools. We go back and forth and we really bring everybody into our living room so to speak. We're looking forward to that and playing with Juice Newton. I'm excited about it."

Will this be your first time performing in Michigan?

"No, I've been everywhere about nine times," Poe explained. "I used to play with Dierks Bentley, Steve Holy and Hank Williams Jr. I've been lots of places. We've played Michigan many, many times."

Burns added: "Same thing, I've been from here to South Korea, Japan and back. First with Joe Diffie and then with Trick Pony. Now, Michelle and I are hitting those same spots, but like the club underneath that. We're playing the bar across the street from the place we used to play."

Where do you guys hope to be in the next five years as a duo?

"Hopefully still together and making money, paying the bills, doing what we love to do and affecting people with our music in a positive way," Poe said. "I don't really set my goals too high. I just want to have fun and love what I'm doing."

Burns added: "I feel the same. I think we just do what we do and everything else will take care of itself. We both to play, we love to sing, we love to write. It's what we do. We'll just continue to work. Hopefully, the people out there will book us and want us to take our show out on the road. It only takes three minutes to become a big name. We're just slowly, slowly moving up the ladder. We'll just keep doing what we're doing until we're 79 years old and can't do it anymore.

For more information about Burns and Poe, visit and


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Burns & Poe album cover




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