Updated: Aug 7, 2019
An investigative journalist from a nationally syndicated news program and a lead singer from a country band seem like an unlikely pairing to write a song. But a $20 wager made a decade ago resulted in Inside Edition’s Lisa Guerrero teaming up with Trick Pony’s Keith Burns to write and record a new single, Everybody Loves A Comeback.
Ten years ago, Lisa was at a military charity golf event along with country music artists, producers, and professional athletes when she jokingly commented, “How hard can it be to write a country song?” A producer challenged her and bet she couldn’t write a song in 24 hours. “When the guys went golfing the next day, I wrote what I thought was a song, but it was actually a very long poem.” The producer introduced Lisa to Keith Burns, who was a founding member of the Grammy-nominated country band Trick Pony.
Lisa gave Keith a “ream of pages” that consisted of a long poem about people making a comeback in their life. Each stanza or verse featured a different character -- including a divorced woman, a baseball player, and a soldier returning from Afghanistan. Keith says, “I took the Iliad and the Odyssey and made it into a song (laughs).” Keith sent Lisa a rough recording of the song, and it sat on her phone for nearly a decade.
That could have been the end of the story.
Then, a few months ago, Lisa was launching her new Youtube channel and thinking about the type of content she wanted to include. “One of the things I wanted to convey is that people have multiple talents, multiple skills, and they need to be brave enough to think outside their comfort zone. I thought about that song, and then I thought I need to be brave enough to call Keith Burns to see if A) he’ll remember me or the song and B) would he be willing to take a risk on recording this song because I think it will touch people’s lives.”
Keith hadn’t given the song much thought over the years. After all, it was just one of nearly 3000 songs he had written in his career. “But when she came back to me after 10 years and wanted to finish it, I wanted to really focus and make it something we could be proud of, especially if we’re gonna go into the studio and cut it.”
Lisa and Keith got together in Nashville and spent a full day re-writing the song to craft it into what Keith describes as “a 3 ½ minute movie” that tells the story of a young married soldier going off to war. Lisa, who is used to connecting with people on a personal level in her role as a journalist, found the song-writing process to be emotional. Keith says, “I’m sitting there going, ‘stop crying so we can finish this thing.’”
In the meantime, Keith had a recording session scheduled with the sister duo Presley & Taylor, who were working on songs for their new EP (which Keith is co-producing). Keith mentioned the idea of having Presley and Taylor sing background vocals on Everybody Loves A Comeback, and says their response was, “with Lisa Guerrero? Hell, yeah!” He also recruited the talents of his long-time friend, award-winning producer James Stroud (whose credits include Tracy Lawrence, Clay Walker, and Darryl Worley) to produce the military-themed love song.
As a fan of the Inside Edition journalist, Taylor says, “It was amazing to see Lisa experience her first time in the studio and to be a small part of that.” Presley adds, “We love our country and it is so special for us to be a part of a song that is a tribute to the men and women who protect us and keep us safe.”
TV crews from Inside Edition captured the songwriting and recording sessions for a news segment that will air August 16, 2019. On the same day, a longer documentary-style piece will debut on Youtube and the single will be released via all major digital retail and streaming outlets. Click HERE to pre-save Everybody Loves A Comeback
Portions of the proceeds from Everybody Loves A Comeback will be donated to Folds of Honor Foundation (dedicated to serving the families of fallen and disabled service members) and to a journalism scholarship fund through IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc.).
Keith is in awe of how Everybody Loves A Comeback came to life, and how smoothly the process went. “The stars kind of lined up for us, and in a two-month period, we cut the song. Things normally don’t work like that in Nashville. God works in great ways.” Keith says things really started to fall in place (with his life in general) a couple years ago when he changed his priorities. “I went from family and friends and work and then God, to just God period. First. Before my wife, before my mom, before my dad, before my kids. It’s God first.”
The group is excited about a USO tour that is in the works, and Lisa hopes to be a part of that. But, she adds, “I’m still a journalist and I’m not giving up my day job!”
FUN FACTS AND TRIVIA
Started playing guitar when he was 14, after breaking his ankle playing football. By age 15, he knew he wanted to play guitar for a living.
Musical influences: Elvis, Neil Diamond, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash
Heading back into the studio this fall to finish his EP
Touring plans include shows for the troops as well as Keith Burns and Friends tour in 2020
Former cheerleader for the Rams
Played “Sandy” in Grease at a local community theater in Orange County, CA (in the 80's)
Sang in her church choir
LA’s first female sportscaster