Picks and Pans Review: Catching Up with ...Heidi Newfield

updated 03/23/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 03/23/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>• The former Trick Pony frontwoman, 38, is up for five ACM Awards April 5 for her solo debut, What Am I Waiting For.

ON THE ACM NODS I thought I might be lucky enough to get a nomination or two, but they kept calling my name! It felt wonderful that the Academy welcomed me into the family on my own.

ON GOING SOLO To not have that safety zone was a little scary, but I was up for the challenge. I was ready to evolve. I still keep up with the [Trick Pony] guys. But we don't talk about [reuniting] at all.

ON HER COUNTRY IDOL Loretta Lynn was one of my heroes. I loved her natural approach to songwriting and singing. There never was a fake bone in her body. And she wasn't scared to write about things that were edgy. Any woman who had a song banned from country radio is pretty cool to me!

From Our Partners