The Dixie Chicks (Martie Erwin Maguire, Emily Erwin Robison & Natalie Maines) were having one of the best runs the music business has ever seen in the late 90’s and early 2000s. Selling some 30 million albums worldwide, Grammy awards, sold out mega tours and cross genre appeal that any artist would envy.
This all came to a screeching halt one night in 2003 during a concert in England when Natalie addressed the crowd with this bit:of social commentary concerning the upcoming involvement of America in invading Iraq
“Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.” – Natalie Maines
For some reason the world around them started to fall apart and fast! Their single “Landslide” went from #10 on the Billboard charts to #44 in less than a week and Americans, who believe in free speech, started calling radio stations demanding a boycott of The Chick’s music.
Many critics and fans have often said “It’s not really all about what they said but where they said it.” With the thought that you can criticize America in America but not outside of the country. Let’s see, rest of the world, your God given right to free speech only exists inside the borders of The United States? Good to know.
I know this has all been debated before but I thought it was good for another go.
The point of this article is to introduce you to two great albums by the members of The Dixie Chicks.
Court Yard Hounds
First is the sophomore album, Amelita, by The Court Yard Hounds. This is the country/folk with a bit o’rock side project of sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison.
Sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire keep on the sunny side for most of “Amelita,” concocting a distinct acoustic blend rife with life-affirming energy and clever, engaging lyrics to match. Robison sounds more confident as a lead vocalist. And the writing of the two sisters, sometimes with guitarist Martin Strayer, Robison’s recently wed husband, takes on a shine reminiscent of the blissful elation of early Chicks hits such as “Wide Open Spaces.” (Kitsap Sun)
Natalie Maines’ debut solo album, Mother, finds The Chicks front-woman going in various directions (with the help of Ben Harper). Spreading her musical wings as it were. I think this is a great avenue for Maines to take. Not as straight forward as The Court Yard Hounds’ Amelita, bur well worth the download. Her version of Pink Floyd’s Mother (title track, eh) is worth the price of admission alone!
“As if to prove that Maines isn’t self-indulgently dabbling for simple experimentation’s sake, a handful of songs would’ve actually fit nicely onto Taking The Long Way, which was famously touted as the comeback record for Maines and crew after their mainstream country banishment. The keyboard-paced “Free Life,” and the addictive soap-opera, “I’d Run Away,” in which the narrator offers up a way for her and her lover to start a new life together, feature rock arrangements that favor melody over sheer shredding, and of course, (Ben)Harper’s steel-guitar licks.” – Kelly Dearmore (americansongwriter.com)
So, there you go. Two albums from the three members of The Dixie Chicks that are worth your time and money.
And you can also see The Dixie Chicks in all their glory on their upcoming Long Time Gone tour starting in October. To get all the details, click HERE!
To find all things Court Yard Hounds, click HERE!Court Yard Hounds on Facebook, click HERE!
To find all things Natalie Maines, click HERE!Natalie Maines on Facebook, click HERE!
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