Release Date: May 4, 2010
Record label: Columbia
Two Chicks take matters into their own hands With their day-job band on indefinite hiatus, the two Dixie Chicks who aren’t Natalie Maines started this side project to get some songs out of their system. Emily Robison takes the lead on vocals, while her sister Martie Maguire adds harmonies and fiddle jams. Though neither boasts Maines’ forcefulness, they invest these tales of severed connections with an emotional intensity that elevates even weaker tracks like “Fairytale” and “Then Again.
Court Yard Hounds are the Dixie Chicks minus Natalie Maines, whose 1995 addition transformed the group from Texas traditionalists into global stars. So is the Hounds’ debut a return to roots? Kinda: Quiet cuts like ”Skyline” emphasize their down-home vocals. But ”The Coast” is sunny pop, while ”Ain’t No Son” rocks harder than ”Goodbye Earl.” B Download These:Sheryl Crow-like The Coast at amazon.comHarmony-rich I Miss You at amazon.com See all of this week’s reviews .
With Natalie Maines uninterested in recording a new Dixie Chicks album nearly five years after the last, sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire decided to abandon her as a temporary measure: they formed the side project Court Yard Hounds, releasing an eponymous album in May of 2010. Co-produced by Jim Scott, who mixed Taking the Long Way, it sounds like the Dixie Chicks minus Natalie: softer, sweeter, lacking a sense of surprise, but not unpleasantly so. If anything, there may be a touch too much pleasantness in the Court Yard Hounds, with the record often gently swaying to acoustic instrumentation and relaxing on its smooth surfaces.
Debut album from Dixie Chicks pair that lacks songwriting pizazz. Nick Barraclough 2010 I’ve always loved the Dixie Chicks. In 1998, just as mainstream country music returned to its cyclical period of turgid, predictable and disposable output, along comes a trio of bright, enormously talented and, almost uniquely for the genre, politically correct women.