Court Yard Hounds
July 15, 2011
The Chicks haven’t disbanded, but Court Yard Hounds are making new music with those unique Dixie Chicks harmonies and hooks.
As the mainstays of the Dixie Chicks since they formed the group in 1989, Martie Maguire and Emily Robison have been familiar faces to many millions of fans, yet just a little mysterious, content as they were to cede the lead vocalist position to Natalie Maines and remain music’s most recognizable sidewomen. Chicks fans couldn’t help but hear those ever-present harmonies and wonder if Emily and Martie might ever take the lead. That’s just what they’ve done in their newly hatched incarnation as Court Yard Hounds, with a gorgeously assured debut album that has the siblings sounding like they’ve been fearless frontwomen all their lives.
The Dixie Chicks were last seen triumphing at the Grammys in early 2007, winning the exceedingly rare trifecta of album, record, and song of the year for Taking the Long Way and its flagship single “Not Ready to Make Nice.” Something else they weren’t ready to do was make records or tour again. All three Chicks enjoyed family time away from the media glare—but after a while Maguire and Robison felt refreshed and rarin’ to go, which still left them one singer short of a quorum. The usually bold Maines’ reticence to put herself through the grind again had the effect of pushing her slightly shyer bandmates out of the nest.