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Dixie Chick Duo Unveils Official Site; Offers New Songs

Our Country

For those fans who are eagerly anticipating the new project from Dixie Chicks sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison--I've got some great news for you!

Martie and Emily--a.k.a., the Court Yard Hounds--have unveiled an official website today introducing their duo status. You can listen to four of their new songs, preorder the album (which hits streets on May 4), see some updated photos of the gals, and even get a bit of perspective on the whole "Where's Natalie Maines?" situation.

According to the bio section on the site, the explanation is pretty simple: "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."

In case there is any question about the fate of the Dixie Chicks proper, the bio carefully notes: "Is this band a side project? They can live with that label. Or something permanent? Yes, that, too."

There's also a good amount of personal commentary from the sisters regarding their latest incarnation. Emily explains that she needed a creative outlet "for my own sanity," as she was going through her divorce with husband and fellow musician Charlie Robison during the Chicks' hiatus.

She also discusses her new role of lead vocalist for most of the album's songs: "It can be intimidating when you sing with someone with the power that Natalie has. Martie and I have always been harmony singers, so you take your place in the mix. It was a huge learning curve for both of us--because Martie sings lead on one song, too—-to figure out what your voice is, after you've sung so long just trying to blend."

Martie agrees: "Emily and I have that kind of personality where we're happy to support and happy to not be the center of attention...So with this album it was nice to discover that we had this other side to us that came pretty easily."

As for the music itself? Judging from the sampler of songs available on the site, the Court Yard Hounds seem to be leaning in a more straight-ahead rock-oriented direction than Chicks fans might expect. There's plenty of fiddle and soul in the mix, however. All in all, sounds pretty sweet.

Click on over to courtyardhounds.com, and as always--let me know what you think.

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