Dixie Chicks side band, Court Yard Hounds, debuts at SXSW
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Dixie Chicks side band, Court Yard Hounds, debuts at SXSW

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 – Court Yard Hounds - the side project of Dixie Chicks members and sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire - will make their public concert premiere at the Americana Music Association's annual SXSW showcase, on Thursday March 18 at Antone's in Austin.

Court Yard Hounds will release an album on Columbia Records, on shelves May 4. The album of all new material will be available for pre-order beginning today exclusively through www.courtyardhounds.com with all pre-orders receiving an instant four-song download not available anywhere else.

will go on to do a string of intimate shows across the country. All Pre-orders will receive 4 album tracks instantly and get the first chance to purchase tickets for their upcoming tour. The Court Yard Hounds will tour North America throughout the summer. The group will follow their North American roll-out with releases and touring in Europe and Australia in the fall.

The duo will go on to do a string of intimate shows across the country. All pre-orders will get the first chance to purchase tickets for their upcoming tour with a North American tour slated throughout the summer. The group will follow that with releases and touring in Europe and Australia in the fall.

"It was time," said Robison. "We had been on hiatus from The Dixie Chicks for about a year, I was getting very restless and needed to be creative for my own sanity. And at the same time I was going through my divorce so it was very fertile ground for writing."

"Emily was just writing and writing all of these deeply personal and truly beautiful songs," said Maguire. "She was initially going to pitch them to other artists and I kept telling her no, no, you have to save that for you. It's too good and too personal."

Robison thought the songs could be new material for The Dixie Chicks. Realizing that The Dixie Chicks hiatus would last longer than originally anticipated, the sisters started recording their own project. Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines is not involved in the side project.

Robison is the lead vocalist and primary writer on most of the tracks, although Maguire takes over the lead on her own solo composition, Gracefully. The new music includes folk, country, rock and Americana and includes a collaboration with Jakob Dylan on See You in the Spring, the tale of a couple from the northernmost and southernmost parts of the country who find their biggest obstacle is climatic. The Coast celebrates the south coast, while Skyline was inspired by the view of San Antonio from Robison's loft. Faster paced songs range from the self-doubting levity of Then Again" to the outrage of Ain't No Son, a song about an angry, disapproving father. Fairytale speaks to romantic enchantment, while April's Love and It Didn't Make a Sound are break-up songs.

The SXSW line-up of the showcase is:

8 p.m. Jim Lauderdale

p.m. Elizabeth Cook

10 p.m. Hayes Carll

11 p.m. Court Yard Hounds

12:30 p.m. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals


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The Dixie Chicks certainly enjoyed their most controversial year ever thanks to a few words uttered by lead singer Natalie Maines, and they also had one of the most successful tours of 2003 as well. This 22-song live disc recorded somewhere during the U.S. part of the tour is clear indication that beyond the headlines, there was a tremendous amount of quality music going on. The mix put Maines' vocals way out front. She has always been a good singer, and this indicates just how good she truly is. ...


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