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.” Documenting Robison’s recent divorce, Court Yard Hounds
takes the form of a Texas travelogue, starting in San Antonio with the plaintive “Skyline” before trekking south for “The Coast” and “See You in the Spring” (a sober break-up duet with Jakob Dylan). It can be a harrowing road trip, but the album reaches a poignant destination in the closer “Fear of Wasted Time,” an ode to the joys and rewards of mother- and sisterhood.