New Dixie Chicks, minus a chick

A new Dixie Chicks album is coming down the line, but only 2/3 of the Chicks will be present. Emily Robison and Martie Maguire are going out on their own under a new name – Court Yard Hounds. With Natalie Maines out of the picture, Robison is stepping up to sing lead vocals.

Both Robison and Maguire emphasized to Rolling Stone that the Chicks have not formally parted ways. “Emily and I had the itch,” Maguire says, “and every time we’d call Natalie and say ‘are you ready?’ she wasn’t ready. She wanted a clear-cut break.”

Natalie Maines’ father also insists the Dixie Chicks are not finished reports Paste. “I know that the girls seem really happy being out of the public eye,” he said in a statement. “They hit it so hard for so many years. The dynamics have changed so much now, because they’ve all got kids that are in school. The happy-go-lucky, just-take-off-and-go situation has definitely changed.”

The Court Yard Hounds debut record will be released via Columbia, but no date has been set.

I often get flak for diggin’ the Chicks as much as I do, but I stand by it. They remain to be one of the best acts I’ve seen live. Their studio albums are solid and they back them up in concert ten-fold. It’ll be interesting to see what Maguire and Robison can do without their leading lady Maines.

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