Dixie Chicks duo ready new side project

, Staff

Dixie Chicks’ Emily Robison and Martie Maguire, who are sisters, are returning to the spotlight without lead singer Natalie Maines, who remains on an indefinite hiatus from the band. The two will launch a new side project, dubbed Court Yard Hounds, later this year 

“Emily and I had the itch,” Maguire recently told Rolling Stone magazine, “and every time we’d call Natalie and say ‘are you ready?’ she wasn’t ready. She wanted a clear-cut break.”

Court Yard Hounds are expected to make their debut in March at the South by Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas. Their debut album, which was was recorded mostly at Maguire’s home studio in Austin is expected to be released in May with a tour reportedly to follow. The album is said to have a pop-folk flavor with Robison on lead vocals. The songs were inspired by her recent divorce from country act Charlie Robison. Jakob Dylan of the Wallflowers makes a guest appearance on the album for a song called “See You In The Spring.” 

As for the Dixie Chicks, Robison and Maguire hope the band will be back soon. Both claim they rarely see Maines, who lives in Los Angeles. “I’m hoping she’ll come out to one of our shows,” Maguire said. “Maybe it’ll inspire her to want to do music again.”

The Dixie Chicks’ most recent album was the 2006′ Taking the Long Way, which won five Grammy Awards.


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