Post by 43dudleyvillas on Feb 8, 2010 12:02:13 GMT -5
Country station Y101 in Ottawa premiered a song called "Coast" by the Court Yard Hounds this morning. GudSpellur (heh) put a cap up on YouTube. It cuts off about ten seconds of the outro.
Sonically, "Coast" is an extension of Taking the Long Way. The slide guitar solo reminds me of the one in "Voice Inside My Head." Emily's voice will draw a lot of comparisons to Sheryl Crow's (and the song has that coastal California rock sound), but Emily has a gentler and more emotionally vulnerable phrasing tendency that I really like. Martie sounds great on harmony, as usual.
I've only heard the four songs exactly once, and they didn't grab me at all, I must say. Maybe they're growers, we'll see.
I've really liked "Ain't No Son" and "Fear of Wasted Time" from the get-go. "Fear of Wasted Time" is an intimate and completely emotionally credible confessional from a working mom dealing with missing out on life as she's on the road (and fearing that she's missing out even when she's there at home). "Ain't No Son" has the rootsy sound I was hoping for from Emily and Martie, not to mention some lyrics that feel like a punch in the gut. As I was saying yesterday in the Country forum, the part of the song that goes "Stranger, stranger on the wall/When the neighbors come to call/I just don't know what to say/So I put you away" gives me chills -- it recalls "Mirror, mirror on the wall," which conjures the notion of how the father expected his son to grow up in his image (so he could look at his son as if looking in the mirror), and it only heightens the viciousness of his prejudice that he rejects his son because he is gay. I also think there is a real immediacy to the conversation with lines like "Don't think I'm gonna get you up off your knees" giving a sense of just how badly this conversation is going and how the son is taking the rejection.
I liked "Coast" well enough, mostly because of Emily's phrasing. But I'm relieved it isn't the song I like best among the four. "Delight (Something New Under the Sun)" has grown on me, though I still feel like the beginning drags for too long before the song gets interesting (and then it becomes a Beatles-esque pop song, which I didn't expect).
In any case, the Court Yard Hounds have been releasing some videos to give insight into what motivated the new music. The first episode is up at The Boot and features instrumentals from a song not yet heard, also spending some time on the chemistry between Emily and Martie. The second episode is up at Yahoo! Music and tells us a little about where the name Court Yard Hounds comes from, while also featuring clips from another as-yet unheard song.
I'm sorry if this is a joke that I'm just not getting, but...huh? The song is in no way a reflection of Emily's life.
"Ain't No Son" starts with a son coming out to his father (that's the bluegrassy part), and then the rest of it is the point of view of his angry father (it starts "He said, 'You ain't no son to me...'"). And if you read this interview, you'll know what inspired the song:
On the opposite end of the relaxation scale is the angry "Ain't No Son." This song's bluegrassy intro is from the point of view of a disenfranchised young man. The rest of the song, as it shifts into rocker mode, describes the narrow viewpoint of his angry father. The lyrics aren't specific about the exact points of family contention, but Robison had a story in mind.
"I turned the TV on, and it was A&E or one of those documentary kind of shows about these poor teenage kids who are devastated that their parents won't let 'em stay in the house because they found out they were gay," she explains. The lines, 'You ain't no son to me/Eight pound baby boy I bounced on my knee' were around from the very beginning. That idea, how can you have kids and love them so much and one day decide not to -- it just boggled my mind."
I think the language chosen makes it pretty clear that the story is indeed a son coming out to his father, so I think the song is more specific than Chris Willman suggests. I mean, the song has a lyric that says "Until you walk the straight line, you'll be out on your own" and one that says "Oh, forget it, girls, there ain't no use in tryin'."
Post by 43dudleyvillas on Mar 30, 2010 15:46:37 GMT -5
I don't like posting consecutively in a thread, but this one hasn't seen any action in about four weeks, so here goes:
With thanks to lyrichord, you can download the studio version of another Court Yard Hounds song, called "It Didn't Make a Sound" for free at Amazon, along with a behind-the-scenes video. You can stream that video without downloading it if you scroll down the page linked.
That song is another winner for me, although I think the group singing of the "hey yeah" is introduced too soon and makes the first two passes at the chorus feel overstuffed. The studio production feels like it is trying too hard to be cheeky as a juxtaposition to Emily's gracefully aching vocal. I like the juxtaposition in principle, though, as it fits the lyrics' "don't think you're surprising me with this kiss-off" message.
Here is a live performance of "It Didn't Make a Sound" from SXSW (this is from KGSR's Four Seasons broadcast last Thursday). The Court Yard Hounds also performed "April's Love" in the same show, and that cap is also on YouTube, also thanks to AfricamAddict.
Additionally, Nancy of Chicks Rock Chicks Rule was kind enough to cap and upload audio of two of the Court Yard Hounds' sets at SXSW. She posted them here. Among the audio caps is that of a song called "Then Again," which is one of my favorites among the songs I've heard so far. It's a song about a woman who, for reasons she doesn't understand, stays with a man she dislikes, and the song has a whimsical "what the heck am I doing here?" feel to it.
Moreover, this news item from Columbia confirms that "Coast" is the lead single from the project. I don't think it is anywhere near the best song on the album, but it might be the one with the most mainstream appeal.
The Dixie duo will be releasing their self-titled debut as Court Yard Hounds on May 4 and plan to tour in support of it. But the Chicks, which have been on hiatus since touring to support 2006's Grammy Award-winning "Taking the Long Way," have announced an eight-date stadium run in June with the Eagles. Robison and Maguire tell Billboard.com they don't think the Dixie Chicks shows will hamper Court Yard Hounds' rollout.
"One had nothing to do with the other," Robison explains. "When (the Eagles shows) came up we were in the middle of planning promotion for (Court Yard Hounds), and we were like, 'Is this going to derail us?' But at the same time we were so excited to do it because of the opportunity it represents. And it answers the biggest question, the elephant in the room, which is 'Have the Dixie Chicks broken up?' To us it's almost the perfect, 'Shut up! Stop asking! Believe us when we say we're still together, we're just not working right now.` So it just kind of helped us do that."
Robison wrote all but one of the songs on "Court Yard Hounds," which the duo co-produced with Jim Scott and features contributions by Lloyd Maines, Natalie's father, and a duet with Jakob Dylan ("See You in the Spring"). Court Yard Hounds are booked for a June 18 appearance at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and will play on some of Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair dates during the summer, and more dates will be announced in the near future. Meanwhile, Robison and Maguire plan for the group to be a going concern parallel to the Dixie Chicks and have enough additional material written during the first album sessions to make for a good start on the next album.
The Dixie Chicks are getting together to record again -- but not like that.
The Texas trio, which has been on hiatus since 2007, has been tapped by actor-comic-musician Steve Martin to sing on a track for the followup to his Grammy Award-winning 2009 bluegrass album, "The Crow: New Songs For the 5-String Banjo."
"It was right up our alley, because we are looking for projects that are fun and exciting and different, and that's just something that's perfect," Martie Maguire -- who's currently on the road with her sister and fellow Chick Emily Robison in their other band, Court Yard Hounds -- tells Billboard.com. "Of course we said yes to begin with, but then he sent the song and it's really good, so we're really excited. I think we assumed we were going to play, but he's got this amazing bluegrass band (the Steep Canyon Rangers), so we're just harmonizing."
But Maguire and Robison are circumspect as to whether the Martin project will jump-start some future Chicks activity and perhaps lead to the group's first album since 2006's "Taking the Long Way."
"We just kind of [take] one thing at a time as far as opportunities from the outside," says Robison. "I think we're excited to start writing again and getting new songs for whatever project they happen to be for. But [the Chicks] had a lot of fun in June playing with the Eagles, so I would dare say that in the next nine months we'll be doing something, one way or another."
Meanwhile, Court Yard Hounds is keeping Robison and Maguire fully engaged. The sisters and their band are currently on a short run with Lilith Fair and also have a handful of additional shows booked. They're also planning an Australian tour for late October and November.
Meanwhile, in August they plan to film a video for "See You in the Spring," a collaboration with Jakob Dylan that's slated to be the next single from the "Court Yard Hounds" debut album -- which debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 in May. So far, they say, the duo is pleased with how the endeavor is being received.
"It's really good," notes Robison. "We wanted to do this to have fun, without any expectations other than to pay for itself and have fun, and I think we've reached both those goals. We feel very lucky in a lot of ways."
Robison says the hardest thing about being in Court Yard Hounds is having just one album from which to construct a set list, although the group has been playing an unreleased song tentatively called "Caged Bird," as well as a cover of Joni Mitchell's "This Flight Tonight."
And, Maguire adds, being able to keep doing music keeps the two of them primed and in good working shape whenever other opportunities comes along.
"I feel like Court Yard Hounds keeps us idling," she explains. "I think Emily and I function better when we're continually making music and playing, and this is a way to keep doing that. So we're idling, and when Natalie says jump, we're ready to jump and do the Dixie Chicks thing again, too. It makes us all fulfilled and happy that way, I think."
Today festival organizers announced the new Saturday headline act for the 2013 Craven Country Jamboree - the Dixie Chicks.
"We knew we had to find something extra special to replace Lady Antebellum when the band canceled their summer dates due to Hilary Scott's pregnancy," said Kim Blevins, Director of marketing. "We are extremely excited that we can offer a taste of country music royalty to the Craven Country Jamboree. And it won't be a regular show - not only will our fans see Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, the three original members, this is a greatest hits package. The Craven date will be one of the only opportunities fans of the band will have to see them live. This is an incredibly special moment for Chicks fans and the Craven Country Jamboree."
The Dixie Chicks are the highest selling female group of any genre. They hold the distinction of being the only country music group in history and the only female group of any genre to earn back to back Diamond awards for selling over 10 million albums. As a greatest hits show, their performance will be one big sing-a-long as with well-loved anthems like "Not Ready to Make Nice," "Wide Open Spaces," "Cowboy Take Me Away," "Landslide," "Ready to Run," "Good-bye Earl," and "Sin Wagon" to name but a few.
The Dixie Chicks join country superstar headliners Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, Scotty McCreery, Phil Vassar, Brantley Gilbert, Doc Walker, Sawyer Brown, Chad Brownlee, Gloriana, High Valley, Small Town Pistols, Jason Blaine, and country legends Randy Travis and Bill Anderson. Also returning is the funniest duo in comedy - Williams and Ree.
"This is the biggest, deepest lineup of any festival in Canada," said Blevins. "We always strive to bring something for everyone from the biggest names in country music, to the best Canadian acts, to amazing classic country, all at the lowest price."
Tickets are still available for $159. Get the World's Greatest Christmas Gift for the biggest country music fan on your list. Visit cravencountryjamboree.com, call toll-free 1-866-388-0007 or visit The Pump, The Tap or Village RV in Regina, or any Cowtown location.
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