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Court Yard Hounds (Deluxe Version)

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Album Review

With Natalie Maines uninterested in recording a new Dixie Chicks album nearly five years after the last, sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire decided to abandon her as a temporary measure: they formed the side project Court Yard Hounds, releasing an eponymous album in May of 2010. Co-produced by Jim Scott, who mixed Taking the Long Way, it sounds like the Dixie Chicks minus Natalie: softer, sweeter, lacking a sense of surprise, but not unpleasantly so. If anything, there may be a touch too much pleasantness in the Court Yard Hounds, with the record often gently swaying to acoustic instrumentation and relaxing on its smooth surfaces. When guitars are cranked up, as they are on “Ain’t No Son,” Robison is almost buried underneath their steady thump, which isn’t the fault of the production: she’s too sweet a presence to cut through thick production. In other words, she lacks Maines' feistiness, something integral to the Dixie Chicks’ crossover, but she’s a consummate pro, possessing exceptional taste, sturdy songwriting skills, and the status to hire the very best studio musicians, not to mention having Jakob Dylan drop in for a duet on “See You in the Spring.” Perhaps the results are predictable, but they are satisfying, and it’s better to have new music from this duo than none at all.

Customer Reviews

Enjoyed it!

I purchased this album to support Emily and Martie, two-thirds of the amazing Chicks who have been the soundtrack to my life. (Thank you!) Truthfully, I miss Natalie's voice and personality, but I enjoyed this nonetheless. It's a bit Sheryl Crow lite with a down home twist. My favorite songs so far are "Then Again," "It Didn't Make A Sound" and "Ain't No Son." I hope all three of the Chicks continue to make music, both provocative and personal, for a very long time. <33

I like it!

Bought the entire album and listened to it last night. I originally bought it b/c I like the Dixie Chicks and b/c I appreciated that they made a gay friendly song (Ain't No Son), but now I like all the songs and will continue to follow them in and their 'side projects.'

Hound Music

I've been waiting for this for a long time and am not disappointed. This is not Dixie chick music, this is something different and I truely love it. I hope they don't get swallowed up by the return of the other chick. This is more real and listenable. Harmonies are spot on and the writing is superior. One of the best albums I have heard in ages. I hope they are working on their second. Subject matter is more approachable to the common person. Bravo.


Formed: 2009 in San Antonio, TX

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '10s

Three years after 2006’s Taking the Long Way, sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire were ready to cut a new Dixie Chicks album, but Natalie Maines wasn’t prepared to participate, so the siblings struck out on their own as the duo Court Yard Hounds. Robison stepped into the role as frontwoman for the group, and the pair retained the service of much of the Dixie Chicks extended family -- including Maines’ father Lloyd as a guitarist -- during the recording of their eponymous debut. Given this pedigree,...
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Top Albums and Songs by Court Yard Hounds

Court Yard Hounds (Deluxe Version), Court Yard Hounds
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Customer Ratings