So it is time to level with you guys, sometimes as a mucho famous blogger I am asked to review a product. Very much usually since my tastes are far outside the average, it's not really perfect enough for me to think it would work. Recently the stars lined up and I was asked if I wanted to have a preview listen and chance to review the new Court Yard Hounds album, to which my answer was HECK TO THE FLIPPIN' YES!
The Court Yard Hounds is the band of Emily Robison and Marty Maguire, sisters and former members of The Dixie Chicks. The Dixie Chicks growing up in my family was the be all end all. I think of their albums and see driving with high school friends, singing with my Dad at our house on the weekends and going to their huge concerts in Dallas where you saw everyone you knew. They represented grit and girl power, and my parents loved that we loved women who were genuinely working hard and showing their talents from our hometown. Even when Earl had to die.
|Thank you, Marty Maguire, for making my mom be totally right when she said I would regret giving up fiddle when I was nine. Who knew you would make it look so cool?|
Like all good things the reign of The Dixie Chicks ended too soon for my taste, but I still put them heavy in the rotation every time it gets to be "roll down your windows" weather in Dallas. The Court Yard Hounds new sophomore album Amelita is definitely a departure. It has the same playfulness of The Dixie Chicks but a little sweeter, thanks to softer vocals without Maines leading and putting more focus on the gorgeous harmonies that only blood lines can create. Overall it is a great album for people who loved bands like The Dixie Chicks and The Wreckers earlier and have been looking for a woman's group to show their force in the current folk revival.
Sunshine is the first radio single off Amelita, and getting lots of play at Starbucks and on my favorite radio station, KXT. I feel like I am hearing it everywhere I go, which is a good thing! It is a great example of how fun loving and insightful Emily and Marty are and their style of playing lyrics and melodies against each other. The song talks about that person we all know who loves to get people down, to the point where it makes it almost tauntingly fun to stay upbeat in his or her presence.
The title track Amelita shows off strong classic folk storytelling about a girl who sells herself for the hope of being the next big deal. You'll get to know and picture Amelita just like you can still see Mary Ann and Wanda from the days of Earl.
Still girly and fun. the lyrics are so relatable to all women, whether it's your present state or memories of a former flame. Below are some of my stand out lyrics from driving around with the album all week.
"I fooled a friend and I got your number, I'm old fashioned so I wait and wonder. We go on hypothetical dream dates. I hear you laugh and I see your sweet face." - A Guy Like You
"In the bar we sit and talk but you don't make sense. You're tongue tied, we both know why. I scare you half to death." - Watch Your Step
The last song on the album, The Road You Take, is one of the most beautiful. "Lines and gravity it's the price we pay to be here in the end, and we all live with our mistakes. In times of clarity, I see the bones we break aren't always going to mend but no apology's too late."
I would listen to this album while writing, on a road trip or playing at home with my (future) children. Emily and Marty have kept the spirit of The Dixie Chicks evolving into a new art with The Court Yard Hounds, and their new album Amelita left me with the feeling you get after reconnecting with a close friend that's changed in many ways but mostly for the better.
It was my classic Dixie Chicks favorites that brought in the sounds of summer, and I love Amelita for sending us back to the goodness of routine and into fall. I loved it, and if you want to pick it up you canbuy the album here on Amazon.
Any new albums that you are loving right now?
I participated in this campaign for One2One Network. I received a free copy of the CD to facilitate my review. By posting, I am eligible for incentives. All opinions stated are my own.