After much chatter and anticipation, Emily Robison and Martie Maguire of The Dixie Chicks, announced today via their website that they will release new music under the moniker Court Yard Hounds. The album of all new material will be available for pre-order beginning today exclusively through www.courtyardhounds.com with all pre-orders receiving an instant gratification 4-song download not available anywhere else. The CD is being released on Columbia Records, on shelves May 4, 2010.
To launch the new project, Emily and Martie will appear at SXSW for their first live concert as Court Yard Hounds. The sisters will take the stage during the Americana Music Association showcase at Antone’s on Thursday March 18th and will go on to do a string of intimate shows across the country. All Pre-orders will receive 4 album tracks instantly and get the first chance to purchase tickets for their upcoming tour. The Court Yard Hounds will tour North America throughout the summer. The group will follow their North American roll-out with releases and touring in Europe and Australia in the fall.
“It was time,” said Emily Robison. “We had been on hiatus from The Dixie Chicks for about a year, I was getting very restless and needed to be creative for my own sanity. And at the same time I was going through my divorce so it was very fertile ground for writing.”
“Emily was just writing and writing all of these deeply personal and truly beautiful songs,” added Martie Maguire. “She was initially going to pitch them to other artists and I kept telling her no, no, you have to save that for you. It’s too good and too personal.”
Emily took her sister’s advice to heart and held onto the songs, thinking perhaps they could be new material for The Dixie Chicks. Realizing that The Dixie Chicks hiatus would last longer than originally anticipated, the sisters dove head first into recording what is now the debut album from The Court Yard Hounds.
The Court Yard Hounds’ profoundly evocative songs tell stories woven into melodies that are both individual and universal. Robison is the lead vocalist and primary writer on most of the tracks, although Maguire takes over the lead on her own solo composition, “Gracefully.” The new music spans sounds of folk, country, rock and Americana and includes a collaboration with Jakob Dylan on “See You in the Spring,” the wry tale of a couple from the northernmost and southernmost parts of the country who find their biggest obstacle is climatic. Texas also asserts itself more contentedly in “The Coast,” which celebrates neither the east nor west but south coast, and “Skyline,” which was inspired by the view of San Antonio from Robison’s loft. Faster paced songs range from the self-doubting levity of “Then Again” to the fiery outrage of “Ain’t No Son,” a song about an angry, disapproving father. “Fairytale” speaks to romantic enchantment, while there’s no happily-ever-after in sight in the breakup songs “April’s Love” and “It Didn’t Make a Sound.”