Dixie Chicks ©KLRU photo by Scott Newton

Dixie Chicks


The Dixie Chicks might not be ready to make nice with those who disagree with their political views, but they aren’t letting that stop them from making what many critics believe is one of their best CDs with Taking the Long Way.

Emily Robison, Martie Maguire, and Natalie Maines wrote or co-wrote all the songs on the CD giving Taking the Long Way an emotional foundation for music that “embraces the depth and fury of classic rock while remaining true to the trio’s Texas roots” (Rolling Stone). Entertainment Weekly wrote “with Maines projecting more passionately than ever, Taking the Long Way remains intimate and personal; perhaps she should tick people off more often.”

Taking the Long Way’s structure of intimate lyrics wasn’t the simplest path for the Dixie Chicks to follow. “It’s easier to write songs that are about other people,” Maines said. “It’s much harder to put yourself out there, but the songs are so much better and mean so much more when you can let yourself be vulnerable, and be honest with your emotions and your beliefs.”

The trio isn’t just stopping at honesty in music. A documentary about the past few years called “Shut Up & Sing” is receiving early Oscar buzz for its intimate portrait of the impact of Maines’ 2003 criticism of President Bush on the Dixie Chick’s lives.

“I learned I was ready to put my career on the line for something I believed in,” Maguire said. “Emily and I could have pressured Natalie to apologize, and I was so proud that I had that inner strength — that nothing is as important as standing up for what you believe in.”