The Courtyard Hounds – Amelita

by Chuck Dauphin

courtyard-hounds-amelitaI will go on record as saying that one of the most talented acts in Country Music will always be the Dixie Chicks. That – despite how some in the business want to make it so – is not a political statement. They simply stood head and shoulders over just about everyone else in the format. And, though (when she sings) there isn’t a more captivating or unique voice than Natalie Maines, it was never all about her. She was very fortunate to have Martie and Emily right beside her – adding some exquisite harmonies and sterling licks on the fiddle and banjo.

The sisters released a fine album a few years ago under the name The Courtyard Hounds, and they are back with album number two. If you are looking for the same sound as the Chicks, keep looking. The Hounds are a little bit different than what you might expect. There are tinges of Country, Pop, Bluegrass, and a little dash of Rock and Roll, but it all comes out in a refreshing sound that will have you becoming equally a fan.

The disc kicks off with the pristine sound of “Sunshine,” which has a little bit of an attitude, but sounds so bouncy and happy that you will be singing along. Other standout cuts include the free-wheeling “Rock All Night,” the haunting story of “Phoebe,” as well as the emotional triumph of the album’s closer, “The Road You Take.”

The musical road that Martie Maguire and Emily Robison have taken is one with a lot of courage – knowing that their music will be compared to the Chicks. However, they more than satisfy on this disc, delivering one of the top musical moments of 2013!

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