Anyone who has known me since I was, oh, 10 years old will tell you that I’ve always been a huge Dixie Chicks fan. So, naturally, I was intrigued when I heard of Martie Maguire’s and Emily Robison’s side project, the Court Yard Hounds.

I pre-ordered their self-titled album online, and, when it arrived, I was definitely not disappointed. (Okay, I was disappointed that the CD drive on my laptop was broken, but once I got to listen to it, it was great. But I digress.) It’s definitely more chilled out than the Dixie Chicks material I’m used to, but the songwriting is fabulous. One thing that really pleasantly surprised me is how great Emily is as a lead vocalist. Martie also takes the lead on one of the tracks, “Gracefully”, which is one of my favorite tracks on the album.

Here’s the lead single, “The Coast”. It’s definitely catchy, and really captures the environment it portrays.

Martie and Emily (as well as Dixie Chicks lead singer, Natalie Maines) have also been great allies to the queer community. One of the best songs on the album is “Ain’t No Son”, a powerful song about a young man being disowned by his father for being gay.

I really applaud Martie and Emily’s courage in writing and recording this song. It’s something that a lot of queer people, especially youth can relate to. Any oppressed community needs allies, so it’s great that Martie and Emily are putting themselves out there.

I’ve always related to the Dixie Chicks, (and, by extension, the Court Yard Hounds’) music on a really deep level. It actually makes me wonder if any of them are neurodiverse at all, since the people I relate to tend to be more often than not. Either way, I love their music, and am really excited to see where the Court Yard Hounds go.