What do you do after you’ve spent two decades as part of one of the most outspoken, critically acclaimed, and commercially successful groups in country music? If you’re sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, you go back to your roots.
Rising from the ashes of the Dixie Chicks, Court Yard Hounds served as an outlet for Maguire and Robison to take center stage and really show off their songwriting abilities. Their self-titled debut, released in 2010, went gold after a year where they aggressively toured with everyone from Loretta Lynn to Keith Urban, keeping one foot in the pop arena with the other planted firmly in traditional Americana. This time around they’re taking a different, much bolder approach with their new album and extensive touring that includes a number of rock festivals.
Their sophomore release, this year’s Amelita, finds the duo finally getting comfortable in their own skin and establishing the fact that Court Yard Hounds is now much more than just a side project. Maguire told Country Weekly, “We aren’t just two ex-Dixie Chicks anymore; we’re a band and we like our sound.” This newfound confidence is easy to see in positive, summery new songs like “Sunshine” and “The World Smiles.” On the latter, Robison even makes a point to declare once and for all, “I’m through with singing the blues.”
Be sure to take the time to check out Court Yard Hounds when they play LouFest on Sunday afternoon. These songs are made to be enjoyed with friends on a sunny day, and what better venue than Forest Park? Until then, you can enjoy the summery sounds of Court Yard Hounds’ newest album, Amelita, on Spotify.