Court Yard Hounds - 'Court Yard Hounds'

I was first introduced to country music through the music of the Dixie Chicks. After a few years of being together and making music they disbanded and two of the original members formed the band Court Yard Hounds. It has always been well publicised that sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire have always played music and this comes across in their music. Martie plays the fiddle and her skill in this comes across in a lot of the songs on their album, as does Emily's banjo playing.

When the girls were in the Dixie Chicks it was always the third member of the group, Natalie Maines that was the lead singer. This has been changed dramatically for the set-up of Court Yard Hounds as Emily Robison takes on lead vocals for the first time. Emily's voice is very smooth and lends itself well to the different tempos of their songs, although Martie sings lead on the eighth song in the album, Gracefully.

Emily and Martie have written all of the songs on their album and they are very easy listening. The Court Yard Hounds had one tour date in the UK last year and demand was so huge for that particular date that they had to add another which just serves to demonstrate the excitement in England for this group. Their music is very different to the Dixie Chicks and this has meant that a lot of their fans have not translated to the Court Yard Hounds but they have made their own fans.

I have always loved the Dixie Chicks and I feel Court Yard Hounds appeal to a very different end of the spectrum. I'd have to give them three stars.

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