Natalie Maines

SXSW Showcase reviews

Live Shots
by Jana Birchum

Natalie Maines

ACL Live at the Moody Theater, Wednesday, March 13

Dixie Chicks frontwoman Natalie Maines breaks her recording silence with the May 7 release Mother, jump-starting her solo career as a full-blown Southwest rocker. She previewed the album with her hourlong set at the austere Moody Theater, along with friend and project collaborator Ben Harper on lap steel and backing vocals. The album takes its title from a flinty cover of the Pink Floyd classic. Maines' rendition Wednesday night shook with desert-inspired sparsity, her powerful Western-tinted voice cutting through the original's murk clear as a bell. The sixpiece band held its water until the halfway mark, when the flood of shiny steel whine and well-placed licks broke forth. Harper's co-written cuts dipped equally into punchy guitar rock and hazy cowboy ballads, inking a clear signature onto the new material through tracks "Trained" and "Vein in Vain." The pièce de résistance Maines saved for the end, when a cello and lap steel added into the mix, played by legend and father Lloyd Maines, whom Harper greeted with a hearty and obviously awestruck handshake. "Take It on Faith" wound through gorgeous soundscapes, culminating with a pseudo-steel battle: Harper v. Maines. The decorated musician and producer took his place by his daughter trading fiery, explosive steel shreds with Harper for upward of three minutes.

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
All ATX Vol. 4
Low Down Violet Crown (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Dec. 2, 2016

Texas Platters
Walter Daniels
"Almost Got Hit by a Truck" b/w "My Mind Got Bad", "Voodoo Working" and "Stimulant" b/w "I Get Off on It", "Graveyard Shift" b/w "They Can Only Fill One Grave" (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, Dec. 2, 2016

More by Abby Johnston
Bonnie Bishop on Who She Is and Isn't
Bonnie Bishop on Who She Is and Isn't
The singer’s new album and how she almost walked away from music

Dec. 2, 2016

Dream Pop
Dream Pop
Four acts for the sleepy set

Nov. 4, 2016

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)