With Natalie Maines on hiatus, Dixie Chicks Emily Robison and Martie Maguire strike out on their own as Court Yard Hounds. Their debut performance was a professional affair augmented by a backing quintet, but by concentrating on new material from their album due in May, some in the crowd, a surprisingly just-less-than-full Antone's, grew restless with songs that tended toward the sleepy side of Sheryl Crow. Robison handled lead vocals on most songs, although the duo's enduring sisterly harmonies were present throughout, from the set opening groove "Delight (Something New Under the Sun)" to the country-rock-tinged "The Coast." That's the Gulf Coast, y'all. The high point came when the Hounds brought out Jakob Dylan to re-create the disc's duet "See You in the Spring." Dylan then joined in for a run-through of Rod Stewart's "You Wear It Well," regretfully the most animated point of the hour. One can infer that some of the material ("Then Again," "It Didn't Make a Sound") bore references to Robison's divorce from roadhouse ex Charlie Robison, but while the musicianship was superb, the subject matter seemed in dire need of kick that never appeared.
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