Song of the Day #4,330: ‘Gaslighter’ – Dixie Chicks

I’ve written recently about several artists who are returning with new music this year after a long hiatus. But none of those hold a candle to the Dixie Chicks.

The trio’s last studio album was 2006’s Grammy-winning Taking the Long Way, the record that addressed lead singer Natalie Maines’ controversial comments about President Bush and the absurd reaction of country music fans. While the band suffered boycotts and death threats during that episode, Taking the Long Way managed to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 and Country charts, go double Platinum, and win Grammys for Album, Record and Song of the Year.

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Song of the Day #3,690: ‘The Long Way Around’ – Dixie Chicks

My daughters have recently rediscovered the 2006 Dixie Chicks album Taking the Long Way, so I’ve heard today’s random SOTD a lot lately. It’s the lead-off track to that fine album, which won five Grammys including Album of the Year.

This song, about leaving a small town to explore the world, reminds me of some of Miranda Lambert’s best work (at least thematically). It has the added element of responding to the controversy over lead singer Natalie Maines’ comments, spoken overseas, about then-president George W. Bush.

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Song of the Day #1,688: ‘Silent House’ – Dixie Chicks

dixieThe other day I was thinking about R.E.M. — that one could argue they called it quits about five albums too late. Certainly they released some worthy music in the post-Bill Berry years, but nothing that stands up to their best work.

I was reminded of that thought when this Dixie Chicks song popped up as today’s random selection. I don’t know if the Chicks have officially called it quits (Wikipedia suggests they haven’t) but their last album, Taking the Long Way, was released seven years ago and counting.

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Song of the Day #255: ‘Not Ready to Make Nice’ – Dixie Chicks

dixieCan you believe there was a time not too long ago when saying something mean about George W. Bush could result in death threats (to the person who said it, that is, not to George W. Bush)?

I guess when you say it shortly after 9/11 on foreign soil and you’re a country singer, you should expect a bit of backlash. But the firestorm that erupted over Dixie Chick Natalie Maines’ comment that she was ashamed President Bush was from Texas was unreal. Death threats, CD burnings, radio bans… whoa. And it was all captured in the excellent documentary Shut Up and Sing.

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