It has been a long time since the Dixie Chicks have made headlines in country music, but maybe that’s because they got tired of all that attention. You might recall a teeny-tiny, pretty minor little incident where Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines criticized then-President George W. Bush while performing in London, and the shitshow that then ensued. The Chicks' albums were burned, their lives were threatened and their careers were seemingly over. But praise the Lord and pass the ammunition, because the Dixie Chicks have officially reunited.
Earlier this summer, the Chicks announced that next year they would head off on their first tour in nearly a decade. Devastatingly, though, the tour is only scheduled to cover Europe in 2016, with dates in London, Glasgow and Dublin. But after the tour was officially announced, Maines hinted at coming U.S. tour dates via Twitter. If there ever were a time for a Twitter rumor to be true, it had better be this one. Please let the Dixie Chicks come back to Dallas.
It’s worth noting that the Dixie Chicks originated in Dallas. It was here that Maines joined forces with Martie and Emily Erwin to create the country world’s first majorly successful girl group. And majorly successful they were. Before their fall, the Dixie Chicks became both the best-selling all-female act in all of music, and the most popular country artists in the entire world. They continued on to even broader mainstream success in the pop and adult contemporary worlds with Taking the Long Way, the Chicks’ 2006 retrospective on the scandal that had fundamentally changed their lives and their careers.
Embarrassingly, the most credible threat to Maines’ life in the thick of the scandal came from Dallas. After the Dallas date of the Top of the World Tour, the band had to be escorted by police directly to the airport. In a 2006 Associated Press interview, Emily Erwin Robison said they had a real reason to be scared. “There was one specific death threat on Natalie. [It] had a time, had a place, had a weapon. I mean, everything ...‘You will be shot dead at your show in Dallas.'”
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But hopefully, we can put that all behind us, and Dallas won’t show its ass if (or when, rather) the Dixie Chicks come back around. Maines has promised us U.S. tour dates, and she certainly isn’t the type to shy away from playing a place just because the people there don’t like her. Besides, almost 10 years later, no one in Dallas cares enough about defending George W. Bush to threaten someone, or at least they shouldn’t. Dallas deserves to see the reunited Dixie Chicks, and we're praying our good prayers to make it happen, O Lord.
Now is the perfect time for the Dixie Chicks to come back. They’ve already contended with Toby Keith and deranged would-be domestic terrorists, which means they could easily kick Florida-Georgia Line’s ass back to whatever swamp in hell they came from. With just one ultra-feminist glare from Maines, Luke Bryan would be turned into dust. And then, of course, their music would shut up every single naysayer in the genre. You might hate Maines' politics, but you don’t hate her voice. You don’t hate “Goodbye Earl” and that cover of “Landslide.” You just don’t.
The individual Dixie Chicks have been making music since the group disbanded. Maines released an acclaimed solo effort, Mother, in 2013, and sisters Emily Erwin Robison and Martie Erwin Maguire have recorded some solid tunes together as Court Yard Hounds. But when they are all three together — Maines’ voice, Robison’s banjo and dobro and Maguire’s fiddle — the Chicks represent everything that is good and wonderful about country music. We desperately need a reminder that country music isn’t just mass-marketed and sexist schlock.
So please Lord, please, send the Dixie Chicks to Dallas. They don’t even have to record a new album. That would be great, but we’re not greedy. We just want to sing along that “Earl had to die!” one more time, and watch Maguire shred her fiddle damn near into pieces. We just want to see three artists who have clearly grown up and evolved, but still haven’t lost their edge, do what they do best: make the best country music of the past 30 years.