Picture of Janet


Court Yard Hounds

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I’m not one of those people good at discovering music.

I want to be. But I’m not.

I collect people that can help me.

First there was Tracey, my best friend in high school. While I was still trying out the Beetles and worrying whether or not they might or might not be on drugs, and if it mattered whether they were or not or whether I listened or not, she introduced me to a whole other world, where the voices of Temptations and Commodores and Four Tops spun out of the record player. Soul music, yeah, that’s what it was. I wondered how she, people, discovered such things.

Then there was Jake, my oldest. Eclectic in tastes, by the time he got to college, I’d half way come around to country and he took me the rest of the way. “Janet (Yeah, he called me that when he wanted me to know he loved me), listen to this…”.

He was the first to introduce me to an all girl Texas band, the Dixie Chicks.

I pretty much liked everything about them. He and I marveled at the virtuosity of those two sisters and Jake having followed them early on, knew it was clear that the new lead singer made them what they were going to be.

Jake hadn’t went to Heaven yet, when the “Incident” happened and I don’t remember him or his brothers ever playing another Chicks song after it did. A lot of people never played another chicks song. A lot of people will never play another chicks song.

So you have to wonder. Was all that worth it, to them I mean, the Chicks? All that obvious talent, all that ability, was the loss to share that worth what the ‘Incident’ and everything cost them? If you’re the Dixie Chicks what scales do you weigh the pros and cons on if your God given talent is to make beautiful music?

I figured I had gotten my answer, when on an insomnia filled night some weeks back, I happened to run across the documentary, “Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing”.

The Dixie Chicks were always about strong women. They were always about extremely talented women. They obviously were about loyalty, although we could debate on whose side the loyalty fell on for each of those three strong women. But there was no doubt, those two really talented sisters, they were heartbroken. Mostly, all they had ever wanted to do was make music. And it was abundantly clear, they could never do it again as the Dixie Chicks.

Loyal to the one that brought ’em, the sisters never entertained replacing the reason they would never make music as the Chicks again.

But they couldn’t quiet their musical souls.

I have looked long and hard at the Court Yard Hounds. I can’t detect a bit of sarcasm, enmity or strife in the name. Only a bit of sadness, longing, and perhaps a touch of irony.

I’ll listen to you, Court Yard Hounds. Best of luck. I’m glad you found a way around the situation. Sometimes the right thing to do IS shut up and sing.

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