Dixie Chicks Slated to Release Highly-Anticipated Fourth Album TAKING THE LONG WAY on May 23, 2006
All Fourteen Tracks Co-Written by the Dixie Chicks and Produced by Rick Rubin
Superstars, renegades, innovators, heroes, villains, and moms -- over almost a decade, the Dixie Chicks have grown from a band into a phenomenon. Now more than ever, the eyes of the world are on them, and with TAKING THE LONG WAY, they come out swinging, surpassing the pressures and expectations history has placed upon them. The nine time Grammy-Award winning Sony Recording artists will release this highly-anticipated fourth album (Open Wide/Columbia) on May 23, 2006.
With TAKING THE LONG WAY, one of the most anticipated albums in recent years, the Dixie Chicks are putting themselves out there like never before. For the first time, every one of the disc's fourteen songs are co-written by the Chicks themselves, exploring themes both deeply private and resoundingly political. Collaborating with legendary producer Rick Rubin (who has worked with everyone from Johnny Cash to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, from Run DMC to Neil Diamond), the biggest-selling female band in history has truly pushed themselves to new heights both as writers and as performers.
"Everything felt more personal this time," says Natalie Maines. "I go back to songs we've done in the past and there's just more maturity, depth, intelligence on these. They just feel more grown-up."
Rubin assembled a band including Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, session hero Larry Knechtel, and Heartbreakers Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell, and matched the Chicks with co-writers including Dan Wilson (who wound up collaborating on six of TAKING THE LONG WAY's songs), Pete Yorn, and Gary Louris of the Jayhawks.
Inspired by such classic rock artists as the Eagles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and the Mamas and the Papas, TAKING THE LONG WAY adds a sweeping, Southern California vibe to the Chicks' down-home intimacy. That ambition is matched with lyrics addressing everything from small-town narrow-mindedness ("Lubbock or Leave It") to the psychology of celebrity ("Everybody Knows").
Not just "big for a country band" or "big for a big female band," the Dixie Chicks are a multi-platinum selling act in North America, Europe and Australia as well as one of a mere handful of acts with multiple albums achieving "diamond" status (meaning sales over 10 million copies) -- both WIDE OPEN SPACES (1998) and FLY (1999) hit that stratospheric landmark -- and have won nine Grammy awards. Their on-stage reputation has helped them sell over $100 million worth of concert tickets, and outspoken songs like "Goodbye, Earl" made it clear that this power trio played by nobody's rules.
And that was all before Natalie Maines's comments about a fellow Texan, President George W. Bush, during a London appearance in March 2003 really put the Dixie Chicks in the headlines. The resultant uproar -- complete with boycotts and death threats -- is the focus of TAKING THE LONG WAY's defiant first track, "Not Ready to Make Nice." "The stakes were definitely higher on that song," says Robison. "We knew it was special because it was so autobiographical, and we had to get it right. And once we had that song done, it freed us up to do the rest of the album without that burden."
The results cover an impressive range of territory. "Silent House" examines the emotions that come from watching an older relative struggle with Alzheimer's. "It's So Hard When It Doesn't Come Easy" addresses infertility, an issue that both Robison and Maguire have faced. The Chicks debuted the gospel-inflected "I Hope," co-written with Keb' Mo, during last year's telethon benefiting the victims of Hurricane Katrina; the album version features a blistering guitar solo by John Mayer.
"This album was total therapy," says Natalie Maines. "I'm way more at peace now. Writing these songs and saying everything we had to say makes it possible to move on."
Details are forthcoming on a worldwide Dixie Chicks concert tour that will kick-off this summer.
SOURCE: Open Wide/Columbia Records
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