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Natalie Maines still "ashamed" to be from same state as president

Sunday, May 14, 2006 – Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines refused to back down Sunday from comments made three years while touring in London that she was "ashamed" to be from the same state as President Bush.

Maines also said the group was the target of a specific death threat in 2003.

Maines made the comments on "60 Minutes," 10 days prior to the release of the band's new disc, "Taking the Long Way."

"For what?," said Maines during an interview with Steve Kroft about backing off from comments made in London. Sorry about what? Sorry about not wanting to go to war and not wanting people to die?"

"We don't make decisions based on that. We don't go, 'Okay, our fans are in the red states, so I'm going play a red, white and blue guitar and put on my I Love Bush T-shirt,'" she said. "We're not like that because we're not politicians. We're musicians."

As for the threat, "It was definitely scary because it seemed so it wasn't just somebody wanting to write a hate letter. It was somebody who obviously thought they had a plan," Maines said.

"There was one specific death threat on Natalie. (It) had a time, had a place, had a weapon. I mean, everything," banjo player Emily Robison said. "This was at our show in Dallas. 'You will be shot dead at your show in Dallas' on whatever the date was."

"You don't know what people are capable of," said Robison. "It only takes one kooky person."

The FBI and the Texas Rangers were brought in, said Maines. "We flew in on a jet...and we went straight from the police cars to the stage and straight from the stage back to the police cars and back to the plane. So, you know, it was all surreal. But at that stage everything was surreal."

The band's new song, "Not Ready to Make Nice," appears to be a direct reaction to the fallout from the London comments.

Responding to the failure of country radio to embrace the song, Maines said, "Why do they need to stand up for us? They're not our friends. They're not our family, and they caved."

The original comments landed the Chicks in hot water with radio and fans. A number of radio stations refused to play the band's music and some music fans destroyed their CDs in protest.

Fiddle player Martie Maguire stated her displeasure with the state of country radio turning towards redneck themes.

"Since country music's turned into this redneck theme, it's become kind of a negative thing in my mind, where I didn't think it was negative before," said Maguire. "I think for a while, a lot of artists were doing a lot of great things...that were broadening the audience so that country was cool. So it makes me sad that it's kind of reverted back to a place that I'm not that proud of - and this is coming from a true country fan. I can't listen to the radio right now."

The Chicks will hit the road in support of their new release this summer.

More news for Dixie Chicks

CD reviews for Dixie Chicks

Taking the Long Way CD review - Taking the Long Way
Much has changed on the musical landscape for the Dixie Chicks since the Incident in London three years ago when lead singer Natalie Maines criticized President Bush on the eve of the Iraq war. The trio lost its standing on the country radio scene; their albums were burned, and they received death threats.But Emily Robison, Martie Maguire and Maines do not backpedal on these 14 songs. They, instead, address the issues that have faced them head on time and again. "Not Ready to Make Nice" maintains »»»
Top of the World Tour Live
The Dixie Chicks certainly enjoyed their most controversial year ever thanks to a few words uttered by lead singer Natalie Maines, and they also had one of the most successful tours of 2003 as well. This 22-song live disc recorded somewhere during the U.S. part of the tour is clear indication that beyond the headlines, there was a tremendous amount of quality music going on. The mix put Maines' vocals way out front. She has always been a good singer, and this indicates just how good she truly is. »»»
Home
When The Dixie Chicks talk of going home on their third major label release, that means a return to roots of different sorts in what probably is their best and most consistent album to date. After a break for marriage, baby and a legal confrontation with their record label, The Chicks throw caution to the wind. They make it clear that they're not going to be hitting the pop country button with Darrell Scott's opening "Long Time Gone.," a hit single. Natalie Maines makes ready references to »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: With or without band, Isbell satisfies – Usually, when an artist performs without his regular backing band, it becomes about mathematics of subtraction. That artist is armed with far fewer artistic weapons at his/her disposal, after all. In Jason Isbell's case, though, when he performed with just his wife and fiddler Amanda Shires, it was more about substitution than subtraction.... »»»
Concert Review: Grammy nominations aside, Yola, Kiah are the real deal – Grammy nominations do not make the artist, but Yola and opener Amythyst Kiah underscored time and again on this night that the honors were well deserved. In fact, Yola and Kiah's other group, Our Native Daughters, are nominated in the same category - Best American Roots. Yola has three other nominations as well. The clear winners... »»»
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