Despite my notorious attraction to female violinists (or girl fiddlers, if you prefer), I've never really been a Dixie Chicks fan. While they're certainly more interesting than the average mainstream country artist, they're still mainstream country artists, all anti-intellectual and slickly produced. I hear an occasional song that sounds nice, but I just don't really get much of a charge out of that sort of music. I really liked their duet show a month or two ago with James Taylor, especially on "Wide Open Spaces"..but that was mostly due to Taylor, I'm afraid.
Anywho, they've caused a stir lately due to a typically broad, tactless statement made by singer Natalie Maines (who has always struck me as being a mile wide and an inch deep, as the saying goes), criticizing Dubya and causing typically blockheaded country fans and stations (not the one I work for, thank goodness) to boycott them. Kinda like Lennon '65 all over again, except on a smaller scale. For what it's worth, there's a petition you can sign to show support for the Chicks and their free speech rights, and if you care to do so go here. I did, and here's the comment I wrote to accompany it:
Apparently it can't be said often enough: This is America, and Americans still have the right to disagree with and even express dislike for their President. While I think Natalie's statement sounded thickheaded and too broad (kinda like her public persona, actually), she still has the right to say it without fear of reprisal or backlash. Shame on the people who are striking back at the Chicks for exercising their rights as Americans.