Dixie Chick Natalie Maines' first solo album, entitled Mother, is set to be released next Tuesday, May 7th. Fans of the little woman with the big voice have been fiending for some new music from the frontwoman since the Chick's went on hiatus in 2007.
The Dixie Chicks dominated the charts throughout the last decade, but suffered a conservative backlash when Maines was vocal about her left-wing leanings. Despite the trials and tribulations Maines was faced with in the years to follow, she has become recognized as a fearless activist as much as she is regarded as an intense musical talent.
Mother was borne of the changes in Maines' life and beliefs and is far from a country release, despite the existence of a song penned for the Dixie Chicks' 2006 album Taking The Long Way on the tracklist. Co-produced by Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and guitar genius Ben Harper, Mother is a diary entry of cover songs that showcase Maines' compassion, fearlessness and incredibly strong vocal range.
The album includes Patty Griffin's Silver Bell, the Pink Floyd classic title track, her buddy Eddie Vedder's ballad Without You and Dan Wilson's Free Life. As a fan of Jeff Buckley, I was a little wary that her cover of Lover, You Should've Come Over would lack the angst needed to do the song justice, but Maines' surprised me by not only doing it justice, she floored me with the impeccable tone in her voice as she mastered every note flawlessly. Take It On Faith, is another impressive and emotional track on the album, a new song co-written by Maines.
Mother is currently streaming on NPR's website for fans to get a first taste, a week before the album's release. Go Listen HERE