When Natalie Maines remarked from a London stage in 2003 that the Dixie Chicks were “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas,” she was criticizing Iraq War policy in a manner that would earn her instant condemnation and worse, even as her take on that war would eventually become a majority opinion in the U.S. No matter: What she and her group-mates felt in immediate response wasn’t just an overreaction from a segment of the country-music audience. It was also the cowardice of a music industry running scared from blunt political ideas in a perilous industry economy. There’s a tendency, therefore, to hear every song on this album as some sort of response to Maines’ life-altering remark and her subsequent public retreat. It lurks here and there, to be sure, but after the first few listens, Mother becomes the work of a mother, wife, feminist, teammate and solo artist taking her place in the public square once again, making stubbornness sound like a kind of freedom.
Image via Blacklisted Journalist