Holding Court

Indulge me in a moment, will you, denizens?

(As if you don’t do that all the time already…)

So you remember on Star Trek: The Next Generation, when Captain Picard would get up from his command chair and walk toward the viewscreen when he was confronting the person with whom he was exchanging terse Federation-sanctioned “don’t make me kick your alien ass across this quadrant” words? He’d usually come to a stop somewhere in between the command center and the Ops and Conn positions and, if a show of might was necessary, he’d turn around and look up to Lieutenant Worf, right? Right.

Imagine, in this scenario that I was Captain Picard and the Court Yard Hounds were Worf. A much more attractive, better-coifed, far less addicted to prune juice version, of course. That’s how close I was to Emily and Martie last night.

Wait for it…wait…


I don’t get giddy girl apoplectic over music that often anymore. In fact, there’s only a handful of musicians I like enough to want to actually see live. The Dixie Chicks have always been very high on that list. I know, I said once upon a time that I was through with country music. But the Dixie Chicks are just…the Dixie Chicks. Somehow, they succeeded in transcending the jingoistic hurdle that country music became for me. They’re passionate, opinionated, and talented. Plus, they’re just so darned cute.

But this isn’t a post about the Dixie Chicks! It’s about releasing the Hounds last night. Actually, I’ve talked about the Court Yard Hounds before. Apparently, Natalie Maines still isn’t ready to return to the Chicks, so sisters Emily and Martie continue to make a go of it on their own. Last night, they rolled into town and took over the 6th and I Synagogue. Yep, that’s right: Bluegrass on a Bimah. You really haven’t lived until you’ve experienced such an event.

After listening to their debut CD many times and seeing them live twice now, I have to say I really do love the Court Yard Hounds. They give off a progressive adult vibe that’s flavored generously with country spice and bluegrass zing. Emily’s voice is surprisingly strong and (to me, at least) sounds almost identical to Sheryl Crow at times. That’s never a bad comparison, in my book. Last night, we also were treated to hearing Martie take the lead on a few songs. Here’s photo proof of that:

Martie has an equally lovely voice, but she didn’t seem as comfortable with taking the vocal lead as Emily does. However, when you can play the fiddle like she can, you’re okay without singing. More than okay. In fact, one of my favorite shots from last night is this one of Martie playing her fiddle:

It’s a little too blurry for my liking (it was difficult getting good shots without using my flash, which I didn’t want to do; nothing says “I love your music!” quite like blinding the musicians on stage, right?), but really the blurriness kind of adds to the frenetic aesthetic of her fiddle and bow when she’s in the zone. And look at that Cheshire Cat grin she’s got! Actually, Emily got almost the same look on her face whenever she was in her “Banjo Zone”:

Must be something about those Bluegrass Girls that we city folk just don’t understand. Whatever it is, though, I’m addicted.