by Court Yard Hounds
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Three years on from Court Yard Hounds' eponymous debut, Natalie Maines had returned from her self-imposed silence, touring with Emily Robinson and Martie Maguire as the Dixie Chicks in both 2010 and 2013, but Maines showed no interest in recording new material (her 2013 solo debut largely consisted of covers). Robinson and Maguire, in contrast, are very committed to moving forward via Court Yard Hounds, writing a set of 11 new songs -- many penned with Martin Strayer -- and working once again with producer Jim Scott on Amelita, their 2013 sequel to their 2010 debut. Things have changed in Court Yard Hounds' inner world -- notably, Robinson divorced between the two CYH records -- and that's reflected within the very sound of Amelita, which is lighter and livelier than the carefully considered debut. Some of this is due to the production -- there's air here, letting the harmonies and acoustic guitars breathe -- but, strangely enough for a pair of sisters who have played together professionally for nearly a quarter century, the biggest difference is that Court Yard Hounds have developed their own identity. Robinson and Maguire are using the inherent sweetness of their harmonies to their advantage, allowing themselves to have a gentle touch that sometimes is deceptive, as there is a good amount of swagger and even snark hidden underneath that honeyed surface. Here, Court Yard Hounds embrace freedom to be something different than the Dixie Chicks, which also means they're not quite identifying as contemporary country, either. "Phoebe" is a modified bluegrass stomp and "Sunshine" comes streaming in on breezy harmonies, while "Rock All Night" and "Watch Your Step" are anchored in roots rock, but Amelita is, at its heart, an adult pop album and it's a gorgeous one at that: it glides by easily but it digs deep.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/16/2013
Label: Sony
UPC: 0888837475921
catalogNumber: 374759
Rank: 140524

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Court Yard Hounds   Primary Artist
Bukka Allen   Hammond Organ
Audley Freed   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,12-string Guitar
Greg Kurstin   Drums,Clavinet,Mellotron
George Reiff   Bass,Electric Bass
Fred Eltringham   Percussion,Drums
John Ginty   Percussion,Piano,Hammond Organ
Emily Robison   Banjo,Dobro,Guitar,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Billy Harvey   Electric Guitar
Daniel Clarke   Organ,Piano,farfisa organ
Martie Maguire   Fiddle,Mandolin,Viola,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Martin Strayer   Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar

Technical Credits

Jonatha Brooke   Composer
Greg Kurstin   Composer,drum programming,Percussion Sampling
Jim Scott   Producer,Engineer
David Bett   Art Direction
Jim Vollentine   Engineer
Emily Robison   Composer,Producer
Alex Dezen   Composer
Martie Maguire   Composer,Producer
Salim Nourallah   Composer
Tyler Lyle   Composer
Jacob Escobedo   Artwork,Illustrations
Martin Strayer   Composer
Tony Nobles   Instrument Technician
Annabelle Harren   Wardrobe Assistant

Customer Reviews

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Amelita 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best albums I have ever heard!  Well done Court Yard Hounds!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have both of the Courtyard Hounds CDs and both are extremely good, but I definitely LOVE "Amelita". The title track is my absolute favorite on the CD and Emily's lead vocals are so beautiful to listen to as well as Martie's musicianship and her background vocals. I highly recommend this CD!!