CD: The Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way

Controversial bluegrass girls benefit from a Rick Rubin makeover

Barnstorming to the top of the US Billboard charts earlier this month, the Dixies became the first female group in history to have three studio albums debut at number one. Veteran rock producer Rick Rubin has beefed them up and compressed their Texan twangs, and the sound often echoes 1970s West Coast classic rock, without shedding their bluegrass roots. They're 'still mad as Hell' over the right-wing backlash to their anti-Bush outbursts. Still, flourishes of sweeping strings and gospel influences sit comfortably amid an angst that has brought out their best.

Gordon Agar

The GuardianTramp

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