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Danger in the Air - Song List

Robin Lynn Macy, one of the founding members of the Dixie Chicks, was active in the Dallas music scene long before the Chicks first played on that street corner in the West End. While teaching at St. Mark's School of Texas, a prestigous prep school for boys, she found time to help form a bluegrass group called Danger in the Air. The group self-published a couple of cassettes in the late '80s just before the Dixie Chicks formed. The members of Danger in the Air for both albums are:
  • Drew Garrett, Bass
  • Robin Lynn Macy, Guitar, Vocals
  • Andy Owens, Mandolin, Vocals
  • James McKinney, Banjo
  • Stephan Dudash, Fiddle, Vocals
On this page: Song Lists for the self-titled release (1988) and Airtight (1990).
Liner Notes for these are on a separate page.

Danger in the Air (self-titiled), 1988

The first release is packaged simply, with a cover featuring a black-and-white photo of a large lightning strike.

Side 1

  1. Bluegrass Show
    (J. Messina)
    [This appears to be a song by
    Jodee Messina, written a full eight years before she hit big with her 1996 self-titled debut that included Heads Carolina, Tails California.]

  2. The Letter
    (W. Thompson)
    [The old standby (best known in to other versions by -- oops! I can't remember!) with lead vocals by one of the guys.]

  3. Sweetheart of the Pines
    (Emmylou Harris)
    [This song doesn't show up in Emmylou Harris' CDnow discography, but her music has strong bluegrass and folk roots. This cassette was recorded just a year after Harris' beautiful 1987 release, Angel Band.]

  4. Salt Creek

Side 2

  1. Big Train (from Memphis)
    (J. Fogerty)
    [John Fogerty (of Creedence Clearwater Revival fame) included this song on 1985's Centerfield. Vocals by one of the guys.]

  2. Minor Swing

  3. Danger in the Air
    (Steve Hartz)
    [A rousing song, and the band is worthy of the name. "Can't you feel the danger in the air?"]

  4. Train 45
For full liner notes, click here

Airtight, 1990

The same year that the Dixie Chicks released their debut Thank Heavens for Dale Evans, Danger in the Air released their second release, Airtight. It's similarly simple, with a hand-colored tracing of a photo of the group gracing the cover.

Side 1

  1. In the Pines (3:50)
    (Jimmy Davis and Bill Monroe)

  2. Love Light (3:55)
    (Stephen Dudash)
    [Stephen is the group's fiddle player]

  3. It Don't Matter (3:12)
    (Robin Macy)
    [This is the first of three songs written or co-written by Robin. The intro and ending instrumental sections are echoed in the intro/ending of the Dixie Chicks' version of Storm Out On The Sea.]

  4. Revel in the Glory (3:35)
    (Andy Owens)
    [A bluegrass-flavored gospel tune. Andy is the group's mandolin player.]

  5. Storm Out On The Sea (4:05)
    (Robin Macy/Mary Neal Northcut)
    [This song of doomed love is also included on the Dixie Chicks' first release, although the version on Thank Heavens for Dale Evans clocks in at a leaner 3:28. The beat is the same in both versions, but the instrumentals are quite different (see It Don't Matter, above). Also, this version includes some light ocean sounds at the start of the song for (unneccesary) atmosphere.]

  6. In Despair (2:18)
    (Joe Ahr)

Side 2

  1. I'm a Believer (3:11)
    (Neil Diamond)
    [Originally included on
    Diamond's 1980 September Morn. It works much better with the bluegrass touch!]

  2. Kiss Me Once (2:50)
    (Robin Macy)
    [Of all the songs on both tapes, this one jumps out as the most "Dixie Chick-like." But I'll have to listen to it some more to figure out just why...]

  3. Bounce (4:08)
    (James McKinney)
    [The group's banjo player composed this instrumental piece.]

  4. My Baby Thinks He's a Train (4:50)
    (Leroy Preston)
    [Rosanne Cash originally recorded this tune on 1981's Seven Year Ache. Leroy Preston himself recently issued a disc of his own work.]

  5. Prisoner Without Love (3:10)
    (Stephen Dudash)
    [A second track by the fiddle player, this one a bluegrass lament with a turnabout ending.]

  6. I Saw Him Standing There (4:30)
    [Remember Tiffany? In 1990, both she and Danger in the Air covered this old Beatles standby. I can hardly imagine two more different interpretations of a single song! Played in a minor key, the song is the same but it invokes a feeling of dread, an expectation that seeing him standing there will not lead to happiness...]
Again, for full liner notes, click here

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