Broken Spoke, Austin, TX, June 2, 1995
Courtesy of Graeme Flanagan, Canberra, Australia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
story added 1/8/1999
There really isn't much of a
story to tell about seeing the Chicks. My wife Jill and I were on a 10 week
vacation in 1995 that took in both Europe and the US, and we were spending two
weeks driving around Louisiana and Texas in late May/early June. As my
interests include many types of music I had particularly wanted to visit
Austin. I had heard about the Broken Spoke and saw in a newspaper that a band
called the Dixie Chicks was playing the second night we were in Austin (a
Although I'd never heard of the band they sounded interesting, so we
met some friends at the Broken Spoke for dinner (a great chicken fried steak,
something I had wanted to try while we were in Texas) and then Jill and I
stayed on for the show. I can't recall any of the songs that the Chicks played
(I don't think they played much that I knew), but I know that I was greatly
impressed by their harmonies. I was also greatly impressed by the instrumental
skills of both Emily and Martie. I do recall the Chicks complimenting the
dancers at the Broken Spoke, who were doing the two-step with great skill and
Later in the evening the band was joined on stage for a couple of numbers by
who I understand is some sort of Texas country music
outlaw legend. It was a great night, and I regret now that I didn't take the
opportunity to talk with the Chicks, who seemed really nice young ladies, or to
buy copies of the CDs they had for sale. I did speak for a while with the owner
of the Broken Spoke to tell him how much I liked his wonderful venue. If I ever
return to Texas, which I hope to do someday, I'd love to go back there again.
Thanks to your tip I managed to get the three Chicks CDs from CD Bargains.
They're now on the way and will probably be here early in January. I can hardly
I'll send the photos as soon as I can. Hope you have a great Christmas.
"Not much of a story," indeed! This is a great story, and what incredible luck...
this concert would have been just months before Laura Lynch
was replaced by Natalie Maines. And the pictures are great --
check them out on my Picture Page!
Johnny D's, Boston, MA, several times before 1995
Courtesy of a "long-time fan from Boston"
story added 1/8/1999
They used to play at least twice a year at Johnny D's, a great club in
Somerville, MA, a couple of towns away from Boston. People would go nuts!
Especially over "the brunette." Laura always wore killer
outfits, very old-style, Dale Evans stuff. What a treat, plus, at there were
only a handful of female musicians touring.
were also a big hit!
I really miss the
old gals. They'd show up like a less hokey version of
Riders in the Sky
and play their hearts out. The skirts that Laura would wear were simply beautiful
with western scenes and horses of felt sewn on to them.
Today's Chicks, although mega-stars, look like two virgins and a whore to
me! Why didn't they just recruit
A real shame...
When I have more time, I'll fill you in on seeing them at a few festivals in
Rhode Island and the like. We really love that stuff up here! If you like
the old chicks you should check out the new
CD, VERY honky tonk
et al). She's coming here on 1/1, can't wait!!
Stand firm, lawyers are the scum of the earth!
I'm sorry, I'm still laughing too hard to comment!
The Birchemere, Alexandria, VA, before 1995
Anonymous (by request)
story added 6/16/1999
Am I the only one who thinks the Chicks "SOLD OUT" in becomming
They used to be my ABSOLUTE FAVOTITE group...in the OLD DAYS....when
their Texas Swing was REAL.
Now....they're just another New York act.
Well, while making gobs of money is as American as apple pie, so is
holding up banks, Bonnie & Clyde were HUGE heroes in Oklahoma in the
30's......but it don't make it right.
I heard the Chicks for the first time at The Birchemere in Alexandria,
VA...I THOUGHT Schooner Fare was on that night, and was about to leave
before buying a ticket, but my wife said "What the Hell, we're here"
So we stayed and enjoyed every minute, and wished the show were
another two sets at least. I since bought all what they had out on CD
and played the best cuts for anyone who'd listen (out here it was a
Our 5 year old grew up on the Chicks and is a HUGE fan and he has all
the words to both CD's Little Ol' Cowgirl and Thank Heavens memorized.
I bought him Wide Open Spaces.
He listen to it once. He said, I swear to God.."That's not the Dixie
Chicks!" It hasn't been played much since.
BTW. I am a HS instrumental music teacher...completely classically
trained if you can believe it... and a lonely voice against all the
crap out there that masquerades as "music." I ought to just piss
against the wind. I'd at least get a shower out of it.
Well now the Chicks are megastars, but we lost something in the
process. Commercialization, by definition means to appeal to the
LOWEST common denominator. DC's have done just that...but hey!
they're rich now....(but not off my buck anymore.)
But as we all know, opinions are like [ummm... "lower intestinal exits" -rb]....
Third Floor Cantina, Bryan, TX, summer 1995
Courtesy of John Mark Dempsey (email@example.com)
story added 6/16/1999
Since the Dixie Chicks hit it big, I have wondered what happened to
Laura Lynch. Based on what I've read on your website, it must have been
been the summer of 1995 that my wife and I saw the Chicks at a club in
Bryan, Texas. Being from Texas we had heard of them, but we were blown
away. We said, "Why aren't these girls already huge stars?" But when
they DID make it, it was another girl up front. She's good, but I really
thought Laura Lynch was terrific, and muy bonita. Did they do a Pete
Best on her, or what happened? And do you know what she's doing now?
Laura is happily married to a rancher and is living the cowgirl life
outside of Weatherford. Look for a page on her new life in the future!
Thanks for the reply. So I take it she left the group on her own, or
was it one of these "mutual agreements"? I thought she had an earthy
quality that played well against the sisters. Great singer and
The show in Bryan was in the Third Floor Cantina, literally the third
floor of an old downtown retail building. Classic dance hall setup.
I'm not an avid fan so I don't remember any of the particular songs,
just that they had an amazing presence. They had been kicking around
Texas for quite awhile by then, and so I was beginning to think they
weren't going to make it nationally, and, after seeing them, I
couldn't understand why. So it was a pleasant surprise when they
suddenly turned up on every radio station in the country, but also a
surprise when Laura Lynch wasn't with 'em.
Which of their early albums would you recommend?
While the internal machinations surrounding Laura's departure and Natalie's
arrival may have been somewhat Machiaveillian, the end result was that everyone
wound up happy with their situation.
My favorite Dixie Chicks CD is Little Ol' Cowgirl, but you'd better
get it while you can! Check out the Buy It
section on the main page for more details.
Domestic Science Club, Dallas, TX, 1996
Courtesy of "David, DomSci/Sara Hickman/Colin Boyd fan"
story added 1/8/1999
My understanding is that DomSci was just a three friends getting
together to record some songs to send to friends as a Christmas
present. It was never intended to be a regular gig. But, one of the
recipients decided to play the recording on the radio and, as the
saying goes, the rest is history!
Weell. . . Not quite: after recording a follow-up CD, the trio decided
to go their separate ways. I had the pleasure of hearing DomSci on two
of their tours, this was a blessing! But, DomSci was my first exposure
to Robin's music. Alas, this wonderful band is no more.
Back in `96, I was at a bar near SMU (it was Across the Street Bar, I
was DJ'ing. He put his copy of Three Women
on the track he wrote, "Taxi To You Heart," so we could hear it. I
very much enjoyed the tune, although it didn't go over especially well
at that bar, and bought the disc that weekend.
I was enthralled by the music, it "sang to me!" Shortly after that, I
managed to catch Domestic Science Club at Poor David's Pub when they
played there a short time later. The gig's encore was the "secret
track" on Three Women, the Bolivian National Anthem. At that time I
learned the significance of this song in DomSci's performing history.
1996 was the year Dallas had been a host city for the World Cup Soccer
Tournament. One of the game's played at Fair Park's Cotton Bowl had
involved the Bolivian national team. DomSci was invited to perform
that country's nation anthem before the game.
While preparing for the game, DomSci practiced by performing the anthem
at gigs. It went over so well, the decision was made to include it on
the group's follow-up CD (the one from which Bob Ackerman had
When I bought Three Women, there were no other DomSci CD's on
the rack, so I just assumed it was their first. Fortunately, I learned
more about the trio. Later I was able to find a copy of the self
titled introductory CD, Domestic Science Club, as well as hearing the
story of how the group got started.
It has also been my pleasure to get to know the music of
which also started with that CD! Colin wrote two of its tracks; He's a
very entertaining performer, as well as an extremely talented song
writer. Check him out! (http://www.ColinBoyd.com)
The next time I heard DomSci perform was at Borders, the afternoon
before their gig at Sons of Herman Hall. As there weren't TOO many
fans there, I was able to say "Hi!", and get my copy of Three Women
autographed by Robin, Sara & Patty. At the time, Sara was pretty far
along in her pregnancy with Lily. She was a real trouper to be touring
That evening, I went to Sons for the show. It was grand! They played
many of the songs from the two CD's, as well as others. Unfortunately,
this was also the last time I would hear them perform together. It is
my understanding that DomSci had one or two other gigs, but none that I
was able to attend.
Since then, I've been able to hear
several occasions. But, I've only heard Robin once.
Unfortunately, I don't recall too many details. The band was Round
Robin. It was at the Shell's restaurant just inside Colleyville, on
Highway 26. This was late Summer 1997, I think. As I recall, the
music had a strong Bluegrass element. But, it was a delight to hear
Robin's voice and music again!
Some members of Robin's family were also there, so I wasn't able to
Shortly after that, while scouring the "local music" bin at a used CD
store, I came across "Thank Heavens for Dale Evans." When I saw
Robin's name, I bought it!
Needless to say, I was quite impressed. Not realizing Robin wasn't
with them anymore, I set out to find a gig when they would be playing.
Fortunately, a friend straightened me out.
Winter 1996-7, Plano, Texas
Anonymous (pending permission to post name)
story added 10/19/1998
Subject: new category for Dixie Chicks poll
OK. The first time my friend and I met the Dixie Chicks was in person, not
knowing who they were. If you can believe that. Met them in in late 1996 or
early 1997 at a pub/restaurant in Plano (TX) called Jack Astor's.
After several beers, my friend encouraged me to introduce myself to a group
of three ladies seated at a booth across from the bar. The threesome was
with a brown-haired twentysomething dude. Anyway, I got straight to the point.
"Would you three...hmmm... and the fella (begrudgingly) like to join my
friend and I at our house for a soothing soak in our hot tub?"
The Dixie Chick with the long blonde hair asked me if I knew who they were,
to which I replied, "Nope."
When she told me they were the Dixie Chicks, I had to admit that while I
had heard of them I had not listened to their music yet. At this point in
the evening, I didn't really care. I thought the three of them and...
hmmm.... the fella were strong candidates for the hot tub back at the house.
She was kind and polite when she told me that the Chicks were headed to
Blue Planet in Dallas for an after-hours romp on the dance floor. So, while
they didn't visit the hot tub, I at least got a great story out of the deal.
And, by the way, I've come to enjoy their music very much.
Thanks for the note! I haven't really gotten enough demand, though, to
have a poll for "When did you first try to pick up the Chicks at a bar?"
Although the answers could be very interesting...
I don't know what Natalie's and Martie's husbands look like, but I'm
guessing that the "brown-haired twentysomething dude" was Tommy Nash,
the group's guitarist. Not really to my taste as a hot tub ornament, but
I guess it was only fair to consider them a package deal.
By the way, did your friend (who encouraged you to go introduce yourself)
know who they were?
Natalie's bachelorette party, 1997
(see their site at www.groobees.com)
story added 6/16/1999
In response to your questions.
We recorded a demo version of Wide Open Spaces in the spring of '97. We
sent the song to Lloyd Maines who fell in love with it and immediatly sent it
to Natalie (she was just leaving home at the time). As it worked out, she and
the girls had e-mailed us about the possibility of doing the song for their
debut Sony release. We happened to be playing a show in Lubbock and they were
all in town for Natalie's bacholorette party and they passed by the club and
recognized Susan's voice from the demo (they had no idea we were in town).
They came in and stuck a napkin on my piano with the request "Wide Open
Spaces" please... love, the Chicks. Things just fell into place and we feel
very fortunate to have such a great group performing our song. Since then we
have all become great friends and they have even stopped by and surprised us
during a coffee house show and sat in.
And yes, Lubbock definately claims Natalie! Big family tradition.
Take care and keep in touch,
Memphis, TN, October 1997
Courtesy of Anonymous in Memphis, TN.
story added 1/8/1999
The Chicks came to Memphis in October of 97 as part of the Marlboro
Tour. My girlfriend and her husband have followed the "Old Chicks"
since their beginnings on the street corner. Being all fellow Texans,
they knew I would appreciate this Texas threesome.
The concert, and I
wouldn't really call it a concert, was at this dance hall and "honky
tonk". If we arrived before 7:00 it was only $1.00 to get in. We were
there before 7:00 and some cowboy paid for our way in! I became an
instant lover of the Chicks! Growing up on Texas Bluegrass and good
ole Texas Country Music, I could fully appreciate Martie's fidddle and
Emily's banjo playing. We even got them to play "Pink Toenails".
There were very few people at this dance hall. Even in October of 97 they
were still simple and approachable and had not gotten into the "punk
rock" look. In fact they were autographing their Little Ol Cowgirl CD,
including Natalie, who was not even a part of their group at the time
that LOC was released.
I took lots of pictures with them, danced on
stage with them, bought 2 of their autographed LOC CD's and became an
I guess it was that following Jan or Feb that WOS was realeased. They
came to Memphis in June of 98. This time it was a sellout at The New
Daisy Theatre. We had front row seats and again they autographed my
other "old" DC CD's, including WOS, along with the drumstick that I
Of course by this June concert, they had just gone double
platinum, but they still were approachable. In fact Martie said to me,
"You look familiar", and wanted to know who I was. I told her I was
just a loyal fan who danced with her on stage. Again I got some great
pictures with them.
I went to another concert in Clarksville, Tn this past September and
it was an outdoor concert, and after it was over they never even came
out to sign autographs. Disappointing, but in a way I understood.
Then on January 2nd '99, they will be in Robinsonville, Ms, only 45
minutes from Memphis and I have tickets for that. It will be
interesting to see how they are and if they will give autographs.
I still think they are great and I am as everyone else on this
great fan, but I hate to see them disown their past. "Thank Heavens
for Dale Evans" shows how awesome they are and it is my favorite CD.
Keep up the great info on the Chicks!
November 1997, Indianapolis, Indiana
Courtesy of Vicki Cub
(KGRL FM, 93.9 The Bear)
story added 10/13/1998
I'm the afternoon jock/music director at an Indianapolis radio
station. The Chicks came in for dinner last week. With a fiancé from
Dallas, I had heard of them before their CD was delivered to my desk. I'm
really excited about them! They did a conference room show at the station
that afternoon, but I was on the air...so at dinner, we asked the manager's
permission and they broke out the fiddle, dobro, and guitars and did a little
impromptu show right there! None of the other patrons seemed to mind...it
was late and there weren't many left, but the staff all came out of the
kitchen an enjoyed the show too!
We talked them into playing Roly Poly...
that was my all time favorite! Wide Open Spaces is my favorite Chicks
song. We haven't recieved the CD yet, but I have a video with the current
video and a little more on it. When we get the disc, I'd love to let you
know about it!
When the single "I Can Love You Better" was released (before the album had even
been finalized), the Dixie Chicks started touring radio stations across the country,
The bottom line was the music, of course, but the Chicks' refreshing, honest attitude
may have been a big factor in their being taken seriously by the fans and by the music industry.
Check out this followup from Vicki, after the Chicks hit big:
I wanted to let you know that I saw the Chicks again in August 
at a show,
and they remembered the restaurant show and how I was hoping for an engagement
ring from my boyfriend any day. Natalie asked me "Did you ever get that
ring?" I got it a couple weeks after I first met them and I'm getting married
this Saturday! The fact that they remembered meant a lot to me. I know they
meet a lot of radio people and fans all across the country.
In the music business, it's great to see good things happen to good people,
and that's how I feel about Natalie, Martie, and Emily.
Thanks for a sweet followup to a wonderful story!
Note: you can listen to Vicki on the web in the afternoons... visit
The Bear for details!
Ann Arbor and Detroit, MI, 1997-1998
Courtesy of Gerry Griffith (GGrif1978@aol.com)
story added 6/16/1999
Hello, Robert. I wanted to say that I really liked your website. One of the
regulars on the AOL Dixie Chicks message board mentioned it. Nice to see
some of the history preserved. The prior "official" web site from before
they hit it big with Sony is long since offline but yours has it hands down
for content anyway. It's a shame about the audio clips though. I suspect if
they had the same line up now, even with the different sound, the old albums
would be in reissue. Guess it's tough to do that with a different lead
singer, but maybe in a few years (or more than a few) someone with very good
taste will reissue the back catalog.
Fortunately, for me, I have all three of the Indie albums. Heck, I even
managed to find that KERA disc (no mean feat being almost 2,000 miles from
Texas!) I was wondering though if you have run across anyone selling the two
Danger in the Air tapes (hadn't heard about that group before visiting your
sight) and the Home on the Radar Range 45 or cassingle (I've heard
conflicting reports as to how readily available it is in the Dallas area and
don't know what to belive -- but since I'm a ways away up here in Michigan
it's not like I'd be popping into many Dallas record stores anyway). Sure
would be nice to hear them. I never had a chance to hear the pre-Natalie
lineup live, but I did catch a TV appearance or two with that lineup and I
had all of the Indy albums long before WOS was even started. I was also
fortunate enough to see them in some pretty small clubs around here before
WOS was released. Natalie did a pretty good job with the old repertoire in
those gigs. Anyway . . .
I wish I had better news... I only got access to
the Danger in the Air releases and the 45rpm single
through Jay Rury, who
used to fix the Chicks' violins and Laura's stand-up bass. As far as I can
tell, it is completely impossible to find either the single or the Danger
in the Air release. BTW, the single was issued on both vinyl and cassette
(see the Discography page).
Can you send me some stories of the times you saw
the Chicks in the small clubs? Even though it's after Natalie joined, it's
still before they hit the big time and very much applicable to my site's
focus. Any memories you have would be great... and let me know if I can
use your name and/or email address.
Well, I have seen them 4 times, all here in Michigan. I posted lengthy
reviews on the AOL message board I started for the Chicks a few years ago
now. I'll spare you the full version and give you a couple of high points.
The full version may still be on AOL but I haven't looked through the old
posts in quite awhile. And yes, you can use my name and/or e-mail address
and post these on the site. If you want the full reviews I can try to find
The first 2 times were in 1997 at small clubs where I had a chance to meet
them briefly afterwards (Diamonds & Spurs in Pontiac, August 1997, and
Barnstormers in Whitmore Lake near Ann Arbor, Halloween party, Oct. 1997).
The first time was a free concert and there were only about 70 - 80 people
there (unbelievable to me). Everyone of them though left a DC fan. My first
impression of Natalie was wow does she have one stong set of pipes and is she
ever energetic! The show was a nice mix of old favs and some songs that
would eventually show up on WOS. What I remember most though and always will
is meeting the Chicks afterwards (oh, and Natalie's BAD jokes!). I'll never
forget the look of utter astonishment and pride on Marite's face and then
Emily's when they saw that there in Michigan, 2000 miles from Texas, someone
they hadn't met before actually owned all three of their albums. It was also
fun to finally meet Emily after trading messages on the e-mail (before they
got so overwhelmed by e-mail post-WOS) and on the AOL message board (prior to
WOS Emily was a regular visitor and sometimes poster, maybe she still drops
The second show drew a much larger crowd, by then the first single from WOS
had been out to radio a couple of weeks and I'd guesstimate there were about
1000 people there for the party, maybe a little less, all crammed under a big
outdoor tent (a little brave for late October in Michigan). And paying
customers that time no less :) The crowd was also much more enthusiastic,
crowding the stage and obscuring any dance floor. Again, a nice mix of the
new and old stuff but more to the new. The crowd yelled for encores and
actually exhausted the bands repertoire (of course they had a new drummer and
were not prepared for/expecting an encore). When I met them after the show,
Martie recognized me immediately from the last show, which made me feel about
ten feet tall I guess, and Emily scribbled a nice little note on one of their
publicity photos and we just talked for a few minutes. Both times I was
struck by how easygoing they all were. Nice people, class acts.
Third time was at the WYCD fan appreciation Christmas Party/Concert in Dec.
1997 at the Detroit Opera House. Great accoustics but unfortunately the
Chicks only were given time for about 5 or 6 songs, mostly from WOS. The
Billy Ray Cyrus.
Well, the Chicks were the only group I was
interested in seeing . . . plus it was a weeknight with a long day to follow,
so I split after the Chicks finished their set. At the time, that was
probably the most ornate venue the Chicks had played, and the crowd just
loved them. Well, they came back to Detroit as the #2 act on the bill for
one night of the Downtown Hoedown in June 1998. By this time, WOS was well
on its way and there were 1000s of people watching and listening to the
Chicks. The one part of that show I remember most though because it was so
right, so on target, was when this grandfatherly genetleman standing next to
me said of Natalie after she sang a
tune, "She bad, she is BAD!
That girl can sing the blues!" Yep, she sure was wailing that night to pull
at your heartstrings and make you feel every word. Amazing for a large
outdoor venue even with today's sound systems.
p.s. -- I don't know if you have noticed, but the Chicks have stopped
accepting e-mail now at their aol address.
I assume they just got completely
overwhelmed by the volume of e-mails. The price of stardom I guess.
see the VH-1 premier of Before They Were Stars? They had a couple of old DC
performance clips and some current interview footage. Emily seemed to mean
it when she basically said something like they didn't want the old pics/clips
to see the light of day. It's a shame IMHO but I sort of understand. That
was a different band to them and a different sound and that's not the
direction they're going. (As a musician myself at one time, I was also a
little embarrassed about some of the music I used to play for a gig to earn
some cash, and to just keep playing music -- so if that's their concern I can
understand that too, been there myself!). Personally, I still like to listen
to the old stuff as well as the new.
I didn't see the VH-1 special myself, but I did receive a video capture clip of the Chicks
in their cowgirl duds. Look for it soon on the Pictures page!
Merlefest, Wilksboro, NC, April 1997
Anonymous (pending permission to post name)
story added 6/16/1999
My first encounter with the Dixie Chicks was absolutely unbelievable!
I attended (as I usually do) the "Merlefest", held in Wilksboro, NC. in
April of 1997. Well, my uncle told me and two friends, "you have got to
go see the Dixie Chicks, they're good and man are they good looking!"
So, my buddies Joe and Brent and I went up to the theater at the top of
the hill (about 450 steps from the valley), and when we walked in there
was nobody there. We kinda wondered what was going on, but we made
ourselves up to the front row (dead center, of course) and sat with
anticipation. Well we were at the right place, the Chicks came out and
everything my uncle had told us was true, these ladies were incredible
musicians and obviously incredibly good looking.
As they were playing I looked around the theater and, honestly there
couldn't have been more than 15 people in there, including us! So, we
sat there, enjoying an opportunity of a lifetime. It was like the Dixie
Chicks were playing for Joe, Brent, and me, no one else (at least that's
what we all thought). It was fabulous, I'm sure the girls saw small
gleams of light reflecting off the drool on our faces. We all sat there
speachless. The music was fabulous, they were fabulous, the whole thing
was amazing. We could not believe that noone else came up to see them.
I felt bad for them, not having a turn-out like I'm sure they wanted,
but I'll tell you it was something I'll never forget. They played as if
the theater was jammed packed, they didn't let the turn-out hender their
I could go on and on about how special the three of us felt after
leaving the show, and of course, we were all singing "Pink Toenails".
Now, every time I see them on T.V. getting awards for thier music, I
think to myself, "I know they remember me, how could they forget us, the
only three guys in the theater with them." I don't know if they do
remember us or not, like to think they do,but regardless, I remember
them and the good time I shared with my buddies and The Dixie Chicks!!
Take care and if you ever get a chance, attend the Merlefest, who knows
who you will see!!
Desperados, southern Florida, August 1997
Courtesy of Laura, Key Largo, FL (PetFixr@aol.com)
story added 6/16/1999
My story is from August 1997. I had never heard of the Dixie Chicks, and I
Can Love You Better had not been released yet in my market (SE Virginia). My
husband and I were in South Florida apartment hunting, and we had heard there
was a great country dance bar called Desperados. So we went. There was a
band there, actually the opening act, called the Dixie Chicks. We didn't even
stay for the 'lead'
act of the evening. Ian and I were completely enthralled from the Chicks'
first note, and we wondered why they weren't famous. Now we know -- they were
soon to be! We never got their autographs, even though we absolutely loved
their music from the start. Boy are we stupid. Hopefully, we'll get the
Key Largo, FL
In case you were wondering... Laura (aka PetFixr@aol.com) is a veterinarian. :)
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