As the Dixie Chicks return to Tampa, it's time to reassess their impact on American music
It's been more than a decade since the Dixie Chicks have performed in Tampa Bay, and all that absence ought to have made your hearts grow fonder. Because when they play Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on Friday, you'll see why they've had an underrated impact on music over the last 20 years.
In the 21 years since Natalie Maines joined the group founded by sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer, the Dixie Chicks have paved paths and opened doors for a generation of artists. From the women responsible for modern country's most forward-thinking albums, to artists of all genres emboldened to speak their minds from the stage, the time is right for a reappraisal of everything the Dixie Chicks brought to American music — and how their influence is still felt today.
"The coolest thing was just hearing a group of women really be loud, really speak up and just change the game a little bit," said Maddie Marlow of the chart-topping duo Maddie and Tae. "Every time we're writing, we never just settle on a song that feels good. It's always like, hey, we want to make sure that this song has a little punch. Because if the Chicks can do it, we can too."
Also, Times Arts and Entertainment Editor Stephanie Hayes is a huge Dixie Chicks fan, and wrote about why the group has always meant so much to her. Click here for her column.
-- Jay Cridlin