by George Gimarc
Bands can certainly change from their first release, to their latest. Ok, perhaps not Boston, but most other bands do, and the Dixie Chicks have really gone thru the changes. Their first release was the well received ‘Thank Heavens For Dale Evans’ which they put out on CD in 1990. At the time, you could see the band all over town, but I recall them playing a lot down at the West End and were a knockout, retro styled act.
This 45 was recorded at Sumet-Bernet Studios in October and rushed out to be in shops in time for Christmas of 1991, and both songs were simply fabulous. The topside “Christmas Swing” is a bluesy instant classic that really gives you an idea of what the original Dixie Chicks were all about back when they were Emily & Martie Erwin, Laura Lunch and Robin Lynn Macy. Of course connecting this band to the current ‘Chicks’ would be like describing Paul McCartney as The Beatles with a few personnel changes.
The flipside is “The Flip Side” which is a simply lovely little wistful Christmas song that even includes a little bit of the Sam Cooke classic “You Send Me.” Trying to find this on the original vinyl could set you back about $60.
The Dixie Chicks are often described as fearless, but they seem to have totally disappeared their past, and this single, and their first three CDs worth of recordings [40 songs] are held back for some reason, not fit for the fans that launched them in Dallas. Let’s defy it all, and go down home on the Radar Range with “Christmas Swing.”