01.09.13 Natalie Maines album 'Mother' (produced by Ben Harper) due May 7
RADAR: Natalie Maines
Natalie Maines, best known as the vocal centerpiece of the Dixie Chicks, will make her long-awaited musical return with the May 7 release of Mother, her non-country solo debut produced by Ben Harper. The new album is Maines' first full-length studio recording project since the Dixie Chicks' 2006 album Taking the Long Way. The album's title track, a cover of the classic Pink Floyd song from their 1979 concept album The Wall, recently made its debut on the soundtrack to West of Memphis, a documentary film on the notorious 1993 Tennessee case of racial injustice. The song also highlights Maines' decision to forego her music career to raise her two sons, now eight and eleven -- and stay out of the celebrity spotlight after her outspoken political statements riled up many of her more conservative country music fans. But Maines, who says the Dixie Chicks are still alive and well (and who will reunite this year for a pair of festivals), says she's comfortable with her shift to a non-Nashville style: "Growing up, when people asked, 'What kind of music do you listen to?,' I'd say, 'Anything but country'.