Dixie Chicks to sing, play at fair Tuesday Music: Texas-based trio, riding a hit album and touring extensively, still enjoys working in small venues.

July 26, 1998|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

The Dixie Chicks began playing for pocket change on a Dallas street corner seven years ago. Over the years, their sassy style and fiery vocal sound has propelled them far beyond the Texas border -- to London, Ontario, and now Westminster.

The trio will take the stage at the Carroll County 4-H/FFA Fair at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Local performer Ashley Marie and The Dixie Hiway will open the show at 7 p.m.

Concert-goers can expect to hear the Dixie Chicks' hit singles, "I Can Love You Better" and "There's Your Trouble," as well as the title track off their major-label debut, "Wide Open Spaces." The album went gold in five months.

The Dixie Chicks' performance will highlight their signature sound -- an eclectic blend of country, bluegrass, pop and folk. The trio will also throw in a few surprises -- some strictly blues tunes, and a fiddle and banjo instrumental.

"We like to save something for the live shows," said fiddler Martie Siedel, an original member of the group.

At 28, Siedel is the senior member. She has been playing fiddle since she was 5 and placed second in the national Old Time Fiddlers Contest.

Her sister, banjo and Dobro player Emily Erwin, 25, is also a founding member.

Erwin picked up her first musical instrument at 7. The two have been playing together since childhood, and spent five years in a Texas teen-age bluegrass band.

Lead singer Natalie Maines, 23, joined the group in 1995.

Her father, noted steel guitarist and producer Lloyd Maines, has played with the band before and after his daughter joined the group.

The Dixie Chicks have played the Grand Ole Opry, the Kennedy Center and at a Dallas Cowboys halftime. They have opened for Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Loretta Lynn and Emmylou Harris and have toured Europe and Japan.

So what brings them to Westminster, pop. 16,000? In a word, the fair.

"My sister and I used to go around to all kinds of carnivals in that area when we were kids," said Siedel, who has relatives in Hanover, Pa. "I remember having a blast, riding on the rides, seeing live music, being inspired by the bands on the stage.

"I'm hoping our performance will encourage the little ones to pick up instruments, to make music a part of their life and have fun with it."

Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at gate. Children 6 and under are free. Information: 410-848-3247.

Pub Date: 7/26/98

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