When The Dixie Chicks' Emily Robison and Martie Maguire revived their side project Court Yard Hounds for their second album, Amelita, their bandmate Natalie Maines decided to make a record of primarily covers. Both projects have a poppy adult contemporary/country-lite feel to them, with the difference being that most of Amelita's songs were written by Robison and/or Maguire with Martin Strayer. The harmonies here are strong, naturally, and a tune such as "Phoebe" plays toward their bluesy-bluegrass roots. But "Rock All Night" definitely gears itself to the barroom-rocker crowd—granted with acoustic guitars loud in the mix alongside demanding drums. "Watch Your Step" boogies with a touch of Creedence. Producer Jim Scott provides a strong but never too slick production. The ladies' professionalism seals the deal. Country radio may not be sure what to do with Court Yard Hounds, but adult contemporary spots on the dial will surely warm to the traditional sentiments of "The Best Is Yet to Come."

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