Dixie Chicks in Tampa

Last Friday night Studly Doright and I went to see the Dixie Chicks perform at the Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheater in Tampa, Florida. Studly is not a music lover. He knows the words to only one song–“Happy Birthday”–and that’s no joke, but Studly loves me, so in celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary he consented to accompanying me to see one of my all-time favorite groups. 

He blanched slightly at the cost of the orchestra section tickets, but he shelled out the money with a smile. I think that was a smile. Might’ve been a grimace. With Studly it’s sometimes hard to tell.

I love the Dixie Chicks. Lead singer, Natalie Maines and I have much in common. We were both born in Lubbock, Texas, we are both super fans of Howard Stern, and neither of us can stand Donald Trump. We’re practically twins, only she got all the talent and I’m at least twenty years older. Other than that, it’s hard to tell us apart. 

 

Natalie Maines
 
 
Me
 

Uncanny likeness, isn’t it? 

When I was a child my parents loved to drive to Lubbock and dance to the music of The Maines Brothers, Natalie’s dad’s band. I feel like this binds us, as well, even though I never got to see the group play live.

Maines Brothers Band

The Dixie Chicks have had to deal with some nasty stuff for more than a decade stemming from a candid comment Natalie made about then President George W. Bush while touring in Europe in 2003. Country music stations turned their backs on the Chicks and many country artists condemned them. 

In comparison to statements made by current GOP candidate Trump and his followers in regard to President Obama and Hillary Clinton, Natalie’s comment was harmless, yet the Dixie Chicks have lost millions of dollars in revenue since 2003. Funny, that freedom of speech thing seems to be selective.

Enough politics, though, this concert kicked ass from beginning to end. The opening acts, Smooth Hound Smith and Vintage Trouble were totally engaging even in the intense tropical heat. I’d pay money to see both groups as solo acts, and was tickled to see artists from the acts appear later in The Dixie Chicks‘ sets.

 

Smooth Hound Smith

 
Vintage Trouble
  

But it was the Dixie Chicks we’d come to see: Natalie Maines, and sisters Emily Robison, and Martie Maguire. They did not disappoint. 

    
 Even Studly mumbled along to “Goodbye Earl” and “Wide Open Spaces,” throwing vague lines about happy birthday in to fill the gaps. 

I sang every song, but as the evening went on I began to worry that they wouldn’t sing “Not Ready to Make Nice,” the Chicks‘ anthem about the price they paid for Natalie’s comment about President Bush. You see, I’ve alienated quite a few friends over my outspoken Liberal views, and “Not Ready to Make Nice” resonates with me. I needn’t have worried. They saved it for the encore and brought the house down.

From what I witnessed in Tampa, The Dixie Chicks are being embraced with open arms. They were a long time gone, but now they’re back with a vengeance. And I know I like it. 

Here’s “Not Ready to Make Nice” from YouTube. The lyrics follow. Enjoy.

http://youtu.be/pojL_35QlSI

“Not Ready to Make Nice”
Dixie Chicks

Forgive, sounds good

Forget, I’m not sure I could

They say time heals everything

But I’m still waiting.

I’m through with doubt

There’s nothing left for me to figure out

I’ve paid a price, and I’ll keep paying

I’m not ready to make nice

I’m not ready to back down

I’m still mad as hell, and I don’t have time

To go ’round and ’round and ’round

It’s too late to make it right

I probably wouldn’t if I could

‘Cause I’m mad as hell

Can’t bring myself to do what it is

You think I should

I know you said

Can’t you just get over it?

It turned my whole world around

And I kinda like it

I made my bed, and I sleep like a baby

With no regrets, and I don’t mind saying

It’s a sad, sad story

When a mother will teach her daughter

That she ought to hate a perfect stranger

And how in the world

Can the words that I said

Send somebody so over the edge

That they’d write me a letter

Saying that I better

Shut up and sing

Or my life will be over?

I’m not ready to make nice

I’m not ready to back down

I’m still mad as hell, and I don’t have time

To go ’round and ’round and ’round

It’s too late to make it right

I probably wouldn’t if I could

‘Cause I’m mad as hell

Can’t bring myself to do what it is

You think I should

I’m not ready to make nice

I’m not ready to back down

I’m still mad as hell, and I don’t have time

To go ’round and ’round and ’round

It’s too late to make it right

I probably wouldn’t if I could

‘Cause I’m mad as hell

Can’t bring myself to do what it is

You think I should, what it is you think I should

What it is you think I should

Forgive, sounds good

Forget, I’m not sure I could

They say time heals everything

But I’m still waiting

Written by Dan Wilson, Emily Robison, Martha Maguire, Natalie Maines • Copyright © BMG Rights Management US, LLC

Big Days on the Beach

After two days sequestered inside our hotel room suffering from flu-like symptoms, Studly Doright seems to have emerged from the valley of the shadow of death.  At least he showered, brushed his teeth, and went on a dolphin viewing tour with me, and I ask you, would a man on his deathbed have been capable of that?

   
 

When we left the marina area after the dolphin tour I spied the sign for the Clearwater Aquarium, and since Studly still had a bit of spring in his step we stopped in to visit with Winter, the dolphin made famous in the movie, Dolphin Tale.

   
 

Winter (above) stayed in the background this afternoon, but Hope (below) was eager to strut her stuff.

 

She kept showing us her tail, as if to say, “I don’t know why Winter is the star, I’m the one with a tail.” Cheeky dolphin

Tomorrow (Friday) is a big day. We’ve booked a 90 minute jet ski tour for 11 a.m. I’ve never ridden a jet ski, so I’m a little nervous. Then tomorrow evening we’re headed into Tampa for the Dixie Chicks concert. I’d better get to bed. 

Peace, people!

Destination Clearwater Beach

Florida is a big ol’ state. Just how big?

  
Well, according to City-data.com,

“The total area of Florida is 58,664 sq mi (151,939 sq km), of which land takes up 54,153 sq mi (140,256 sq km) and inland water 4,511 sq mi (11,683 sq km). Florida extends 361 mi (581 km) E–W; its maximum N–S extension is 447 mi (719 km). The state comprises a peninsula surrounded by ocean on three sides, with a panhandle of land in the NW.”

Even though Studly Doright and I have lived in Tallahassee for the past three years, and prior to this stint we lived in Melbourne, FL, for a period of four years  from 2000 to 2004, with a stretch of Illinois in between, there are a great many places in the Sunshine State that we’ve yet to visit. 

This week we’re heading to one of those long neglected places, Clearwater Beach, for a belated 40th anniversary celebration. 

  
Clearwater Beach is on Florida’s Gulf Coast, roughly 40 miles from Tampa. Rumor has it that the beaches there are some of the finest in the world, and I plan to do some serious investigating–mostly from the comfort of a lounge chair under a broad beach umbrella while sipping a mojito.

My Studly Doright is in need of a hefty dose of downtime, so we haven’t made plans to do anything too strenuous on our vacation. We have tickets to see The Dixie Chicks in Tampa on the 19th,

  
and I want to check out the Clearwater Marine Aquarium where “Dolphin Tale” was filmed. 

  
I made Studly watch “Dolphin Tale” so he’d be familiar with Winter, the dolphin. 

Other than that, we’re going to be lazy beach bums for a week. I’ll try to keep up with my blog, and I’ve got a few pieces queued up. Maybe I’ll even find some new inspiration.

  
What??? It could happen. Until then, keep the faith.

  
Peace, people!