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

In the Middle of the Night

I caught Studly Doright’s cold on our last day of vacation. We arrived safely home to Doright Manor around 3:30 p.m. I took a dose of my favorite nighttime cold medicine and went straight to bed. Yay Tylenol! I slept twelve hours straight through.

Studly wisely slept in one of the guest rooms. I can hear his muffled snores echoing through the hall. From a distance they provide a soothing backdrop. The key word there is “distance.”

I took a second dose of medicine, and hope to drift away soon. I still have some good vacation stories to write and will do so when I’m feeling better. In the meantime here are some random vacation photos. 

   
    
    
    
    
   
Peace, people.

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!

Rainy Days and Vacations Always Get Me Down.

Rain is our friend, right? Along with sunshine and good soil rain helps our gardens grow. But this forecast is bringing me down, man.

  
I’m especially bummed about the forecast for the Tampa area. Studly Doright and I have booked a beachfront suite at a resort in Clearwater, FL, for next week in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Their ten day forecast is as depressing as ours. 

Hopefully this whole mess will clear out by next Thursday. If not, Studly and I have to figure out how to have fun in a hotel room for five days. I should probably bring a deck of cards. And wine. Lots of wine.

Maybe Karen Carpenter can sing me out of my funk:

http://youtu.be/PjFoQxjgbrs
  
Peace, people!