The long-awaited Gaslighter has finally landed, after a short pause brought on by that little global incident. How fitting for a band that once caused such a global incident that they became a target for internet shaming in the days before social media really took off, in the days when it was still social.
I was a huge fan of The Chicks back in the 1990s, before Iraq and when they were still notionally a bluegrass band. I mainly loved Natalie, and mainly because she loves Stevie Nicks. Their song, Too Far From Texas, was by and about both women and neither of them. At times, it’s difficult to separate the two voices. To my mind, Natalie is the Stevie of the 1990s and beyond. And don’t forget, Stevie hasn’t retired.
I could see that Iraq had become necessary and inevitable. Natalie saw that too, but it didn’t stop her declaiming a Republican president on a stage in London. Country bands don’t do that, especially female ones shouting in Europe. Country music, which I thought was a genre but turned out to be a political party, stopped playing their music. But back then, The Chicks were the biggest female band in the world. They were pretty much the biggest band of any genre, of any gender, too. They were massive.
You don’t need me to tell you about Gaslighter. I never trusted Adrian. But sometimes only time can expose the obvious. Natalie and her Chicks were right about Saddam and Bush, and they’re right now about Dixie and feminism and racism. They’ve made enough money to say what they think, but so many bands in similar positions of power fail to make themselves heard. So many bands prefer to take the dollars and sing quietly. Not Natalie. Never Natalie. Listen.