If the Dixie Chicks seemed a bit unprepared for their multiple acceptance speeches at the Grammys (unlike Mary J. Blige, who had a list of more than 50 people to read off), that wasn’t feigned humility. “We were like deer in the headlights!” said fiddler Martie Maguire when PopWatch caught up with her after the show. “I know when we watch it back, the camera will show how shocked we were. I thought maybe we would get country album, but the others, no way.” (For the record, they swept the multi-genre categories of best record, song, and album, as well as winning in two country categories.)
“How do you get record of the year, without airplay?” Maguire asked, possibly not even rhetorically. PopWatch opined that their triumphant “Not Ready to Make Nice” was the first true Internet hit — a song that everyone read about or heard about on the news, but couldn’t find on the radio, and thus had to stream. “I’d agree with that,” said Dan Wilson, the ex-Semisonic leader who cowrote the tune, sitting nearby. “But VH1 helped a lot,” added Maguire, “making us cool with that audience.”
Earlier in the wee hours, they’d been joined in their cabana at the record company’s Beverly Hills Hotel post-Grammy party by Don Henley — who, as presenter of the climactic award, made it clear that his loyalties lay with his fellow Texans. They’d performed “Desperado” at a MusiCares benefit dinner honoring Henley two nights earlier, but seemed unaware of the full level of the Eagle’s support until now. “That meant a lot, to get that from Don Henley,” said Maguire. “We didn’t know he was that into what we’re doing. Starting off, they were one of the references we would use, when we were wrapping our heads around how we were gonna make this Rick Rubin record that would stay a little bit country but move us forward. That was what the Eagles did, so we would say ‘Oh, like when they did these harmonies this way…'”
Also traveling in the Chicks’ camp Sunday night was Cecilia Peck, producer and co-director of their documentary Shut Up and Sing, just out on DVD. Peck says there’s a two-disc special edition due to hit stores this summer that includes not only outtakes from the doc footage but the entirety of the first night of the band’s most recent arena tour. In other words: Even more singing! Even less shutting up!