A Dixie Chick answers EW.com reader questions. Fiddler Martie Maguire sounds off on covering Fleetwood Mac, why she never sings lead, and which Chick has the most ticklish tootsies

By Rob Brunner
December 04, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST
Martie Maguire: Tammie Arroyo/AFF/Retna

Would you ever consider doing ”The Devil Went Down to Georgia” on an album or in concert? –Suzy, Florence, Ala.
Oh, no. I’ll be very content if I never play ”Devil Went Down to Georgia” again. It’s just one of those things that you do when you’re learning. We try to be real careful about what we cover. I really had to be encouraged strongly to cover [Fleetwood Mac’s] ”Landslide.” [Fellow Dixie Chick] Emily [Robison] and I were pretty against it in the beginning, and Natalie [Maines] encouraged us to do it. You almost don’t want to touch those kind of songs. When the Smashing Pumpkins covered that song, I really thought it kind of ruined it. I like to be respectful of great songs like that. But I feel like the approach we took was so different, so stripped down and organic, that I was happy with it.

Is there the slightest chance of ever hearing you take lead vocals on a song? I love your voice on ”I Wasn’t Looking for You.” –Vicky Croisant, St. Johns, Mich.
Maybe if I found the right song, but I love Natalie’s voice. I really enjoy harmonizing more; I sing kind of quietly. Why have me take up a song when she has such a great voice?

Do you ever listen to pop music? –Laurie Privitera, Wethersfield, Conn.
My closet CD that I don’t admit that I really listen to is Celine Dion. My husband’s sister passed away in a car accident, and she was a huge Celine Dion fan. ”It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” was her favorite song, so that’s kind of my guilty pleasure. We just drove down to San Antonio to see Emily give birth, and we listened to the Backstreet Boys the whole way down there. And I am an ‘N Sync fan.

I admire your talent on the fiddle and mandolin. Do you play any other instruments? –Meredith Mauldin, Charleston, S.C.
I play a little acoustic bass and a little guitar. In our house there are instruments everywhere, and I love picking them up and just noodling around. I pick up my husband’s tin whistle sometimes. He’s really proficient, but it’s about the second most annoying instrument — after the banjo — if you don’t know how to play it.

Do you even get nervous anymore? –Raina Christenbury, Sterling, Va.
I probably get the most nervous of the three of us. I’m such a worrier. It’s something I’ve been trying to change about myself for 33 years. It’s the not being able to control the unforeseen. What if strings pop off my fiddle in the middle of my fiddle? There was a time on the ”Fly” tour when I had a brain block, for some reason. I started off on a fiddle tune, and I couldn’t remember how it went. So I just stopped. I took another stab at it and stopped in the same place. I could not get over the hump. Emily and Natalie were laughing. It helps to have your cohorts onstage making fun of you.

Do you consider yourself the hot one? -Mike DaSilva, Queens, N.Y.
Oh my God, no. I consider myself the old one.

Which of you is the most ticklish? –Katie Swick, Branford, Conn.
Um, I think Emily. I know when she gets a pedicure it drives her crazy. Everything tickles her feet.

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