Two Chicks have now become Hounds. Today, Dixie sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire officially announced a new project under the name Courtyard Hounds.

Fans who pre-order their debut album on the duo’s official website,, will immediately receive four album tracks, and have an option to also purchase tickets for an upcoming tour. Their first live appearance will be at March’s SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas; the album comes to stores May 4.

“It was time,” says Robison in a press release. “We had been on hiatus from The Dixie Chicks for about a year, I was getting very restless and needed to be creative for my own sanity. And at the same time I was going through my divorce so it was very fertile ground for writing.”

“Emily was just writing and writing all of these deeply personal and truly beautiful songs,” Martie Maguire adds. “She was initially going to pitch them to other artists and I kept telling her ‘No, no, you have to save that for you. It’s too good and too personal.'”

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