The Dixie Chicks’ second album was Little Ol’ Cowgirl. Released in 1992, the album found the original lineup of Robin Lynn Macy, Laura Lynch, Martie & Emily Erwin working through an assortment of original material and covers.
The album opens up with the title track, a spritely western swing number penned by John Ims. Laura Lynch sings the lead with really nice trio harmonizing by Macy and Emily Erwin. We should note that Martie Lynch mostly plays fiddle on this album but whenever the harmony is a trio, she is not singing.
She’s a little ol’ cowgirl from out Texas way
Countin’ the nights ’til the fiddler plays
Workin’ all week just doin’ her thing
She likes punchin’ doggies but she loves to swing
And when she hears that backbeat rhythm driftin’ through the door
She can’t talk, she can’t sit still, she can’t stay off of that floor
Kickin’ her heels up lordy look at her twirl
Everybody wants to boogie on down
With the little ol’ cowgirl
Robin Lynn Macy takes the lead on “A Road Is Just A Road”, a cover of a song written by Mary Chapin Carpenter & John Jennings. The song is a med-tempo with ballad, with trio harmony.
“She’ll Find Better Things To Do” comes from the pen of Bob Millard. Macy takes the lead vocal on this mid-tempo modern country ballad about a relationship that has come unraveled. The songs has quartet harmony.
She don’t see no way around it It
He shows every sign of leavin’ her behind
After three days stayin’ out late
It don’t look like he’ll be comin’ home tonight
She wants to cry but pride won’t let her
She’ll find better things to do
Leaves her key inside the mailbox
With a note that tells that cowboy where to go …
This is followed by “An Irish Medley” (comprised of “Handsome Molly”, “Little Beggerman” and “Mist On The Moor”). Macy sings the lead with Lynch on harmony on the first two parts with the last tune being an instrumental . Bruce Singleton guests on penny whistle and bagpipes, with J.D. Brown also on bagpipes and Olga Arseniev on accordion.
“You Send Me” was a #1 Pop & #1 R&B hit in 1957 for its writer the legendary Sam Cooke. The song is a dreamy ballad with Laura Lynch handling the lead vocals with the rest joining in on harmonies. Lloyd Maines plays steel guitar on this number.
Darling, you send me
I know you send me
Darling, you send me
Honest you do, honest you do
Honest you do, whoa
You thrill me
I know you, you, you thrill me
Darling, you, you, you, you thrill me
Honest you do
At first I thought it was infatuation
But, woo, it’s lasted so long
Now I find myself wanting
To marry you and take you home, whoa
“Just A Bit Like Me” is treated as straight-ahead bluegrass. Written by Robin Lynn Macy, this is a really nice song that deserves to be more widely covered. Robin sings the lead with the others joining in on harmony, Dave Peters plays mandolin on this track.
It’s six o’clock in the morning
The sun was ready to rise
And as she closes his lunchbox
She spies the sun in his eyes
She stays at home with the baby
She’s got a dream in her heart
Somewhere her sister is singing
A night is ready to start
One’s choosing, one’s cruising
Down the highway of their dreams
While songs are sung her dream’s begun
And she thinks of what it means
To live through her voice, she made a choice
But neither one is free
Am I a lot like her or is she just a bit like me?
“A Heart That Can” was written by Patti Dixon with Laura Lynch singing lead and the rest on harmony vocals. Lloyd Maines plays steel guitar on this track. This track is performed as contemporary Nashville pop-country. Had the song been released on a major label, it likely would have received considerable airplay.
You say I’ve done a lot of good
You’re glad I found you when I did
But I wonder why you keep
Those questions in your head
Oh I think you’re afraid to fall
Someone went and blew the call
All I can say is my heart tries hard
Try as hard as I can
You’ll never find that my love falls short
One day you’ll understand
That I’ve got a heart that can
The next track is a cover of Hal Ketcham’s recent hit “Past The Point of Rescue”. Robin sings the lead with trio harmonies. Olga Arseniev plays the accordion. The song is taken at the same tempo as Ketcham’s hit but with different instrumentation, resulting in a very nice recording.
Martie Erwin and Matthew Benjamin composed the mid-tempo swing instrumental “Beatin’ Around The Bush”. David Peters joins in on mandolin and Matthew Benjamin plays guitar.
“Two Of A Kind” was written by John Ims. Laura Lynch sings the vocal (no vocal harmonies) on this lovely medium -slow ballad. Dave Peters and Lloyd Maines appear on this track.
On the road without a friend
Can make you feel life’s loneliness
In a voice that rides the wind
Streaming ‘cross the airwaves
In a simple country song
The one that you don’t hear
Until the moon is full
It was Texas once again
The one about the good old boy
Who’s caught remembering
Images of childhood
And the places that he’d been
Caught up in his questions
Wondering where it would end
Another midnight on the highway
Dallas in the distance
Seems I’m always leaving love behind
Singing along with someone
Who’s soul is on the radio
Sounds like me and the good old boy
Are two of a kind
“Standing By The Bedside was written by I. Tucker with Laura Lynch on lead vocals and the rest doing harmonies. Jeff Hellmer guests on piano. The song is a medium temp western swing number. The lyric is religious in nature about a sister who is at death’s door.
The best song on the album is “Aunt Mattie’s Quilt, co-written by Robin Lynn Macy and Lisa Brandenburg. Robin sings the lead with trio harmonies. The song is more of a folksong story-ballad, but
it fits the album nicely. Larry Seyer guests on piano and Dave Peters is back on mandolin.
Aunt Mattie bent a thousand times down the long black rows
Then battled with the angry weeds so little seeds could grow
Come summer Mattie pulled the snow from cruel and cutting bolls
She was patient pale and slender and was only eight years old
Round and round the spinning wheel beneath Aunt Mattie’s boot
She recalled the soil and cotton seeds and summer’s hopeful shoots
Two winters spun out summer’s threads in rich and creamy folds
And she had a bolt of cotton cloth when she turned ten years old
Many acts, in many different genres, have covered the Ray Charles classic “Hallelejah I Love Him (Her) So”. The Chicks take on the song is novel with bass and drums basically carrying the song instrumentally.
Robin Lynn Macy sings lead with the rest joining in on subdued harmony.
The album closes with a Laura Lynch- Martie Erwin composition titled “Pink Toenails”. Laura Lynch lead vocals with the rest on vocal harmonies. Larry Spencer plays trumpet and Jeff Hellmer tinkles the ivories on the jazzy torch song.
Pink toenails, why don’t I have time to paint pink toenails?
I’ve got my pink foam curlers and my pony-tail
My girlfriends have time for their pink toenails
Come nightfall, you’ll be waltzing through my door
When you hear me call and I love the way you say
“I’m your baby doll” and you’ll find me sitting there
In my pink toenails
This is an outstanding album and I am torn as to whether or not I prefer this album or Thank Heavens For Dale Evans.
I originally purchased both albums on cassette and upgraded to CD after wearing out the cassettes. I would give both albums a solid A. On this album Laura Lynch occasionally plays bass but mostly just sings, Robin Lynn Macy is on guitar, Emily Erwin plays bass, guitjo, banjo and Martie Erwin plays fiddle and viola. The Erwin sisters are the stronger instrumentalists and Martie’s instrumental contributions are outstanding. Tom Van Schalk plays percussion/ drums.