Martie Maguire

Martie Maguire
Emily Strayer
Natalie Maines
Court Yard Hounds
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About Me

photo by Mark Seliger

A Little About Martie
Name: Martha Eleanor Maguire
Born: October 12, 1969 in York, PA
Home: Austin, Texas 
Children: twin girls Eva Ruth and Kathleen Emilie (April 27, 2004), daughter Harper Rosie (July 25, 2008)
Eye Color: Brown
Height: 5' 8"
Earlier Band: Blue Night Express
Opry Debut: in 1991 (with former Dixie Chicks)
Sports: played soccer in high school
Most Embarrassing Moment: "My first kiss; we missed mouths completely!"
Pet Peeve: hates coffee breath
Favorite Dixie Chicks Song To Perform: Sin Wagon
Martie is a championship-level fiddle player who started at the age of five years old with violin lessons. She then began fiddling when she was 12. She and Emily would practice everyday while being timed with their mother's egg timer. In school, Martie was in orchestra. Martie and Emily toured the country together in a teen's bluegrass group for six years before helping to form the Dixie Chicks. They both were playing acoustic instruments before their teens.

Martie's Instruments

Fiddles - Her 1st fiddle is a 1920 German Stradavari model while her 2nd fiddle is a German Stainer built in the late teens or early 20's. Each is equipped with an L.R. Baggs violin bridge, a Shure SM98 mic (RF), and D'Addario Helicore H310 (heavy tension) strings. Martie also has a modified Stradivari/Guarneri del Gesu model from William Townshend.

Electric mandolin - solidbody built by E.F. Elliot (played during Goodbye Earl)

Acoustic Mandolin -  Gibson A-9 (played during Landslide, Everybody Knows, Thin Line). During the Top Of The World tour, Martie played a Gibson F-5 Master.

Interview by Nina Malkin

What do you love most about performing?
I'm a big smiler, and I like to have a real connection with people, pick each person out of the audience and try to identify with them.

You've been performing since forever!
About four or so. Whenever we had company over, Emily and I were like the little performing robots. Our parents would give us that look of, "Time to get your instruments!"

Were you ever a rock chick at any point?
Oh yeah! I never denied that I always loved country and bluegrass, even though it was totally uncool, but I was a huge Doors fan. I liked a lot of alternative and I like punk stuff. Also, I have every album Lyle Lovett ever made. I love Lauryn Hill and I love Yo Yo Ma.

What do you think makes the Dixie Chicks sound so special?
It's very rootsy, but then Natalie comes in with a rock and blues influence. That gave Emily and I a chance to branch out, because we loved those kinds of music but felt limited by our instruments.

Do you think of yourself as a role model for young people?
Well, if anyone sees us as role models I hope she understands that we're human and we make mistakes. I don't think there's any such thing as the perfect role model. None of my role models were perfect, and I kind of liked it when they got in trouble or did something different.

Do you have a favorite song on the new album?
Yes, but it's the one that I wrote, "Cowboy Take Me Away." It was inspired by my sister finding the love of her life. I always kind of worried about her, and I'm just so glad she found a good guy.

Are you personally more rebellious or traditional?
I have a hidden wild side, and the older I get the more it comes out. It's like I'm having a delayed college experience living on the road.

Oh, what's the wildest thing you did?
[Laughs uproariously] I can't tell you that! But I will say that I learned things the hard way, by experimenting and sometimes getting hurt. Emily was always more mature; maybe a lot smarter.

What's your everyday off-stage style?
Jeans, Birkenstocks or tennies, and a baby-doll T-shirt. I like to be comfortable, because we always have to be dressed up and made up for work.

Describe the chemistry between the three of you?
Sometimes we can just look at each other without any words and just know that we've reached a point of like, "Ahhh." I'm doing what I always wanted to do with two of my best friends and we all believe in the same thing.

You were performing as a little kid and a teenager. Any advice for kids who want to pursue music?
Whatever your parents do to make you practice, just do it. I remember thinking, "Oh, I'm just going to be practicing forever and will never really enjoy hearing myself play," but when you do reach that it's incredible. If your parents are willing to cart you to lessons and things, that work is going to pay off. My mom used to say: "If you don't practice you're going to lose the magic!"

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