“Cheap! Cheap!”

The Dixie Chicks say that Sony Music owes them millions. If they can break their contract, the record business will never be the same.

I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT THE DIXIE CHICKS and their record label, Sony Music, would end up in court. One night about a year and a half ago, I was interviewing Charlie Robison in the Olmos Park cottage he shares with his wife, Emily, the banjo player for the Dixie Chicks, for an article about Charlie and his singer-songwriter brother, Bruce. Charlie and I had been running buddies back when we were both dirt-poor broke and sleeping till noon in Austin’s mid-nineties slacker heyday, and that night we decided to celebrate the distance we’d put between our current and former selves with a bottle of wine. We chose a stately merlot-cab blend, one sufficiently bold that it would not be overwhelmed by the Cornnuts I’d picked up on the ride into San Antonio—and, unfortunately, sufficiently red to ruin one of Emily’s new overstuffed, white easy


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