Natalie Maines: Going solo with "Mother"

(CBS News) "Not Ready to Make Nice" was a defiant statement -- and a Grammy-winning hit -- for the Dixie Chicks back in 2006. And now, one Dixie Chick is raising her voice in song once again . . . as well as talking to our Lee Cowan:


Even if you're not into country music -- maybe the banjo picks at a raw nerve, or you've just never been a fan of the fiddle -- chances are you forgot all of that when you heard the Dixie Chicks play.

The all-girl trio, whose hits included "Wide Open Spaces," "Cowboy Take Me Away," and "Long Time Gone," offered a soundtrack for a generation, with just a little hint of twang.

They are the bestselling all-female group in the country -- book-ended by two sisters, Emily Erwin and Martie Maguire, and in the middle, lead singer Natalie Maines -- a mix of country, pop, and a whole lot of attitude.

"I like to say being in the Dixie Chicks was like winning the lottery 10 years in a row," Maines told Cowan. "I mean, we really were just on that high of, 'Oh my God, can you believe this is happening to us?'"

Of course, something ELSE happened to the Dixie Chicks that bumped them off the ride of their lives -- and into a world of trouble.

It was in London in 2003, when Natalie decided to speak out about the impending invasion of Iraq:

"Just so you know, we're on the good side with you all. We do not want this war. And we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas."

"Those words just changed everything for you, right?" asked Cowan.

"Yep," Maines replied.

They went from top of the charts to the basement in a matter of weeks.

While the Chicks did put out one more album after that, the 38-year-old Maines has spent most of her time at home in Los Angeles, tending her desert garden, and focusing on being a mom.

"Did you miss being out on tour?" Cowan asked.

"You know, people ask me that so much I feel like I should," she replied. "My answer's not the right answer but, you know, I just get fulfilled by so many things. I'm just not one to pine for what I'm not doing."

Fitting, perhaps, that her newest album -- out this past week -- is called "Mother."

It's a fiery mix of Pink Floyd and Eddie Vedder, along with some originals that she co-wrote with singer songwriter Ben Harper.

"In my opinion, Natalie knew where she wanted to take her music, and kind of just led the charge," Harper told Cowan.

And that charge is decidedly away from country music -- and this time she's going solo.

"To me, this album is the most natural music I've ever made," Maines said. "This is what I like, what I listen to, what I grew up singing songs like."

WEB EXTRA: To listen to streaming audio of Natalie Maines' album, "Mother," or to purchase, click on the links below.

"What does it mean for the Dixie Chicks? Does it mean that you guys are over?" Cowan asked.

"I don't know what we are," Maines said. "Well, we're not over, but I don't know if there's new music coming."

Truth is, she was never really a fan of country music. "No. It burned my ears!" she laughed.

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