01/16/2008 12:14 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Music to My Ears

The Dixie Chicks kept me company Saturday afternoon as I prepared for friends that evening. Like lots of their newest admirers, I came for the politics and stayed for their music. In a sea of profit-driven entertainment, it's easy to forget why we so desperately need our artists, whatever the medium. It's their job to tell us the truth as honestly as they can.

I love to quote Joseph Campbell summarizing the Buddha's teaching: "Eschew fear, lust, and social conformity." I don't need to know where the Dixie Chicks are on lust (Campbell could have said "attachment".) But they certainly eschew fear and social conformity in "Taking the Long Road".

If forging a viable future requires artists to go where they're not comfortable, it also requires people like me to go places new to me, including C&W music. And I'm happy to say, when I'm cleaning house singing back-up to the Dixie Chicks, "I'm not ready to make nice, probably wouldn't if I could," I feel a whole lot better about America.

We've welcomed lots of people, including artists, who have the courage to take us places we need to explore in pursuit of a vibrant future at our website