The truest test of an act is its ability to deliver live, and the Dixie Chicks do this in spades, as heard on this double CD from their recent tour.

The truest test of an act is its ability to deliver live, and the Dixie Chicks do this in spades, as heard on this double CD from their recent tour. Make no mistake, from the opening thump of "Goodbye Earl," these gals know something about musical attitude. And when Natalie Maines opens her mouth to sing, amazing things happen. Hits like "There's Your Trouble" and "Cowboy Take Me Away" sit fine next to such authentic fare as the bluegrass rampage "Tortured, Tangled Hearts," the stone country "Hello, Mr. Heartache" and the powerful "Cold Day in July." Patty Griffin's "Truth No. 2" turns into a freedom of speech anthem in the Chicks' hands, and Dylan's "Mississippi" is a country-rockin' treat. They play like bluegrass bandits, sing like rock angels and, like it or not, are a big-time country act. A companion DVD shows they look good doing it, too.—RW

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