OFFSTAGE: Taylor Swift Plays Dixie Chicks for a Dixie Chick

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

What Martie Maguire was doing in Newark, N.J., we may never know. But what we do know is that while she was there, perhaps with her 7-year-old twin girls, the Dixie Chick took in a Taylor Swift show. As it turns out, she was there to hear Swift cover her band’s massive 1999 hit “Cowboy Take Me Away” and hear her give Maguire the shout-out she deserved for co-writing that tune. As she was playing the quiet acoustic guitar intro, Swift talked about her memory of the song which was released when she was only 10. “You know, everybody who plays an instrument remembers that first song they ever learned on guitar. And I feel so lucky because my very first memory of the first song I ever wanted to learn to play on guitar was this beautiful, gorgeous song by the Dixie Chicks called ’Cowboy Take Me Away.’ Does anybody know the words to that song?,” she asked the screaming fans. Then she added, “I happen to be looking at Martie Maguire, who wrote that song. The amazing, amazing fiddle player for the Dixie Chicks. She’s here tonight.” More screams. Then finally, Swift performs the gorgeous song I think Swift should permanently add to her set list.