Long before Dixie Chicks were even full-grown, Lloyd Maines (father of Dixie Chick Natalie Maines) had established himself as a country music giant, both as a legendary steel guitarist and a producer. Maines studied forestry while attending college at Texas Tech and hoped to join the parks department. Nevertheless, after landing a job at a local studio, his future was set.
Maines' pedal steel work seems to crop up everywhere, from work by earlier non-mainstream country artists such as Joe Ely and Terry Allen to '90s efforts by alt-country upstarts as Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, Richard Buckner, and Wagon. Perhaps more importantly, he has carved out a career as a sought-after producer. He started his producing career in 1978 in a big way: with Terry Allen's Lubbock (On Everything), an album that has gathered immense critical momentum as time has passed, and which stands as a seminal work by the Lubbock songwriter crowd. Over the years, he has helmed albums by sometime Flatlanders Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. He has also produced for such artists as Andy Wilkinson, Jerry Jeff Walker, Will T. Massey, George Ensle, Jimmy Collins, Lost Gonzo Band, Charlie Robison, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Richard Buckner, Wayne Hancock, and Robert Earl Keen.
In the meantime, he has also laid down steel for folks such as Guy Clark, David Byrne, Dixie Chicks, and Radney Foster. He also remained involved with the Maines Brothers Band, a band with his siblings Kenny, Donnie, and Steve. The group released eight albums between 1978 and 1991.