Picks and Pans Review: Catching Up with ... Charlie Robison

updated 07/13/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/13/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>• The country singer, 44, whose nine-year marriage to Dixie Chick Emily Robison ended last year, channeled his heartache—and healing—into Beautiful Day.

ON THE DIVORCE The first five years of marriage, it was unicorns and butterflies. Then we both really started touring. It was hard because the kids [Gus, 6, and Julianna and Henry, both 4] need to be with their mom at that age, so I had to fly to where they were. It was exhausting, emotionally and physically. It snowballed. Nobody's fault.

ON KEEPING IT AMICABLE We used the same lawyer. We basically flipped a coin as to who was going to file. There's no custody agreement. Emily lives about 10 minutes away from me [in San Antonio, Texas]. We spend more time together now.

ON WHAT HIS EX THINKS OF HIS DIVORCE SONGS She was like, "Hey, you're a songwriter. This is what you do." If I had been married to a teacher or a nurse, I don't think she would have liked it.

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