Record Review - 2 December 23 2000
From the outback of Australia comes one of the most exciting new artists of the year, as Kasey Chambers makes her American debut with the stunning The Captain. At 23, she's a lifelong veteran of the music business, having performed and toured all over Australia with her family. The Captain is a continuation of this family affair, with production and backup support by brother Nash Chambers, and instrumental and vocal accompaniment by her father, Bill Chambers. Kasey wrote all the songs here, and the pervasive style is derived from an amalgam of influences including pure country, traditional folk and a bit of contemporary rock thrown in.
Vocally, Chambers has a high sweet voice, reminiscent of Hightone artist Julie Miller, who (along with husband Buddy Miller) joins Chambers for some wonderful harmony vocals. She can deliver the goods on a high energy tune such as "You Got the Car," or melt your heart with the angelic "Don't Go." Chambers' partly autobiographical writing includes descriptions of her unique upbringing in such songs as "Cry Like a Baby" and "Southern Kind of Life." She also shows a remarkably mature and clear perspective on "Don't Talk Back," while her humorous side emerges with a look at mortality in the hilarious and rousing "We're All Gonna Die Someday."
While the term Americana has been used in a number of ways to describe a rather nebulous genre of music, it's ironic that one of the best examples of the blend comes from halfway around the world.