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Cirque Du Soleil
“Someone”
Delirium
(Cirque Du Soleil)
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Patricia Barber
“Whiteworld/Oedipus”
Mythologies
(Blue Note)
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Cirque Du Soleil
“Someone”
Delirium
(Cirque Du Soleil)
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Jim Pearce
“Why I Haven't Got You”
Prairie Dog Ballet
(Oak Avenue Publishing)
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Andy Timmons Band
“Gone (9/11/01)”
Resolution
(Favored Nations)
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Ralph Towner
“If”
Time Line
(ECM Records)
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Anoushka Shankar
"Beloved"
Rise
(Angel)
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Amos Lee
"Arms Of A Woman"
Amos Lee
(Blue Note)
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Julius Curcio
"American Pie"
Alligator Shoes
(Electric Roots)
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Lemon
"Come Alive"
Changing Into Me
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Spotlights [Issue # 11 ]
Kasey Chambers: Coming Up From Down Under

By Dean Truitt


The casual fan of country music might be surprised to discover the next sensation in the industry is a woman who hails from Australia’s Outback, but Kasey Chambers is quickly making that scenario a reality. Chambers’ latest album, Wayward Angel, is already a mainstay on VH-1 Country and CMT; and, her first single, “Like A River,” appears to have struck a resonant nerve with many fans.

The casual fan of country music might be surprised to discover the next sensation in the industry is a woman who hails from Australia’s Outback, but Kasey Chambers is quickly making that scenario a reality. Chambers’ latest album, Wayward Angel, is already a mainstay on VH-1 Country and CMT; and, her first single, “Like A River,” appears to have struck a resonant nerve with many fans.

Chambers is no newcomer to the music scene, but it has been several years since her last release, 2001’s Barricades & Brickwalls. Unlike many artists taking an extended hiatus, the chanteuse was doing something meaningful with her life; she gave birth to her first son, Talon. Consequently, the interim was an excellent time to reevaluate one’s life and priorities. She observes, “Having my son gave me confidence, made me relax, and made me realize that certain things are not as important as I once may have thought . . . Nothing brings you back to earth after the high of a performance like dirty diapers (laughs).”

Perhaps one of the sources of the singer/songwriter’s stability may come from the fact that she has always maintained inextricable ties with her family. Her brother Nash produces her albums while simultaneously managing her rising career. Her father plays guitar for her while her mother sells tour merchandise. It is literally a family operation in every sense of the word. Upon speaking with the singer, one can instantly recognize the strength of her values. She beams, “Just for a start, it makes it more enjoyable for me to have them on the road with me. It’s like a security blanket to have my mum.”

Not only has Chambers grown as human being, but also as an artist. When noting the strengths of Wayward Angel, she observes, “I feel this album is the most me of any of them (previous albums). It’s true to what I am and not a collection of influences or what I was listening to at the time.”

On the song “Paper Aeroplane,” she deviated from her normal approach on several levels. She explains, “In the past, I always wrote songs from my own perspective. That one was inspired by a story I saw on A Current Affair (an Australian news program) about a man who had lost his wife to cancer.” The beautiful elegy, which the songwriter cites as a personal favorite from the CD, was also the first song in which she is accompanied solely by piano. She recalls, “I knew immediately that I wanted to record that song (“Paper Aeroplane”) with piano and it was a very fun experience.”

The album is 14 songs overspilling raw emotion, charm, honesty, and beauty. The track “Hollywood” deals with the fleeting sense of reality that comes with rising fame, while “Lost And Found” renders the bittersweet frailty of saying goodbye to a loving relationship.

Interestingly, Chambers notes that the way she is perceived is quite different in the US than Down Under. She explains, “In Australia, I am considered more of a pop singer with the ARIA Awards (Australia’s equivalent to the Grammy), but in America, I am basically an alt-country artist.” 

With a genuine modesty, she quips, “It’s hard for me to imagine that America would care about a small-town girl from the Outback of Australia when there are so many amazing artists there. It’s really an honor.” That being said, regaled musicians such as Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris are ardent fans. With the gritty, sweet, honest storytelling presented on Wayward Angel, the rest of the world will soon follow.


Wayward Angel
Warner Bros.

Coming Up From Down Under Kasey Chambers Wayward Angel


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