Kasey CHAMBERS Barricades And Brickwalls (Warner) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
On the follow-up to her critically lauded debut, Lucinda Williams protégé Kasey Chambers proves that a down-home country-rock belter from Down Under can teach her stateside colleagues a thing or two about authentic Americana. Chambers sticks mainly to typical lovelorn narratives, but both her songwriting and delivery ring true. Backed by simple acoustic guitar, her voice cracks with emotion on the wistful Not Pretty Enough; a couple of tracks later, Chambers becomes Patsy Cline gussied up as a brazen saloon madam on the li'l bit honky-tonk A Little Bit Lonesome. A heartbreakingly beautiful album.