If Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams were to marry and adopt an Australian child, her name would be Kasey Chambers. There's no need to dream of such a union however. Chambers already exists and has her own talented family to boot. Brother Nash produced her latest effort and father Bill plays an array of instruments on several songs.
"Runaway Train" and "Barricades & Brickwalls" are more raw and gritty than the usual garbage churned out by Nashville. Her breakout single, "Not Pretty Enough", takes a long look at the music business without being dogmatic, while the rolling melancholy of "On A Bad Day" takes to the skies with a gentle fiddle, dobro and Lucinda Williams' raspy vocals.
Chambers writes songs that resonate with the heart. "A Little Bit Lonesome" is the perfect country song replete with requisite heartbreak. It already sounds as timeless as her cover of Gram Parsons' "Still Feeling Blue". The beatific "I Still Pray" also shares that quality of intimate familiarity. "Nullarbor Song" is a valentine to her native Australia. Dingoes are present on this range, not deer and antelope.
Though the album is a bit uneven at times, it doesn't suffer from overkill production. She may not have been born in Nashville but she could run the town with this strong selection of songs.