154. Kasey Chambers – “Barricades & Brickwalls”

I’m an unashamed fan of from-the-heart, hillbilly country rock.  I mean the sort of corny stuff that Hank Williams was pumping out sixty years, with  a bit of pedal steel, a twang in the voice and sorrowful tale to tell.

Album Cover Kasey Chambers Barricades and BrickwallsThis second effort from Kasey Chambers delivers on all fronts.  She sings about trains and heartache, feeling blue and lonesome.

Gone are the middle-of-the-road tendencies of her debut.  Now she’s in serious ho-down mode.  You can slap your thigh to several tunes on here, and the rest are custom made for singing loud while driving the open road.

Sure, her voice is nasel and slightly childlike.  But there are no shortage of other singers who get by without angelic vocals (Dylan, anyone?).  More important is her songwriting and delivery which are unpretentious and moving.

Back on the Williams comparisons,  A Little Bit Lonesome could have been torn straight from his songbook (although he might have avoided the arse reference, at least in the recording studio).

The opening title track sets the scene well and Still Feeling Blue and I Still Pray are sterling efforts. The album’s not perfect.  There are fewer duller moments in the middle. But this is my go-to Kasey effort.

File under: Breakthrough blowout

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