||Kasey Chambers/Dead Ringer Band
By the time her debut album, The Captain, was finally released in
America last fall, Kasey Chambers was already a veritable superstar
in her native Australia. Back home, The Captain was a double-Platinum,
Top 10 album that paved Kasey's way to an armload of industry awards,
including two ARIA's (Australian GRAMMYs): Best Country Album in
1999, and more significantly – indeed, historically – Best Female
Artist in 2000. It was the first time an artist like Kasey had ever
been nominated in the mainstream pop category, let alone won it.
As Kasey said in her acceptance speech, "I never thought people
like me ever won awards like this."
But of course, none of that really mattered a whit when Kasey first
arrived on these shores – an unknown, scrappy 24-year-old punk with
a ring in her nose and an unlikely rep for being a star in a far
away country most Americans knew very little about. To make any
inroads into the U.S. market at all, Chambers would have to start
from scratch. Armed with nothing but a year-and-a-half-old album
of rootsy, melodic, pop songs written during her teens and a fragile,
crackling wonder of a voice quite unlike any singer heard in America
since Emmylou Harris, Kasey set out.
It was more than enough. Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Dwight
Yoakam and even David Letterman were among the notables quick to
publicly praise Chambers. The Captain also racked up rave reviews
in Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, US Weekly, the Washington Post
and scores of other national and regional publications. It eventually
finished in the top 100 of the Voice's year-end "Pazz & Jop Critics
Poll" as well as Rolling Stone's "Top 50 Albums of the Year 2000"
and more than 50 other best-of lists. The following spring found
her gaining even more momentum after being the talk of Austin’s
"South By Southwest" Music Festival, landing an opening slot with
Lucinda Williams' tour and having The Captain's title track prominently
featured in the HBO series The Sopranos. She also became the first
non-American act to headline Austin City Limits in the show's 26-year
history, sharing an episode with Steve Earle. Though still not quite
the household name she was Down Under, Kasey nonetheless broke a
lot of ground in the U.S. in the span of less than a year. Now,
with her genre-defying second album, the aptly titled Barricades
& Brickwalls, Kasey stands poised to break through to the next level.
Kasey laughs, knowing it's a losing battle trying to pin down her
sound. Ultimately, she doesn't care what people call her music,
so long as it remains true to herself. "I'm really happy with how
the album came out," she says of Barricades & Brickwalls. "I went
through a phase where I felt a little bit of pressure over whether
people would like it or not, but I'm pretty happy with it now. If
people don't like it, at least I know I'm doing exactly what I want
DEAD RINGER BAND
Bill, Di, Nash and Kasey Chambers are the Dead Ringer Band.
The Ringers came to prominence in 1995 when they won the
Golden Guitar for Vocal Group of the Year at
the Toyota Country Music Awards.
They released their album Homefires in 1995.
In 1996, The Dead Ringer Band won the ARIA Award for
Best Australian Country Release.
The second album Living In The Circle was released in 1997.
A third album Hopeville has been released featuring the bands favourite songs.
1999 Awards Nominations
Vocal Group or Duo: Saddle Boy
Vocal Group or Duo: Hello Hopeville
1999 The Dead Ringer Band won Vocal Group or Duo: for Saddle Boy