Born on June 4th, 1976, Kasey Chambers was raised in Nullarbor Plain, South Australia — one of the most desolate places on the continent. The Chambers family, a musically gifted group, led a nomadic life in the Outback, hunting fox and rabbits to support themselves. Music was the tie that bonded them and this was most evident when father Bill, mother Dianne, brother Nash, and Kasey formed The Dead Ringer Band; a country music group that released three albums between 1995 and 1998, and received awards from the Australian version of the Grammys, the ARIAs.
The early experiences on the road and in the studio convinced a young Chambers that music was the way of her future. It wasn’t long before she teamed up with EMI music and worked on a solo career. Her talents were already noted by many Aussies and it took little to create a stir over an impending album release. When The Captain hit stores in 1999, fans rushed to pick up Chambers’ debut effort, while magazines like Britain’s Q and Rolling Stone praised its crossover appeal.
From her first album, audiences gained insight into Kasey’s earlier life, as she wrote most of the tracks in her late teens and early 20s. It was a deeply personal and introspective record that caught the attention of celebrities like Dwight Yoakam, Lucinda Williams and David Letterman. These testimonials helped Chambers make significant advancements in the American market. By the time the U.S. audience was being tapped, The Captain was a Top 10 album that had gone double platinum in Australia.
Proof of her appeal came during the ARIAs, when Chambers took home Best Country Album in 1999, and Best Female Artist of the Year in 2000. She beat out pop sensations like Kylie Minogue and created a huge stir, as she became the only country music star ever to win in such a category. Still, only after her album was noted on over 50 “best-of” lists, and one of its tracks (“The Captain”) was used in the theme of HBO’s The Sopranos, did other parts of the world truly take notice.
Soon, Chambers could be seen on tour and became the first foreigner to headline the famed Austin City Limits show. Throughout all the promotion for her first album, she was devising a plan for her second. Working in both Australia and Nashville, Kasey gave life to Barricades & Brickwalls in 2002, a more experimental record that offered catchy pop, blues and country songs.
Only a year after Americans saw The Captain, Chambers’ sophomore effort was released to exponentially more hype than the first. Even Australia remained loyal, as she topped the quadruple platinum mark and won a second Artist of the Year award at the ARIAs in 2002. The single “Not Pretty Enough” became a No. 1 hit, as the album itself debuted at the top of Billboard’s Heat Seekers charts.
Recently, appearances on the American late-night talk show circuit, which includes the likes of Letterman, Leno and Conan, have sparked more interest in Chambers as she continues an American tour until March 2003. With a baby boy and actor boyfriend Cori Hopper by her side, everything seems to be headed in the right direction as Kasey’s music is beginning to blow up worldwide. And if fans still can’t get enough of her two albums, On The Road With Kasey Chambers has been released to appreciate this wonderful woman’s gift.