Kasey Chambers The Captain

Although she's been compared to both Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris, something this fresh could only have come from Australia's remote Nullarbor Plain. There could be no other explanation for such a youthful perspective that is as instantly world-weary as John Prine's and from as pure an instrument as Iris Dement's. Weaned on Hank Williams, Gram Parsons and Jimmie Rodgers, the 23-year old Chambers has lived the high lonesome sound through the chosen nomadic lifestyle of her family, a travelling country band that eked out their existence from the remote, barren extremes of southeast Australia. As a result, her ability to write and sing is drawn from a well deep within. Songs like "Don't Talk Back" and "Mr. Bayliss" are instant classics and the laughable hoe-down of "We're All Gonna Die Someday" puts her in a league of her own making. Having seen her play live with her dad on lead guitar and her brother on bass brought it all into family-focus. (Warner)