Ljubinko Zivkovic’s entry last week on ‘The Chain Gang’ was The Triffids, which immediately inspired thoughts of another Australian americana artist, Kasey Chambers. Chambers is from Mount Gambier, South Australia, 760 miles from The Triffids’ hometown of Sydney. This week’s song, leading on from not only the Aussie connection but also The Triffids’ ‘Wide Open Road,’ is Chambers’ ‘Hard Road.’
‘Hard Road’ is a track from Chambers’ 2006 album ‘Carnival.’ recorded in New South Wales, and produced, like most of her albums, by her older brother Nash Chambers. While it still has her full, confident voice and well-crafted lyrics, the album was enough of a departure from her earlier country sound that it was deemed ineligible for the country charts in Australia and the U.S. While ‘Hard Road’ was not released as a single, it displays Chambers’ skills as a wordsmith with evocative lines like: “There’s blood in the kitchen / In the shape of a sin / There’s a ship in the water / But it ain’t coming in / There’s a fall of an angel / At the end of the show / But who’s gonna save my soul / It’s a hard road.”
Chambers’ career began when she was still a child from the desert performing in her devout Seventh Day Adventist family’s country group, The Dead Ringer Band, for which she eventually became a songwriter. Her first solo album was the stellar ‘The Captain’ (1999), which, along with ‘Barricades & Brickwalls’ and ‘Wayward Angel,’ solidified her reputation as a brilliant songwriter. Somehow, after all these years, Chambers is not as well known outside her homeland as she should be. She’s had modest success in the U.S. but nothing approaching her massive stardom in the Antipodes, where she has won over a dozen ARIA awards and numerous other industry accolades. For anyone unfamiliar with Kasey Chambers, her solid body of work going back over two decades is well worth checking out.