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Ruby Boots - Don’t Talk About It album review

Full-throated country-rock diva puts another dime in the jukebox

Cover art for Ruby Boots - Don’t Talk About It album

Gravitating to Nashville after leaving her native Western Australia, Rebecca ‘Bex’ Chilcott has self-consciously assimilated the outward trappings of jukebox Americana, from her Vegasstyle stage name to her artfully scuffed alt.country songwriting.

Her second album covers a range of styles, from heartbroken Spector-ish girl group swooners like the title track to the plaintive piano ballad Break My Heart Twice and soft-rock chuggers like Easy Way Out. Perhaps because she is not a native, Chilcott strikes a hollow note when she plays the ragged, raunchy, sawdustspitting country-punk rebel on Don’t Give A Damn, a sloppy honky-tonk jam with distant echoes of the Stones classic You Can’t Always Get What You Want. But her powerful, versatile, wide-open voice is a key asset here, elevating the more pedestrian pop-rock tracks and hitting a transcendent peak on I Am A Woman, an a cappella ambient spiritual bathed in a spine-tingling glow of David Lynchian mystery.

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.