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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 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.