Kasey Chambers (born 4 June 1976) is an Australian alternative country music singer-songwriter. She is the daughter of steel guitar player Bill Chambers, and the sister of musician and producer Nash Chambers.
Soon after Kasey was born her parents took her and her 2-year-old brother Nash into Australia’s 100, 000-square-mile (260,000 km 2) sparsely vegetated and generally flat plateau called the Nullarbor Plain, hoping to earn a living hunting foxes. The family would spend seven or eight months of the year on the Nullarbor, resupplying themselves from the world’s longest stretch of straight track rosewood, 330 thousand (530 km), running through the Nullarbor. The rest of the year-the hot months-the family spent at a South Australian small fishing village. Each night out on the Nullarbor, after a day’s hunting, the family would camp in a different spot. Grabbing his guitar, Bill Chambers and his wife Diane passed on their love of country music, by the glow of the campfire, under the stars. This is how Kasey Chambers spent the first nine years of her life.
In 1986, the family returned to “civilization” so Bill and Diane could pick up interrupted music careers. First, Kasey joined them as lead singer, then Nash, and they became known as the Dead Ringer Band. By 1992, the family had become full – time musicians, playing to city audiences as well as heading back out into the countryside, pulling a small trailer behind their Toyota Land Cruiser.
The Dead Ringer Band signed with EMI shortly after and released their second album “Home Fires” in 1995. It contained the single “Australian Son” which topped the Australian country music charts and won an ARIA Australian award for country song of the year in 1996. The band won to Golden Guitar Award at the Tamworth Country Music Festival for “Band of the Year” in 1995 and mo award for best country music group a year later.
The band released living in the Circle in 1997 and Hopeville in 1998. However, the Dead Ringer Band broke up in 1998 when Bill and Diane Chambers separated with Diane moving to Norfolk Island. The Dead Ringer band collectively earned two ARIA Music Awards and seven Golden Guitars during their career.
During the 1990s, the Dead Ringer Band members, known as performers of country music, seven CDs released quality and collectively earned two ARIAs (Australian version of the Grammys) and seven Gold Guitars at the Australian Country Music awards in Tamworth. Kasey was the face of the new generation in Australian country music.
In 1998, Chambers’ parents separated, with Diane choosing to live in distant Norfolk Island, two-and-a-half hours by plane off the Australian coast. Kasey started putting her feelings into songs, and over a few weeks during the summer of 1998, she recorded her solo album The Captain on Norfolk Island. With Nash as producer, she and her musicians set up in an old homestead on the island and practically recorded the album live. Bill played guitar and two of Kasey’s heroes, Buddy and Julie Miller, voices and added guitar to four tracks afterwards in Nashville.
Released in 1999, The Captain won the 1999 ARIA award for best country album. At the 2000 awards, she was named best female artist. With triple-platinum sales in Australia, she spent the latter part of 2000 following enthusiastic reviews for her album travel up. She also toured the U.S. with Lucinda Williams and played gigs in her native land with Emmylou Harris. She was in the studio as well. With her brother Nash at the production board, Kasey Chambers delivered another beauty with 2002’s sonic Barricades and Brick Walls, with guests such as Williams and Buddy Miller. The album featured the smash hit “Not Pretty Enough” and ended up seven – times platinum.
Chambers and Shane Nicholson ARIA Hall of Fame
Chambers recorded her solo album The Captain on Norfolk Island over a few weeks in late 1998 with Nash Chambers producing the album and Bill Chambers on guitar. US country musicians Buddy Miller and Julie Miller added guitars and vocals to four tracks. The Captain was released in 1999 in Australia and in 2000 in the US. Chambers won the 1999 ARIA Award for “Best Country Album” for The Captain and a year later she would win “Best Female Artist”. The strong word of mouth would eventually lead to The Captain going double platinum in Australia. The Captain would eventually reach the top 50 of the Billboard country albums in 2001 with Chambers touring the US as support act to Lucinda Williams. Subsequently, she supported Emmylou Harris on her Australian tour. Chambers would receive further exposure when The Captain was played on an episode of HBO’s The Sopranos HBO.
Chambers’ second album Barricades & Brickwalls was released in late 2001 debuting at # 4 in the ARIA album charts. The record really took off in early 2002 with lead single “Not Pretty Enough” going to # 1 on the ARIA singles charts. Chambers became the only Australian country music artist to have a # 1 single and album on the charts in that country simultaneously. Subsequent singles “Million Tears” and “If I Were You” also made the Australian Top 40 singles charts in 2002.
Kasey Chambers performing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival
While “Not Pretty Enough” eventually went double platinum, Barricades & Brickwalls would achieve sales of 7 * platinum in Australia meaning Chambers had the second best selling single and album by an Australian artist in 2002 behind Kylie Minogue song whose can’t Get You Out of My Head album Fever and became the biggest successes of the year. At the 2002 ARIA Awards, Chambers won “Album of the Year”, “Best Female Artist” and “Best Country Album”. Barricades & Brickwalls was released in the US in 2002 peaking just outside the top 100 of the Billboard 200 album charts, topping the Billboard Heatseeker Charts and reaching the top 20 of the Billboard country charts. The album also received generally positive critical response.
She recorded at the cover of the Cyndi Lauper song “True Colours” which became the theme song of the 2003 Rugby World Cup and reached the top 5 in Australia in May 2003.
Chambers released her third solo album Wayward Angel in Australia on 31 May 2004. It debuted at # 1 on the Australian charts and went platinum in its first week of release. Singles from the album include “Hollywood”, “Pony” and “Saturated”. “Following the Boxing Day Tsunami, Chambers appeared at the Wave Aid fundraising concert in Sydney, to raise funds for aid organisations working in disaster affected areas.”
Chambers’s next album, Carnival, debuted in the # 1 position on the ARIA album charts in late August 2006. The lead single, “Nothing at All” also reached the top ten of the singles chart.
Chambers and Shane Nicholson with Troy Cassar-Daley played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 14 March 2009 for Sound Relief, multi-venue rock music concert in support of relief for the Victorian Bushfire Crisis. The event will be held simultaneously with a concert at the Sydney Cricket Ground. All the proceeds from the Melbourne Concert will go to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire relief. Appearing with Chambers in Melbourne are, Augie March, Bliss N that with Paris Wells, Gabriella Cilmi, Hunters & Collectors, Jack Johnson, Jet, Kings Of Leon, Liam Finn, Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, Split Enz and Wolfmother.
In 2002, Chambers and her then partner actor/director Cori Hopper had their first baby Talon Jordi on 22 May weighing 6 lb 6 oz. They moved to the Central Coast of New South Wales.
In late 2005, Chambers married Australian singer/songwriter Shane Nicholson. She gave birth to her second child, Arlo Ray, by emergency c section. (9 lb 10 oz) at 10: 30 am on the 16th July 2007.
She currently lives in Copacabana on the NSW central coast.