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Ruby Boots

Don't Talk About It – 2018 (Bloodshot)

Reviewed by Brian Baker

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Rebecca Chilcott, better known as Ruby Boots, has an irresistible back story that makes her sophomore album, "Don't Talk About It," even more compelling and satisfying. The Australian native began working on pearling boats at 14, lived on her own at 16, enrolled in a music business school, but didn't begin to pursue her actual musical dreams until she was 30. After five years of performing and recording solid work under her adopted name of Ruby Boots - a nod to her wide ranging passions and her penchant for travel - and a long recovery from vocal cord surgery, she dropped her debut full length, "Solitude," at home in 2014, which led to her appearance at the 2016 Americanafest. There she was seen by Bloodshot Records and signed to a distribution deal, and officially welcomed to the roster with this.

Like Sturgill Simpson and Nikki Lane (who she's opened for), Ruby Boots takes a kitchen sink approach to her cosmic version of country music, blending in elements of pop and rock of the roots, garage and glam varieties. She kicks off "Don't Talk About It" with "It's So Cruel," a slamming, glamming track that could pass for a tribute to T.Rex and Josh Homme. She follows that up with the equally bracing "Believe in Heaven," a squalling slowburn anthem that sounds like The DiVinyls paying homage to Dusty Springfield by playing handball on Phil Spector's wall of sound. Boots reveals her pure country roots on the title track, details her love of Tom Petty on "Easy Way Out"and utilizes her connection to Lane with their co-write on the shimmering and atmospheric "I'll Make It Through." Ruby Boots may not adhere to the strict tenets of country, but she interprets her singular vision with an unshakeable devotion to all the music that forms her foundation.