Ruby Boots explores the tug of war between roots and restlessness on Don’t Talk About It | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Ruby Boots explores the tug of war between roots and restlessness on Don’t Talk About It 

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click to enlarge Ruby Boots

Ruby Boots

Cal Quinn

Bex Chilcott, aka Ruby Boots, left her mother’s home in Perth, Australia, as a teenager in the mid-90s, and by age 20 she was working on a pearl-fishing boat on the northwest coast—a job that let her develop her singing voice. After getting fired from a short-lived job on chartered yachts in the south of France and busking in England to make enough money to get home, she set about establishing herself as one of her homeland’s most promising country talents: she was named Best Country Act by the Western Australian Music Industry Awards each year from 2011 till 2015. Following a series of EPs and her 2015 full-length debut, Solitude (Lost Highway Australia), Chilcott moved to Nashville to further her career. Her new second album, Don’t Talk About It (Bloodshot Records), recorded with Dallas five-piece the Texas Gentlemen, draws from her days of rootless hard living as well as from the time and space she’s had to reflect since settling in her new home. The record brims with tales of ill-fated relationships—however brief—and with the inner conflict between restlessness, independence, and the yearning for love and trust that faces many women who have an easier time moving on than settling down. Chilcott incorporates a number of musical flavors, including classic country, rootsy pop, and plenty of rock ’n’ roll, arranging her tracks to keep you guessing about what’ll come next. On “Believe in Heaven,” she nods to 60s girl groups with lush backing vocals and a Ronettes-style beat—even borrowing the phrase “Be my baby.” She contrasts that winking sensuality with the relative cynicism of “Easy Way Out,” a hooky, bare-bones number with an unpretentious vibe reminiscent of Tom Petty. This is the release show for Don’t Talk About It.   v

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