Texas Rubies | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Texas Rubies 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

In the acoustic country duo that calls itself the Texas Rubies, Jane Baxter Miller's purer, more distinctive voice leads the way through what are mostly Kelly Kessler's songs. As often as not they're good songs, too: uncompromising elucidations of a slightly desperate romantic sensibility set to unadorned, somewhat antique-sounding chord progressions and harmonies. Some of the themes are so conventional (please come home, don't leave me, I'm not in love) that I've always imagined the pair was bending over backward to give the music its props, for the benefit of both themselves and their perhaps too-ready-for-irony north-side audience. Listening to their first album, Working Girl Blues, however, I've decided it's mostly 'cause they dig the music big time: Albert Brooks aside, need can be sexy, and so can songs about heartbreak, loss, and humiliation. Any questionable sexual politics the pair's themes may imply are nicely and matter-of-factly eviscerated by a number of things: the power in their voices as they sing "Come on Home"; their unadorned cover of "Working Girl Blues"; and, finally, three wailing Kessler-penned gems ("The Way You Break My Heart," "Someone You Used to Love," and "Not a Love Song") that do what the best country's supposed to do: start with those timeworn emotions, and take it higher. Tonight, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport; 525-2508.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Bill Wyman

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
April 08
Performing Arts
April 30

Popular Stories