Vocal range and Sleepy influence enough to win over fans

DISCLAIMER: I�ve never been a fan of country music.

This isn�t a conclusion I came to hastily and without exposure to the genre; my dad often played Lee Kernaghan when I was growing up, and I once borrowed a Garth Brooks CD from a friend in primary school.

The laidback nature and metronomic strumming of acoustic guitar ubiquitous in generic country has never done much for me, at least not in the same way a pulsing rhythm section or scorching guitar solo from a good rock act has.

With all that out of the way, I have to admit my attitude towards country music might be changing, as I enjoyed Ruby Boots� debut offering, Solitude, often catching myself tapping my foot along.

Singer and songwriter Bex Chilcott often sings in the �cowboy mouth� style typically associated with the genre, but she also possesses an impressive vocal range, and there is no better demonstration of this than on Middle of Nowhere.

Track four, Wrap Me in a Fever, recently secured the gong for West Australian Music country song of the year, while Lovin� in the Fall sounds like it wouldn�t go amiss on a Sleepy Jackson album.

This isn�t a coincidence, as her right-hand man and guitarist is former Sleepy Jackson member Lee Jones.

If Ruby Boots can win over this country music cynic, then this 10-track offering is sure to go down well with established fans of the genre.

Ruby Boots

Solitude

Out: Now

Album launch: May 15, Rosemount Hotel, North Perth

3/5

Reviewer: Stuart Horton