Williams hits the road one week before the release of Essence, her long-awaited follow-up to 1998’s critical favorite Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.
Chambers is still riding high on the success of her hit, The Captain and the title track that recently got a boost from its use in the HBO series “The Sopranos.”
The twosome will tour through June 25, though Chambers will squeeze in some dates supporting Robert Earl Keen as well. Williams will continue on for three more performances: at the Indy Jazz Fest in Indianapolis, Summer Nights at the Pier in Seattle, and Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City.
Williams rose from the Texas alt.country scene, first settling in Austin during the early 1970s and eventually moving on to Houston, where she entered a circle of folk/country artists that included Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith, and the late Townes Van Zandt.
The fiercely independent artist has issued only four albums since her 1979 debut on the Folkways label, Ramblin’ on My Mind – a collection of blues and country standards. But each of the releases left its mark and earned her a wider audience.
Chambers learned her trade at the feet of her musical parents while camping in the Australian outback for much of her youth. She’s moved well beyond the campfire hootenanny since then. Last October, the 24-year-old won the ARIA (Australia’s version of a Grammy) for female artist of the year.
Even with Chambers’ rapidly increasing fame, the music remains very much a family affair. Her dad plays guitar in her band while mom sells T-shirts .
Chambers recently wrapped an Australian tour with Emmylou Harris and completed studio work on her second album, Barricades and Brickwalls, which is tentatively set for an August release.