TUESDAY

Shrimp on the barbie ain’t exactly burgers and fries, but Australian singer-songwriter Kasey Chambers makes a persuasive case for an outback exit off Route 66. Chambers’ Asylum debut, The Captain, is pure Appalachia via Bakersfield—with a little Gram Parsons on the way. Her deep, deep twang is married to sparklingly clear and tasteful alt-country arrangements: Think Iris DeMent backed by the Flying Burrito Brothers or the Sweetheart of the Rodeo-era Byrds. It’s a startling first album, where strength (the country-pop of “You Got the Car”) and fun (“We’re All Gonna Die Someday”) outweigh the occasional sloppily sentimental lyrics (“The Captain,” “Southern Kind of Life”). Chambers grew up in one of the more desolate reaches of Australia’s Southwest and honed her chops as a child in a countrified Partridge Family-style outfit (with her mom, dad, and brother, too) called the Dead Ringer Band. Eventually, she broke off from the homey gig and wrote and released The Captain in Australia and Europe, where it had enough success to cross over onto Australia’s pop and alternative radio. Stateside, Chambers has attracted fervent raves from the usual alt-country suspects—Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams—so it might be a good idea to get there early when she opens for fellow Americana stalwart Robert Earl Keen at 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $20. (202) 393-0930. (Richard Byrne)