Born and raised in Montana, Amberly Chalberg grew up playing piano and singing in school choirs. Her first EP, 'There Will Come a Day', featured folky songs about her family and childhood memories. A number of these were about her father who was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2013.
After marrying and moving to Denver, problems of space forced a switch to a Gibson L-200 guitar and this led to her embracing a more twangy musical style .
Sadly her father passed away before the October 2019 release in the States of this debut LP. The cover art of the white horse was chosen in honour of him.
In pursuit of a grittier sound, the album was recorded live to tape on all-analogue gear in the Colorado studio of producer Todd Adelman. She was able to call upon some top notch musicians. Taras Prodaniuk (bass) and drummer Jim Christie (drums) have been the rhythm section for Merle Haggard and Lucinda Williams and they perform alongside guitarists Eben Grace and Joe Mazza.
On Spotify, half of the twelve tracks are labelled as having 'explicit' lyrics but aside from a moderate use of the F word there's nothing here that should offend sensitive ears. Actually, more plain spoken truths wouldn't have gone amiss.
With titles like The Whiskey Song and Drunk, it's plain that booze and the blues have loomed large in Ms Chalberg's world but these are nevertheless handled in relatively polite terms.
In Lil Bit Country there's an ironic reference to a dream of topping the Billboard chart but, as this is never going to happen, there should be no reason for not going hell for leather on some raunchier home truths. Love songs like Crazy Bout You and Tell Me We're Going To Make It are too predictable to really make an impression.
More impactful are the rawer feelings expressed in I Apologize (I'm sorry for all I wish I was") and in the rock-orientated Family's Just A Word.
More tracks in this less restrained vein would have made a solid collection more memorable.
Amberly Chalberg's website