IN BALLINA: Kasey Chambers has a new approach to life and music on the Bittersweet tour.
IN BALLINA: Kasey Chambers has a new approach to life and music on the Bittersweet tour.

Kasey riding the Bittersweet wave to the Ballina RSL

THERE are very few performers in the world who have never had to get a day job.

Yet Kasey Chambers, who grew up on the Nullarbor Plain with little ambition outside of becoming a nanny in order to travel, is one such musician. Despite her success she remains surprisingly grounded.

"As a kid, for like the first 10 years of my life, my only form of entertainment was my dad would sit around the campfire playing songs on his guitar and we would sing together," she said.

"We didn't have any TV, any radio, nothing like that, so I was only exposed to the music that my dad liked.

"I thought everyone lived like that.

"I didn't even really toy with the idea that I would play music for a living.

"If you had asked me when I was a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up ... I wanted to marry a fox hunter like my dad and live on the Nullarbor."

Kasey studied childcare when she first left school.

"I didn't really think that music was an option so this is just a bonus; I haven't had to get a day job," she said.

Having returned from another US tour, after 20 years of continually touring the US, Kasey's voice bubbles down the phone line with the punctuated rhythm of a toddler running down a long corridor.

After a few years which included divorce, initiation into the world of single motherhood and vocal surgery, Kasey says she has formed a new approach to life and music, as reflected in her latest album, Bittersweet, which is the first album her brother Nash hasn't produced.

"I had to take on a whole new world after my divorce, being a single mother of three and just having to, you know, change my whole life around; not just logistically but change my whole approach to life," she said.

"So I started approaching song-writing in a bit of a different way and then I wanted this record to really reflect that, like a new side of myself.

"So I got a new producer and we went to a new studio, got all new musicians.

"I was very careful about picking a producer that wasn't going to make me sound completely different."

Kasey Chambers plays at the Ballina RSL today from 7.30pm. $50.