Betsy Kingston is an artist to keep a close eye on. The Athens, Georgia born-and-raised songstress and her band the Crowns have covered the country quickly since forming one year ago. Playing 70 shows across America in support of the new ‘Blue Laws’ album is called paying one’s dues. From the sound of some songs on the new disc, Kingston has clearly anted up.

On ’44,’ Kingston will remind country fans of the next Miranda Lambert. Despite a soothing orchestral introduction, the singer’s delivery is full of fire and fury. A moment later, she’s crooning like a lark. The Norah Jones comparison at her official website isn’t an overreach.

With country lyrics and an often alt-rock delivery, Kingston separates herself from other country singers. Many of the songs take time to develop, which may test the patience of fans of a more pop sound. KT Tunstall and Ryan Adams are two others name-dropped with good reason in Kingston’s artist biography. Mostly, she’s a unique mix of all her influences with a story of her own to tell. With time and a little polish, Kingston and the Crowns have an exciting career ahead of them. You can listen to ‘Blue Laws’ in its entirety at

Listen to Betsy Kinston and the Crowns, ’44′

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