Back in the day, love-gone-bad drove country crickets like Skeeter Davis to declare the "End of the World" or Sandy Posey to bemoan the fate of being "Born a Woman." But nowadays, Amy LaVere—delicate and demure as she sounds—would rather take her man out than take it on the chin. Sure, she seems like a sweet li'l gal who doesn't mind scrubbing, but what's she thinking about? Murder's a good bet—or maybe stuffing her suitcase and stealing away on the next bus out. That said, the Memphis singer, bassist and actress (Black Snake Moan, Walk the Line) does have her moments of classic country- chick vulnerability. LaVere traverses the tightrope strung twixt love and hate with a coolness that conjures an image of Norah Jones' coquettish down-home cousin. LaVere is currently touring in support of her sophomore release, Anchors & Anvils, which was produced by Memphis maven Jim Dickinson, whose own creative path has crossed that of the Rolling Stones and the Replacements. LaVere's bipolar persona finds kindred surroundings in a sound that's vintage country on top with a restless, jazzy underbelly. Driven as it is by LaVere's own upright bass, her live sound should be just as compelling.