"The Texas Rubies were charter members of Chicago's budding alternative country community of the early 1990s. Jane Baxter Miller grew up in Kentucky and attended college in West Virginia. Later she went to Chicago to get into theater and met Kelly Kessler who had gone to school in the BlueGrass State. Inspired by old-time, bluegrass, honkytonk, country rock, etc., they began singing together, first in subways for beer money, then in clubs for beer money as the Texas Rubies. In 1990, the cut a self-released, self-titled cassette of Kessler originals (one by Miller) with Jane on lead vocals and Kelly on acousticguitar and harmony. Their moving ballads of love and heartbreak compare quite favorably with Hazel & Alice or Freakwater. Three years later, the Rubies made their CD debut with Working Girl Blues whick reworks songs from their 1990 tape using support musicians on dobro, fiddle, haronica, accordion and pedal steel. They retain and enhance the previous old-time country feel and also allow Kessler and Miller to stretch out a bit on the Tex-Mex 'Texas Jalapenos,' the funny honky tonk weeper 'Hank Drank' (Bobby Lee Springfield", and a very nice cover of the Hazel Dickens title tune.
"Chicago's emerging insurgent country movement embraced the Texas Rubies whose bad girl song "That Truck" was included on Bloodshot's landmark For A Life Of Sin compilation in 1994. Shortly thereafter the Texas Rubies parted company but remained connected through family (sisters in law) and music. Miller and her husband (Kessler's brother) formed a jump jive band calle Baxter, but she also continued to wirte Appalachian style murder ballads. In 1998, Jane became a Pine Valley Cosmonaut and contributed lead vocals to "Time Changes Everything" and "Faded Love" for the Pine Valley Cosmonauts Salute the Majesty of Bob Wills. Kessler stayed very active in the local alt.country community and in mid-1998 created and launched the Honky Tonk Living Room, a regular showcase at the Hideout for Chicago and out of town alt.country of all types. In just its first few months, the event featured Jon Langford, Dolly Varden, Deanna Varagona (Lambchop), Jimmy LaFave and Jane Baxter Miller as well as a reunion of the Texas Rubies who then became active once again working on an album of 'Jesus songs' (bluegrass gospel and shape note hymns)."
from Modern Twang, An Alternative Country Music Guide by David Goodman
Since David Goodman wrote this entry, Jane and Kelly contributed an unaccompanied rendition of Jean Ritchie's "Blue Diamond Mines" to Bloodshot's fifth anniversary compilation Down To The Promised Land.