BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson: Rattlin' Bones (Liberation)

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Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson: Sweetest Waste of Time
BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008 Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson: Rattlin' Bones (Liberation)

Chambers -- daughter of the very great singer-songwriter Bill -- is one of Australia's finest alt.country/roots artists and here she teams up with her husband Nicholson for their first album together.

Oddly enough although they play together in their casual side-project The Lost Dogs covers band they hadn't previously written together -- yet the evidence on this album is that they are rare, kindred musical spirits.

This album, recorded in a week, debuted at number one in Australia (Chambers' third debut number one) and the earthy honesty about it should have equal international appeal.

Chambers' and Nicholson's voice lock together seamlessly and Paul Kelly said recently "lonesome and loving haven't sounded this good since Gram and Emmylou".

High praise, but the evidence is in these musically spare and emotionally bare songs which aren't so much duets but, as Chambers says, "an album that sounds like a band with two singers in it".

Songs like Sweetest Waste of Time, Monkey On A Wire and many others sound like classic American roots music and the arrangements for lap steel, fiddle and mandolin are understated.

There are dark turns in the lyrics -- I believe Chambers and Nicholson separated for a period before this album -- but there is also something life affirming in its unalloyed emotion.

Terrific.

 

(There is an interview with Kasey and Shane at Absolute Elsewhere here

 

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Ian - Dec 19, 2008

Extremely strong album of alt-country duet singing. Great songs and Shane Nicholson's vocals are a stand out.

For someone who loves all kinds of country, but don't really get Kasey Chambers - I loved this album.

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