Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Album Review: Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson's Rattlin' Bones

I’ve been a big Kasey Chambers fan since her debut, The Captain, in 1999. I was, however, unfamiliar with Shane Nicholson, her husband and co-writer and performer on Rattlin’ Bones. Man, I really dig this record. On her four previous albums Kasey Chambers had definitely inhabited the more rock and roll side of her alt-country world. With the new album, she and Shane have drawn on the more country and bluegrass side, that’s always been present, but not at the forefront of the sound. The emphasis on acoustic instruments such as the fiddle, dobro, upright bass, and the banjo reflects this change in sonic approach—as does the almost-universal lack of drums. The instrumentation also perfectly matches with the songs on the album. All this comes together with their voices, which work really, really well together. It’s not just the harmonies, but also the sonic quality meshes in a really natural and compelling way.

And the songs? What a great collection of tunes. They wrote most of them together, including my favorite—the love song “Wildflower.” And I tell you what: the first time I listened to this song, I had tears running down my face. It’s a straight up beautiful tune. What a great reminder of why I love music—to be moved. Other standout tracks include: “Sweetest Waste of Time,” “Once In A While,” and “One More Year.”

Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson have just completed a very short US tour and have returned home to Australia. And hopefully they’re working on more great songs.

Here are a few tracks from the album.

Wildflower - Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson

Once In A While - Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson

Rattlin Bones - Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson


Post a Comment