Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson: Rattlin’ Bones

Kasey Chambers and her husband Shane Nicholson will release their new collaborative effort Rattlin’ Bones on September 16th. The Australian singer-songwriting duo wrote and perform every song on the album, whether together or as individuals. There’s even a brief cameo by the couple’s son, Arlo. I’ve long been a fan of Chambers, and was very excited to receive an advance copy of this wonderful work. The songwriting, instrumentation, and vocal harmony are splendidly rustic. The album is one of the best of the year.

Left my home and left my love
caught on a rusty nail
Devil rose up heavy with gold
but my soul’s not for sale

The magnificent title track bursts in with an old-fashioned Western pluck ‘n’ thump beneath the duo’s plaintive harmony before spreading out into glorious call and response verses. The opening tune foreshadows the back and forth vocals of the lovely “Wildflower”.

The bittersweet and soft ballads “Once In A While” and steel-teared “Sweetest Waste of Time” follow, conjuring up the melodic essence of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. “Monkey On A Wire” picks up the pace with smooth Americana flavored with lonesome fiddle. Nicholson penned the lovelorn “One More Year”, but it’s Kasey’s dulcet voice that gently carries the pretty tune.

Songs like “The House That Never Was” marry the best elements of bluegrass, Appalachian folk, and classic country so well that it’s difficult to believe these are original tunes by the Aussie supercouple. And the haunting floorboard creakers “The Devil’s Inside My Head”, “Sleeping Cold”, and “Your Day Will Come” are absolutely stunning. The flawless beauty of this album is almost beyond my comprehension.

Black bird on a highwire
afraid of what he saw
Name their only witness
but he won’t sing anymore

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson – Rattlin’ Bones (mp3 expired)

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson Official Site

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