Last night I attended what must be one of the best shows I have had the good fortune to witness. The occasion was a short concert at the Corner Hotel featuring Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson performing a preview of their forthcoming joint CD Rattlin’ Bones.
I found out about this concert on Monday – it was not widely advertised, so I leapt at the chance to see these two performing together. I have listened to the title track of their new CD and really liked what I heard, and after hearing the rest of it last night I really think it will be one of the best recordings of the year.
Kasey and Shane are husband and wife with diverse musical tastes. Kasey is well known as a country singer and Shane’s music has always been more towards the rock n roll end of the spectrum. The new record takes these two into a blend of these genres and creates something new and exciting, eliciting comparisons to Buddy and Julie Miller and Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. They have created a superb rootsy album comprised of original songs either composed in partnership or individually.
Last night they had an impressive group of musicians forming a backing band. The instrumentation was acoustic with banjo, string bass, dobro, pedal steel and guitar. The sound was rich and full bodied.
We had an excellent position at the front. The Corner had tables and chairs at the front of the stage and I was early enough to grab one, so I could sit and enjoy the show in comfort.
Kasey has a very likeable stage presence. She is down to earth and friendly and she and Shane engaged in light hearted repartee during the song breaks. Shane appeared to be enjoying himself enormously and was more relaxed and amusing than I had previously seen him in his solo concerts.
Kasey of course has a lovely singing voice, effortlessly crystal clear and Shane himself is a very fine singer. The two of their voices in harmony sounded made for each other.
They performed the entire 14 tracks of the new CD in order from start to finish. It was a glorious foretaste of what to expect from Rattlin’ Bones and everyone in the crowd last night will doubtless purchase it. I have a signed copy on pre-order and can’t wait for its release on 19th April.
The show last night was filmed from start to finish so hopefully we can expect a DVD in due course.
The night ended with a lovely version of Leonard Cohen’s Halleluiah as an encore.