Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson

"​Rattlin Bones "

(Liberation); Country/folk

By ​Phil ​Bennett

Happily married duo, Chambers and Nicholson, prove that you don't have to dwell in the depths of heartbreak to produce pure, heartfelt music of the soul and spirit. With a penchant for story telling and reflective narrative, the folky fusion of these two songwriters is something quite special indeed, with the co-compositions standing out as the strongest on display.

And, as singers, their voices intertwine as if they'd been performing together their entire careers, with each slipping like fingers into the glove of the other's lead lines. There are songs that ache ("I'm an old man, growing tired Getting used to the pain" - Wildflower), songs that chill ("I had a dream I was crucified Hung my head as the townfolk cried" - The Devil's Inside My Head), and songs that warm the heart ("If I wasn't all you wanted...I only hope that I made you smile" - Once In A While).

With a troubadour spirit, these songs, though falling within the sphere of alt country, bear a strong resemblance to traditional English folk, particularly in their structures, where verses and choruses are often separated only by their lyrical content. But there is a delicious twang and an instrumental sensibility that blurs the lines, which makes the listen all the more interesting. A duo album that extends beyond their respective solo work, Rattlin Bones is a recording that could probably teach a lot of vocalists a lot of new tricks and win a whole new territory of fans in the bargain. Top stuff.

​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.