157. Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson – “Rattlin’ Bones”

Here’s an album I approached with much trepidation when it was announced.

Album Cover Kasey Chambers Rattlin' Bones Rattling Shane NicholsonScenario: Chambers hooks up romantically with dude I’d never heard of and then they announce they’ve spawned not only a child but also a collection of tunes.  This struck me as a recipe for self-indulgence and coat-tail riding.

As on several posts this week, I was proven mightily mistaken.

This album was a revelation.  Gangly Nicholson has dragged his missus into a wonderful place.  This is a mature version of Barricades and much more consistent. The sound is definitely rural, and warm and cosy.

There is banjo, harmonies, lap steel, switching lead vocals and consistency aplenty.  They sound like they had a ball making it, and the couple of times I’ve seen them play it live  (in its entirety) the live dynamic’s been fantastic.

Nicholson seems to have tempered Kasey’s more nasally inclinations, and there are fewer throw away tracks and no dull ones.  The fingerpicking The Devil’s Inside My Head is screaming out for a Nick Cave cover (and a great tune in its current form).

This album isn’t quite as conducive to singalongs as Barricades (as I can’t harmonise for shit), but it is well and truly a keeper.

File under: Best musical coupling since the Capt’n and Tennille?

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