There is no doubt the “Royal Couple” of Americana is Buddy and Julie Miller. With the release of Rattlin’ Bones, Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson should at least be considered a member of the Royal Court. Perhaps they could be known as the Duke and Duchess of Overseas Americana. That might be an appropriate title for an Australian couple. I must admit Kasey Chambers has always been at the top of my list, and Rattlin’ Bones is one of the most emotionally moving albums I have ever heard. It is at once chilling, moving, and spiritual. It is at times dark and at other times beautiful. In short it is a manifestation of how human relationships really play out. The relationships we encounter in life leave us with regret, sadness, love, hope and happiness. They are complicated but meaningful and absolutely inseparable from whom we are individually.
The style of music on the album is steeped in the Post-Depression Folk and Americana tradition. It was a time when musicians wrote about life and love as it really occurs. To the people of that era relationships were full of hardship but they were also your lifeline and the only source of support and hope. Relationships for the rural poor were always on a tightrope walk between falling into despair or life-sustaining beauty. Sometimes they seemed to be doing both at once. When times are hard people cling to each other, seduce each other, and hurt each other. We build people up and tear them down. We love them and push them away. That is the reality of being human. Rattlin Bones’ captures the dichotomy of relationships in a way that you will feel deep in your gut. If you haven’t listened to this album yet, please do. You will be better off for the effort.
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This review also appears on Amber Waves of twang
About the author: Chip and his family live in Charlotte, NC. You can also find him at http://amberwavesoftwang.blogspot.com/ Roll Tide!