If you can get to something held at Rutherglen House just off Finders Lane, make sure you go. Last week this Melbourne venue-like-no-other played host to Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson launching Wreck and Ruin, the couple's newest collaborative CD which will be available in September (although can be purchased online at Sanity.com) Their follow up to 2008's Rattlin' Bones, Wreck and Ruin has every good thing about its platinum record breaking predecessor going for it. Between their natural and occasionally hilarious 'married banter' routine, the two performed a collection of world class songs penned during a retreat in a cabin on the Central coast. They opened opened with My Name is Adam, accompanying themselves on electric banjo (which they each made a point of learning for this CD ) and acoustic guitar.
Nicholson has a husky yet melodic quality to his voice which blends beautifully with Chambers' distinctively rich slinky tones. She sings strongly yet plaintively in a perfect country style of her own, her pedigree shining through. The delivery by these two of the country genre is polished and raw at the same time. Connecting heart and head with intelligent honest lyrics containing astute observations, the songs come across as both resolved yet unexpected at the same time. Wreck and Ruin offers tunes that are satisfyingly original, effortless, often soaringly beautiful, replete with feeling, empy of cliche; all you could want in country songs, basically. Standouts are A Quiet Life and the heartwrenching story about 'familiar strangers,' I Don't Even Know You Anymore.
This music takes country as far as it can go and is as at home in a country pub as on the biggest of Nashville stages. Australia proudly claims a vein of country and western gold with these two. They are so friendly and unpretentious it makes you smile. "Making CDs is just what we do," Chambers said, when I asked her if there were any particular challenges with this one. "No dramas!"
Wreck and Ruin Launch
Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson
WRECK & RUIN is released Friday 7 September 2012