Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson
Wreck & Ruin
This, the second cut from husband and wife duo Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson, is an incredibly important release for country music in Australia. Following on from debut Rattlin’ Bones (2008), it not only affirms the ease with which these two create together, but it further displays a diversity, a willingness to explore and expand within the genre that can only broaden the appeal of this oft-maligned music in this country.
The record dips and dives effortlessly between bluegrass and country/blues, from soaring ballads to stomping barn-burners, it incorporates gospel influence with that classic country sound that informed the likes of Gram Parsons in the early ‘70s, and it does all this without once losing focus or cohesion.
Where Wreck & Ruin truly shines though, is in the duo’s ability to harmonise. For it’s the pairing of Chambers’ higher register with Nicholson’s deeper, darker timbre that makes this record so good, proving once and for all that country music, particularly in Australia, has the depth and the appeal to compete across the board.
Samuel J. Fell