Cover Story [Issue
Just Letting It Happen
CD EMI )
The first thing that will strike listeners about the new Kasey Chambers album
Carnival, is that unlike her previous works, it rocks. Yeah, I kicked it into
gear a little more, says Kasey. I didnt think about it very
much - it just came out that way.
You could call it folk-rock or alt-country rock but in any case, Kasey Chambers
is pulling out all the stops on a number like I Got You Now. The electrified
sound comes courtesy of bassist Jeff McCormack, drummer Michael Barker, and guitarists
Mark Punch and Midnight Oils Jim Moginie. There are also vocal assists from
Tim Rogers of You Am I on I Got You Now and Powderfingers Bernard
Fanning on a powerful lament called Hard Road.
Kasey explains that her brother (and producer) Nash Chambers was responsible for
bringing in Moginie, whom he had worked with while producing an album for Kaseys
husband, Cory Hopper. My husband was raving about him . . . and about how
nice he was to work with. To be honest, I was trying not to think about that quite
as much. I thought Lets get the best musicians and not worry about
whether or not theyre nice. But I find it really hard to work with
people that arent the right kind of person. I want to be able to relate
to them. And [Jim] was so much fun!
Kasey already knew Fanning and asked him to sing on Hard Road, although
she had not originally conceived it as a duet. I just felt it really needed
something else to reach that level that I was hoping for. Likewise, she
contacted Rogers after her husband suggested he had the kind of gritty
voice shed been musing about to use on the song.
Carnivals lyrics are often introspective, but not all of them are autobiographical.
Hard Road is a song about somebody elses position - a
position Ive never been in my life. With the more obviously personal
The Rain, in which Kasey lists a series of promises to herself, she
observes that she was not trying to go deep into her psyche.
Writing this album was a little different for me. Every record that I look
back on that Ive ever made is like three years of therapy! She laughs.
This album was different. I didnt even think about it while I was
writing it. I didnt want it to be a big heartbreak record. I just wanted
to see what happens and Ill figure it out later.
So while shes letting the cards fall where they may, Kasey Chambers is definitely
exploring new territory. Electric rock is far from the early experiences of a
young woman who grew up, as all of her fans know, roughing it with her parents
and brother in the Australian outback. I have fond memories of it,
Kasey says. But I could never live that way now. I enjoy my hot showers
too much. And I cant live without television, seriously!