Kacy & Clayton: Carrying On
Canadian cousins Kacy & Clayton have absorbed the sounds of the American South and the British folk revival, with a bit of country music on the side. They cite Hoyt Axton, Bobbie Gentry and Bakersfield steel-guitar ace Ralph Mooney as influences on this new collection, and the sound of the album recalls the glory days of Nashville, when country music had an identity untarnished by the pursuit of mainstream success. The songs are mostly downers, perhaps fitting for our troubled times. Mortality, dysfunctional relationships and economic hardships figure heavily in the lyrics, while twang-heavy electric guitars and a punchy rhythm section adds a taste of exuberance. “Mom and Dad’s Waltz #2” shows the duo’s chutzpah, turning the sentimental Lefty Frizzell tune inside-out with a tale of parents barely scraping by on welfare. Kacy Anderson’s singing has its usual understated power, sounding like she’s going to break down and cry at any moment. “The Forty-Ninth Parallel” is a variation on that same theme, with Anderson bemoaning the fact that she married for love, not money. Clayton Linthicum lifts the tune up with countrified guitar fills that play off the crashing cymbals of drummer Mike Silverman. The bluesy riffs Linthicum adds to “High Holiday” give the song an ironic touch, as he sings a deadpan ode to the empty streets and icy winds that haunt folks away from home during the holiday season. “That Sweet Orchestral Sound” closes the set with a sprightly waltz to celebrate dancing until dawn in your favorite dive bar, with a cold beer in your hand.