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Kacy and Clayton - Carrying On

  by Steve Kinrade

published: 24 / 2 / 2020

Kacy and Clayton - Carrying On
Label: New West Records
Format: CD


Fine, potentially breakthrough album from young Saskatchewan country duo Kacy and Clayton

Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy once again resumes the producer's chair, and safely delivers ten fabulous songs that if you aren’t already familiar with the country cousins of Saskatchewan serves well as an introduction. If you are already, however, acquainted with this duo’s artistic output, then 'Carrying On' gives you ten more reasons to like them even more. Apparently, Kacy & Clayton went straight from touring to recording at Tweedy’s Chicago loft, which they did in only four days. Influences as close and diverse as Hoyt Axton, the Byrds, Fairport Convention and Dolly Parton are alchemised into something very special. Indeed, the album's opening song, 'The Forty-Ninth Parallel', Kacy Anderson reminds us of Parton in her spring of her career, a melancholic pureness of voice, as she laments not marrying for money, “like any woman in her right mind would do”. And this fateful decision made her fall behind on the rent, and a lack of good times. Where does pure romance get you in a material world? Clayton Linthicum takes lead vocal on 'High Holiday', and his sorrowful baritone delivery compliments the evocative musical landscape that conjures up a barren mid-west. The production and time signature shifts utilised on the track 'Intervention' help push it to the fore, as well as highlighting the pureness of Anderson’s vocal. But if the music and vocal delivery is consistently of a high standard, there are also lyrical elements that squat in the mind. For instance, the line “a welfare mom, and a farewell dad” in the song 'Mom and Dad’s Waltz #2' serves as an accurate summarisation of its theme. 'Providence Place', a musical sketch on encroaching dementia, contains the devastating line “I’ve known you for ages, but I can’t recall your name”; the logical end-point when you have been, for many years, talking in circles. This fine collection of compositions is book-ended by 'That Sweet Orchestra Sound', with its jangling guitars evokes a sense of place and musical history to Kacy and Clayton’s region, dedicated to those “many other pickers from our region” who came before. Testimony and thanks are given. This is the fifth album in nine years from this young Saskatchewan folk duo, and you get a sense that the musical stars are beginning to shift into alignment for Kacy & Clayton. Jeff Tweedy continues his fine supportive and producer work that he started on with 2017’s 'The Siren’s Song', and with a US, UK and European tour booked to promote 'Carrying On', this could very much be the time that they achieve that next rung of the ladder. And with their output to date, they definitely deserve it.

Track Listing:-
1 The Forty-Ninth Parallel
2 Carrying On
3 High Holiday
4 In A Time Of Doubt
5 Intervention
6 Mom and Dad’s Waltz #2
7 Providence Place
8 The South Saskatchewan River
9 Spare Me Over One More Year
10 That Sweet Orchestra Sound

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