2016 a life changing year for Kasey Chambers
SAYING Kasey Chambers sounds invigorated would be an understatement and do the almost 40-year-old a disservice. A new voice, new attitude and new songs that just seem to flow out of her, so much so her next release is going to be two full-length sized albums.
On the back end of a year spent touring her Bittersweet album after a successful tour of the US with her idol Lucinda Williams, Kasey has shifted gear and is moving into the next phase of her career touring on the strength of her brilliant new EP and killer new single Ain't No Little Girl
Kasey said she considers that song another defining moment in her catalogue, like The Captain or Not Pretty Enough, but said crafting this one was a different process to what she usually feels when writing music.
"Normally I lead songs to where they should be and feel quite in control of it, but with this one is was the opposite. This song seemed to be writing me. It was the quickest one I've ever written. I was not in control of it at all. I grew into the song rather than the other way around."
Despite this, Kasey admitted the song was "way more intense" than she considered herself to be generally.
"It's strong but there's a real vulnerability in this one. My inner strength came out. It's one of those songs about who we all are, it's just a matter of tapping into it and overriding any fears you might have in delivering it."
And while intense lyrically, the song is not just about the words and music it also about the way she performs it.
"I had vocal surgery last year and had two nodules removed. For 20 years I sung through them. I thought if I could get through that and the surgery... I feel like I have a new voice in my life."
Kasey said she felt this year had definitely been a life-changing one and nothing would hold her back now.
"I'm a single mother-of- three, I turn 40 this year. I'm at the point in my life where a lot women can start to feel tired and unhappy but I feel like it's the most empowering time in my life. I feel invigorated and incredibly fortunate because my passion is my work."
Kasey said she owed her decision to have the career-saving surgery to Troy Cassar Daley, her mate and confidant and the Clarence Valley's own country music hero.
"Thank God for Troy. I was thinking I was doing the right things and he took me aside and said 'I'm really worried about your voice'. He suggested I go and see his guy in Brisbane because he's incredible and to just get an opinion. Everything he said just made so much sense. From that moment on everything was a step in the right direction," Kasey said.
The multi-award winning artist said she counted Troy as one of her besties. "He's a beautiful friend. I love him and have so much time for him and his family. I'm thankful to know him, he's a real person in this (music) industry that can sometimes not be very genuine."
With her voice back in what Kasey considers to be its best condition yet, this vehicle will be busy showcasing quite a few new songs thanks to the unusual event that has an artist release two full length albums at the same time.
Not that she planned it that way, but in true invigorated Kasey fashion it happened organically.
"I did a few acoustic recording sessions to see what direction it would go in song-wise and having Paul Kelly producing was a dream come true for me so we finished 11 songs and I was more than happy with that."
Not to rest on what sounds like music perfection done and dusted, she had also booked in a session with her live band.
"The band is a big part of my sound and I had my brother Nash producing this time with the intention of going in there and doing three or four for the album but ended up with nine."
So another album was born - The Foggy Mountain session, a companion album for the Kelly-produced Sing Sing sessions which will be officially released at the 2017 Tamworth Country Music Festival. And while Kasey said they were quite different albums, they did "gel together nicely" the only crossover track her defining Ain't No Little Girl which gets different treatments on each album.
"It's like the glue that holds them together."
Kasey said she believes she is making her best music now but certainly won't be forgetting the past any time soon. "As much as I love making new music I still love playing my older albums. I'll mostly be playing my classic hits in Grafton. Each one is a stepping stone to where I am today."
And if Kasey's latest achievements are anything to go by, that's in a pretty good place.
Don't miss Kasey Chambers live in concert at the Grafton District Services Club on Saturday, November 5. Tickets on sale at the club.