Album Reviews

Kacy & Clayton

Strange Country

Artist:     Kacy & Clayton

Album:     Strange Country

Label:     New West Records

Release Date:     05/06/2016


It’s hard to pick a side with the duo of Kacy & Clayton, their alluring and rustic Strange Country album inhabiting a beautiful, haunted past and spinning timeless tales of misfortune, desperation, happy contentment, isolation and domestic discord.

With the last name of Anderson, Kacy’s voice is laced with sweet melancholy, delivering tidings of woe, comfort and joy with a feathery flutter and willowy purity. Her partner, Clayton Linthicum, has a way of gracefully negotiating unpredictably treacherous routes of fingerpicked acoustic guitar with inspired madness, intricacy and purposeful clarity. Weaving together vocals that have a natural affinity for one another, they delve deeply into timeworn American and English folk traditions on an enthralling record of descriptive storytelling and vintage, homespun melodies.

Here, in this Strange Country, they waltz to the shuffling drums and accordion wheeze of “Down at the Dancehall,” smile warmly throughout the ‘60s UK psych-folk relic “Springtime of the Year” and walk with a light, almost jaunty ease around “Brunswick Stew.” Like a luminous thrift-store find, “If You Ask How I’m Keeping” acquires a saintly, pedal-steel glow that surrounds its otherwise dirty face, and these second cousins from hilly Southern Saskatchewan must have kin in Appalachia, as echoes of backwoods mystery emanate from “Seven Yellow Gypsies” and “Over the River Charlie.” Leaving Strange Country behind won’t be easy.

-Peter Lindblad

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