‘Invariable Heartache’, inspired by a shared love of Nashville and its musical traditions, is the new album from KORT – a stunning collaboration between Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner and Cortney Tidwell.
Kurt Wagner – a long time champion of the city’s history and charms – and Cortney Tidwell – whose family has been synonymous with the city’s musical life – are both fervent admirers of the Nashville. But, like many, they’ve also become disenchanted with the contemporary clichéd and formulaic treatment of country music for which the city is now famous.
It was an early collaboration on Cortney’s ‘Don’t Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up’ that led the two of them to perform together at Nashville club The Basement in the summer of 2008, and the crowd’s overwhelming response sparked the idea of a duets album. It was a discussion about Cortney’s family history, however, that led them to the Chart Records catalogue, a label run by Cortney’s grandfather Slim Williamson, A&R’d later by her father Cliff Williamson, and for which her mother Connie Eaton also recorded.
The result of their subsequent fascination with what they discovered on dusty forgotten vinyl is an album that pays tribute to the art of the duet and the classic songwriting that lay behind many of the records released by the label, a tribute on a grander scale to the forgotten sounds of ‘Music City USA’.
Like Nashville, and indeed country music itself, it draws upon the past but looks toward the future, shining a gentle light on Kurt and Cortney’s romance with the city, its story and the universal truths that these songs represent.
“Highly engaging” – MOJO
“Pinpoints exactly Nashville’s lost spirit” – Q
“Emotionally acute, graceful and sublime” – DAILY TELEGRAPH
Americana Album of the Month “The Kurt and Cortney of Country do Nashville’s back pages beautifully” – UNCUT
“A honey-coated tribute to ye olde country and western… Both a note-perfect tribute and self-contained delight” – THE SKINNY