Double albums certainly aren’t in vogue these days but Kasey Chambers, Australia’s queen of Americana music, isn’t one to shortchange her muse. Dragonfly covers two recording sessions, the first helmed by Paul Kelly and the second by brother Nash Chambers.
The first disc covers a range of styles, from the throwaway ‘Talkin’ Baby Blues’ to the first single ‘Ain’t No Little Girl’ – a slow blues ache featuring a devastating vocal from Chambers. There are also string-laden ballads, bluegrass get-downs, acoustic folk and soulful rock excursions.
The second disc is a more cohesive set featuring duets with Keith Urban, Harry Hookey and Vika and Linda Bull. Second single ‘Satellite’ is sweet, pop-leaning Kasey that comes off like a Tamworth Frente! but it’s the more traditional roots-laced songs that have the greater impact.
It’s a stretch to take in all of Dragonfly in one sitting and though it flits about stylistically in an attempt to cover all bases, there are plenty of songs that match her finest compositions, especially when she really lets fly vocally and hangs her heart on the more emotionally raw tracks.
This review was first published in The Big Issue