Kasey Chambers Makes New Friends and Fans at The Neighborhood Theatre

Kasey Chambers Makes New Friends and Fans at The Neighborhood Theatre

“That’s amazing! You were singing that with such passion! I rarely see any of the men at my shows singing along so passionately to ‘Am I Pretty Enough’! That’s great and there were so many of you men singing!” exclaimed Aussie alt country singer/songwriter Kasey Chambers just after completing the second song of her set at The Neighborhood Theatre. From that point on, Kasey entered into a special community with her audience that was buoyed by her easy and funny banter with the crowd and their joyous response to a great mixture of her songs, both new and old. Kasey, and the male fans who sang along with “Am I Not Pretty Enough,” a hit off her second album, set the tone for a night of great music that transcended any perceived borders and united everyone in rapturous joy and community regardless of gender, race, nationality, or genre.

Kasey is most loosely, yet most effectively, categorized as alt country, but her music ranges from classic country to outlaw country to rock. All aspects of her range were on full display, but seemed to be a little more slanted towards the rock sound due to the inclusion of Grizzlee Train as part of her recent recording and touring band.

The two man band was discovered by Kasey while they were playing live in their native Australia, and she was so impressed that that she asked them to join her band. Brandon Dodd and Josh Dufficy bring a bluesy hard rock feel to some of Kasey’s newest compositions, especially those on Dragonfly, her outstanding new double album. Touring in support of this excellent double album of music that ranks as one of, if not the, best music of her career, Kasey of course played songs off the new album. It was their inclusion in between her classic songs that made them stand out so well though, as they managed to blend perfectly live alongside old favorites like “Barricades and Brickwalls” (which closed out the set to grand effect).

Although the music easily could have spoken for itself throughout the show, Kasey told many a funny anecdote about various songs and her recent adventures with Josh at the ARIA awards show in Australia (she invited Josh along because there were many bands playing that he was interested in and he ended up in the Aussie tabloids the next day as “Kasey’s boyfriend”-a hilarious development to all involved as told by Kasey). Helping to further foster a special familial intimacy with the crowd, Kasey was joined on stage throughout her set by her father Bill Chambers on guitar and near the end of the set by her 10 year old son Arlo (it was his birthday). After the band and the crowd sang him “The Happy Birthday Song” he stayed on stage to sing and play rhythm box on a cover of his favorite song, The White Stripe’s “Seven Nation Army.”

The special performer/audience connection started with opening act Garrett Kato’s set where he played songs off his recent releases as well as “Sweet Jane,” a song he wrote for his mother that was included on the soundtrack to the recent motion picture release Bad Moms. Kato shared many an anecdote of his own with the crowd. A story about his daughter, whom he said he was missing badly and dedicated a song, “Take It Slowly,” to  (a song he also wrote for her), particularly stood out and added depth to his performance. The story of his first meeting with Kasey and the events that lead to his going out on tour with her this year (Kasey saw him busking and shared a video of him on Facebook which lead to some greater exposure for him) also enlivened the moments between performances. Accompanied only by his acoustic guitar and harmonica, Kato displayed some serious talent. He even treated the audience to his first time playing, on this tour, of a cover of Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.” It was brilliant, along with his entire set.

Kato and GrizzleeTrain were some excellent choices of musical compatriots for Kasey as they both enriched not only her most recent release, but her live performance. Plenty of Kasey’s songs deal with difficult  personal subjects, but the music is often so uplifting and her laugh between performances so catching that even when she played more “angry” songs like the new “Ain’t No Little Girl,” off of Dragonfly, it ended up being more an affirmation on her part than a protest. “I swear I’m not angry! Every time I play that song I’m angry maybe just for like three minutes!” laughed Kasey after a show stopping performance of the song. Herein lies Kasey’s appeal that gets even males in the audience to sing with passion “Am I Pretty Enough.” Her songs are affirmations of the power that lies in oneself to overcome self doubt, loss of love, status or other important things in life, and continue on with a catching and uplifting laugh and love for one’s family, community, and, in Kasey’s case, her fans. The underlying message is one that is universally applicable to anyone. In a divisive and often caustic event filled world, it’s refreshing to see an inclusive and kind gathering of music lovers like those supporting Kasey Chambers and Garrett Kato that night.


Date Venue Location
Jul 18 Revelry Room Chattanooga, TN Tickets & More
Jul 19 U.S. Cellular Stage at the Bijou Theatre Knoxville, TN Tickets & More
Jul 20 The Peace Center Greenville, SC Tickets & More
Jul 21 PISGAH BREWING COMPANY Black Mountain, NC Tickets & More
Jul 22 City Winery Atlanta, GA Tickets & More
Aug 16 The Gulf Country Frontier Days Festival Doomadgee, Australia Tickets & More


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