Kasey riding a Bittersweet wave from New York to Sawtell RSL
THERE are very few performers in the world who have never had to get a day job. Yet Kasey Chambers, who grew up on the Nullarbor Plain with little ambition outside of becoming a nanny in order to travel, is one such musician. Despite her success she remains surprisingly grounded.
"As a kid, for like the first ten years of my life, my only form of entertainment was - my dad would sit around the campfire playing songs on his guitar and we would sing together. We didn't have any TV, any radio, nothing like that, so I was only exposed to the music that my dad liked," said Kasey.
"I thought everyone lived like that.
"I didn't even really toy with the idea that I would play music for a living, if you had asked me when I was as a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up…I wanted to marry a fox hunter like my dad and live on the Nullarbor."
Kasey studied childcare when she first left school.
"I didn't really think that music was an option so this is just a bonus, I haven't had to get a day job."
Having returned from another US tour, after 20 years of continually touring the US, Kasey's voice bubbles down the phone line with the punctuated rhythm of a toddler running down a long corridor.
"It was the most fun I've ever had, planets just aligned," she said, adding that touring in the bus as one of the boys was one of her highlights.
"We did get to play at the Lincoln Centre in New York City, that was pretty amazing …and we also had our own sold-out show in New York City which doesn't happen every day for me so that was pretty cool."
The trip lowlights included boarding planes in America with around 15 guitars.
"Most of our excess baggage was over $1000 every time we flew. Even outside of the actual cost part of it, it's just such a hassle, so much more than it is in Australia for some reason… but if that's the only downside than I'm laughing I reckon," she said. And it sounds like it's about time she was laughing again.
After a few years which included divorce, initiation into the world of single motherhood and vocal surgery, Kasey says she has formed a totally new approach to both life and music as reflected in her latest album - Bittersweet. Bittersweet is the first album her brother Nash hasn't produced.
"I had to take on a whole new world after divorce, being a single mother of three and just having to, you know, change my whole life around; not just logistically but change my whole approach to life around which obviously affects what you do in a creative sense as well," she said. "So I started approaching song-writing in a bit of a different way and then I wanted this record to really reflect that, like a new side of myself that…I knew that side was there, but I just didn't know how to really release it.
"So I got a new producer and we went to a new studio, got all new musicians.
"I was very careful about picking a producer that wasn't going to make me sound completely different.
Kasey describes the whole album as a leap of faith but says she is very happy with the result.
"We've managed to win some really awesome awards and sell a lot of records and all those sorts of things, but to be honest I feel like I got what I needed out of my record even the day before it was released, because it was sort of a whole new approach for me and just a real growing point in my life, and anything that happened there from then on was a bonus."
SEE KASEY LIVE
Kasey Chambers plays at the Sawtell RSL on Friday from 7.30pm.
Tickets $45 pre-sold from the club. Tickets Online $51.00