Late last year in tinsel Twin Towns Kasey Chambers test drove five songs from her Ain’t No Little Girl, EP. Thinking it would be a showcase of hit songs and authentic banter, (as no-one does humble and talent pie more than Chambers), the two-plus-hour gig surpassed all expectations – the audience had just witnessed a musical kaleidoscope of stories, songs and styles. Welcome to the new world of Kasey Chambers – now in the form of double album Dragonfly.
Warming up with hits; Pony, The Captain, and Not pretty enough, and introducing Dragonfly co-writer Harry Hookey’s own set of poetic songs, Chambers then delivered the surprises; Vika and Linda Bull stepping out from the darkness to sing harmonies on No ordinary man and Down on the Jetty – a song Paul Kelly wrote and recorded with Linda Bull on his Merri Soul Sessions.
Mid-show we were introduced to Chamber’s new band, Grizzlee Train. Plucked from Central Coast club obscurity, the two then teenaged talents were discovered by Chambers, and the grunge swampy sounds of Grizzlee Train were soon accompanying her to the next gig – supporting The Eagles and performing at the 2016 Americana Festival in Nashville. The Dragonfly album namedrops other music collaborators; Romeo and Juliet with Foy Vance, Hey with Paul Kelly, Ed Sheeran singing harmonies on Satellite, and country popstar Keith Urban’s vocals on If we had a child.
Ain’t no little girl the first song written on the album is Chamber’s ‘see what I can do now post throat surgery/Shane Nicholson vocal belter’. The power number shows her extended range and rawness of her singing. It’s a mix of Bonnie Tyler angst, meets Stevie Nicks vibrato alto. Brilliance. Even if the top note wasn’t struck in concert – as Chambers is the ultimate professional it didn’t matter – listen to the song on the album and you will hear a new Kasey Chamber’s anthem. Dragonfly’s ‘Sing Sing Sessions’ were produced by Paul Kelly and brother Nash produced the ‘Foggy Mountain Sessions,’ both showcasing a protagonist who has lived to tell many a tale.