Kacy & Clayton
“We were raised on cattle ranches where we learned how to play traditional country music because that’s what everyone wanted to hear.” The music Kacy and Clayton make is inextricable from where they grew up. They sing about the kind of people you’d find in Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan (population very few). The hills, barns and remoteness of the area are in these songs, with a bittersweet acknowledgement that this music has taken them far from home.
Kacy Anderson and Clayton Linthicum’s new album Carrying On follows the international acclaim for their previous records Strange Country (which Q magazine called, “A beautiful album that nudges a classic past into a brave future.”) and 2017’s The Siren’s Song (described by Uncut as “Ageless and beguiling. A classic record for this or any other time.”)
Their sound is equal parts homespun, coming from a family and community where playing music is an ever-present part of social gatherings, and the rare country, blues and English folk rock these second cousins obsess over and collect. For Carrying On, Clayton cites as influences: Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete, Hoyt Axton’s My Grif in Is Gone, Cajun fiddle music, and the steel guitar of Ralph Mooney, who played on many of the records that defined the Bakersfield country music scene of the 1950s. Sixties psych has also woven its way into these new songs; Kacy enjoys telling people that they live 250 km from the mental hospital that coined the term ‘psychedelic.’
Having toured almost nonstop for the last two years, Carrying On was conceived and honed on the road and recorded immediately after a jaunt across Western Canada, mostly as live takes with the minimum of overdubs – the songs having been tried and tested before audiences each night. The album was produced once again by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco and Uncle Tupelo fame, at his Loft studio in Chicago. The result is a sharpening of what Mojo magazine summed up as “A beautiful mix of Kacy’s crystalline vocals and Clayton’s inventive, deep-groove country guitar.” And a greater attention to detail in their songwriting; with narrative tales of loss, regret and yearning alongside vivid portraits of the Northern Great Plains and its isolated inhabitants.
The songs “The Forty-Ninth Parallel,” “The South Saskatchewan River,” “Providence Place” and “That Sweet Orchestra Sound” were all written with local settings in mind – with the latter a tribute to the rural dance bands of the area, who referred to themselves as ‘orchestras.’ One such band, the Romansky Orchestra from Fir Mountain featured Kacy’s Grandpa Carl in their line-up when he was in his teens. Of Carrying On, Jeff Tweedy said “When I first heard Kacy and Clayton, I was struck by how much detail and nuance they had absorbed from what sounded like a large swath of my record collection. When I told them that they were as good as the artists they were drawing from, I’m not sure they believed me. On this record I don’t hear those influences as much as I hear them taking the things they love so intimately and telling their own story. I think they’re a truly great band.”
“Our songs for this album are inspired by rural living of the past and present, highlighting the toll that urban dwelling can take on first generation kids moving out of the country into the city,” explain the duo.
“Fantastic song-writing, heartfelt singing, organic arrangements, stellar musicianship.” WRCT, Pittsburgh.
Bend-based singer-songwriter Alicia Viani’s self-titled debut album release. Viani, accompanied by Mark Karwan, Benji Nagel, Pete Kartsounes, and Scott Oliphant, shares thoughtfully penned songs with tenderness that becomes familiar throughout the record. Each of her songs is commanded by a voice that feels entirely human, turning moments of deep complexity and heartbreak into warm country-folk that finds easy paths into the heart. No matter who the speaker is in her songs, Viani’s sincere vocals paint them to life. Viani tackles complex current events such as the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and racism, but all in the gentle form of a personal story to invitingly navigate typically-avoided topics. The songs are wholly absorbing as they carry the listener from one private world to the next, each imploring to be discovered. www.aliciaviani.com
Opener Pete Kartsounes is an award winning singer-songwriter, flat picker, and cutting-edge musician’s musician. He has spent over two decades bringing his voice and guitar to stages all over the world. After 19 years submerged in the Colorado bluegrass scene sharing the stage with bands such as Leftover Salmon, Greensky Bluegrass and Yonder Mountain String Band, Pete now resides in Bend, OR spending most of his days writing, teaching guitar, song schools, and touring as a solo act. Pete continues to push the boundaries of the eclectic world of acoustic music.
Join us for this very special concert during the Sisters Songworks weekend featuring our retreat instructors: Beth Wood, Anna Tivel and Tom Kimmel.
Texas-raised, Oregon-based singer-songwriter Beth Wood has labored in the world of independent music for 23 years, morphing from a young, classically-trained, folk-tinged singer-songwriter to a wailing southern rock band leader to a college-circuit coffeehouse sweetheart to a well-respected nationally-touring poet and troubadour. Through all of these incarnations, Wood has remained true to herself and to her artistry; she has done it her way. Out of that fierceness and commitment to her craft comes a canon of work that cannot be denied. Wood’s eleven independently released solo albums and one duo album (Stand and Sway) have gained her a fanbase that is loyal and true, and her creative work has earned her the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Award and the 2019 Oregon Book Award Peoples’ Choice Award for her poetry book Ladder to the Light.
Singer, songwriter, entertainer, poet and teacher Tom Kimmel is all of these things and more. In demand as a songwriting teacher and lecturer, Tom offers workshop instruction tying the creative spirit to the nuts and bolts of composition. For the past 30 years, dozens of Tom’s compositions have been recorded by luminary artists, including Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Randy Travis. A soulful, funny and inspiring performer in his own right, Tom tours and teaches widely. He’s released seven solo albums, published a book of poems, and he’s as vibrant and creative as ever in his sixth decade of music making. A self-described “closet poet” until the publication of his collection The Sweetest & the Meanest, Tom has been a featured writer at book festivals and writing retreats, and his poems have been published in a number of poetry and literary journals.
Portland, Oregon based Anna Tivel reaches for a thread of understanding with her music, that moment of recognition, of shared experience. There are thousands of miles on her touring odometer and each town is a tangled web of heartache and small reasons to believe. She gravitates toward the quiet stories of ordinary life: A homeless veteran sitting on a bench to watch the construction of a luxury hotel… A woman wondering about the life of the daughter she had to give up for adoption… Someone changing shape, someone falling in love, someone all alone.
With four full-length albums, Tivel continues to touch on a common human thread. Her newest album The Question was recorded mostly live at Hive studio in Eau Claire, WI, engineered by the esteemed Brian Joseph (Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens) and produced by drummer and multi-instrumentalist Shane Leonard. NPR called it “one of the most ambitious folk records of 2019.”