Some of us didn’t even know we liked country music until the cross-over success of The Captain, the debut album from a then-unknown young woman named Kasey Chambers. Now, it’s difficult to imagine an Australian music scene before her arrival.
Her groundbreaking, heart-baring record won the 1999 ARIA Music Award for Best Country Album and also bagged Kasey the Best Female Artist award. 20 years later, The Captain has been remastered for vinyl for the very first time, and reissued in a bonus-choked Deluxe Edition.
Ahead of her celebratory tour across Australia (see article’s end for details), we asked about those early halcyon days.
The reissue is being released 20 years to the very day of The Captain’s original release. What do you remember about how you spent that day?
I honestly do not remember the day it was released at all. I remember the making of the record and the touring and even writing the oldest song on that record, Don’t Go, but I cannot remember the day it was released. I was definitely oblivious to the fact that my life was about to change forever.
How is it that you still have the original handwritten lyrics to the title track (a copy of which is included in the 32-page booklet accompanying this edition)? Do you keep all of your notes in some gigantor concertina file?
I didn’t really keep it on purpose knowing it would be so special one day – I think I’m just a bit hopeless when it comes to cleaning and chucking things out, haha. I’m glad now that I did keep them! It was beautiful to sit down and look at the original copy of them and realise how much I have been through with that song.
Who were the antecedents from whom you derived the most inspiration for the record (aside from, of course, your family)?
My dad took me to see Lucinda Williams play live in Adelaide when I was a teenager and that night changed my life. I wanted to write my own songs from that moment on and put my heart on my sleeve in the honest and openly vulnerable way that she did.
When you listen back to the album, what do you hear most immediately that has changed about the musical choices you made back then compared to how you perform/write now?
I think one of my favourite things about The Captain is the naivety on it. It was just heart-on-sleeve, with no expectation. I think there’s something extra special about everyone’s first record they ever make. Even though some things make me cringe when I think back to those lyrics and approaches to songwriting, it is always overridden by the beauty in having nothing to live up to that can only be captured in a debut record.
The Captain (20th Anniversary Reissue) is out now via EMI.
The 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of The Captain is a cornucopia of delights for the Kasey mega-fan. It includes the 12 tracks from the original record plus 7 tracks from the 2000 bonus edition, 13 previously unreleased track-by-track interview pieces from 1999, and the unearthed track Hey Girl. There’s also a stunning 32-page booklet which includes never-before-seen photographs from Kasey’s childhood, promotional and live images, and a copy of the original handwritten lyrics for the title track, The Captain.
KASEY CHAMBERS’ 20TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR 2019
For further information please head to www.kaseychambers.com
Friday 13 SEPTEMBER – THE PALMS AT CROWN, MELBOURNE VIC
Saturday 14 SEPTEMBER – COSTA HALL GPAC, GEELONG VIC
Sunday 15 SEPTEMBER – PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE, WANGARATTA VIC
Thursday 19 SEPTEMBER – LISMORE CITY HALL, LISMORE NSW
Friday 20 SEPTEMBER – THE FORTITUDE MUSIC HALL, BRISBANE VIC
Saturday 21 SEPTEMBER – SOUTHPORT RSL, SOUTHPORT QLD
Friday 4 OCTOBER – THEBARTON THEATRE, ADELAIDE SA
Saturday 5 OCTOBER – THE ASTOR THEATRE, PERTH WA
Sunday 6 OCTOBER – BRIDGETOWN HOTEL, BRIDGETOWN WA
Friday 11 OCTOBER – TOWN HALL THEATRE PAC, DEVONPORT TAS
Saturday 12 OCTOBER – THEATRE NORTH AT THE PRINCESS, LAUNCESTON TAS
Sunday 13 OCTOBER – WREST POINT ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, HOBART TAS
Thursday 17 OCTOBER – ANITA’S THEATRE, THIRROUL NSW
Friday 18 OCTOBER – EVAN THEATRE PANTHERS, PENRITH NSW
Saturday 19 OCTOBER – THE CUBE, CAMPBELLTOWN NSW
Sunday 20 OCTOBER – BATHURST MEMORIAL THEATRE, BATHURST NSW
Friday 25 OCTOBER – GIANT DWARF, REDFERN NSW
Saturday 26 OCTOBER – NEX THEATRE, NEWCASTLE NSW
Sunday 27 OCTOBER – THE PLAYHOUSE THEATRE CIC, CANBERRA ACT