Kacy & Clayton
The Siren’s Song
New West Records
Hold steady when you begin playing Kacy & Clayton’s fourth release The Siren’s Song because the first cut, “The Light of Day” will instantly transport you back to the corner of Haight & Asbury streets in San Francisco, circa 1967. Over a Jorma Kaukonen-ish guitar part, vocalist Kacy Anderson reminds you of a sun-dappled Grace Slick at a festival, singing away as hippies do a dance circle. Somehow they reflect a sense of that time and space, without being derivative in the least.
While the duo’s last album, the near-flawless Strange Country from 2015 showed a bit of their British Folk scene influences, their newest branches their sound further afield, and some amount of that must be the input of the producer, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. Anderson’s voice still harkens back to legends such as Sandy Denny or Annie Briggs, such as “Cannery Yard” but on moments such as “A Lifeboat” she slows things down to a bluesy ramble, and the Clayton Linthicum sung “White Butte Country” is ’70s country funk – imagine Clarence White after a few beers – and it’s just marvelous.
I am completely entranced by this record, and each play reveals a new moment of fascination, be it Anderson’s beguiling voice or Clayton’s nimble guitar work, and when it ends with their arrangement of “Go and Leave Me”, a traditional British song done by Norma Waterson on her 2000 album Bright Shiny Morning, you’re smitten again by the pair’s deft grace and talent. More, please!