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August 4, 2021

Interview with Kasey Chambers

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Kasey Chambers

Kasey is the Captain of Blues 

Bluesfest | Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm | Thursday 18 April – Monday 22 April | $200+

Kasey Chambers is beyond excited about being on the line up for the 30th Bluesfest. 

‘I am so excited. I first came there in ‘98 as Buddy Miller’s backup singer. That’s not actually a bad thing to be able to say! I also got to sing a duet with Steve Earl on his gig! I played with Dead Ringer Band, and I didn’t know at the time, but at that gig, Paul Kelly just happened to walk past the tent that I was playing in.

‘It was the first time Paul Kelly heard me sing. After that, I would go on to actually work with Paul, which was amazing. I was a big fan of his. I’d seen him play a bunch of times before that.’

Kasey was back again in ‘99 playing as a solo artist; playing all the songs from The Captain for the first time.

‘I’d never played these Captain songs before, although that album would come out later that year. But I was playing those songs to people for the first time, and that’s, obviously, exactly 20 years ago from this festival. So this is my 20 year anniversary of playing as a solo artist, and I have been to every single Bluesfest since!’

That’s a score of 21 out of 30 for Kasey Chambers! She hasn’t played at Bluesfest all of those years, but she has played most. In fact she has probably played more gigs there than any other woman at Bluesfest.

‘So most years, I’ve been there full-time. Every now and then I’ve been in the middle of a tour and just come in and played and then gone, but for most of them, I came and stayed for the whole time, for the whole four or five days.’

Kasey’s last album was Campfire. ‘On the tour we had a little campfire set up on stage every night, which obviously wasn’t real and looked quite lame when you think about an actual real fire. But, it was good enough to get us through, to set the mood.’

‘For this 30th Anniversary Bluesfest I’ve actually managed to get the original Captain band together, the original band that played on Norfolk Island for the tracking of the Captain album. It was a four piece then (me and my dad and two other guys.)’

‘It’s really exciting for me to have that original band for this special gig. We haven’t played together for quite a while, so it’s extra special.’

Kasey is not just enthusiastic about Bluesfest, she is equally enthusiastic about its director, Peter Noble.

‘He’s just so… he’s been so good to me over the years. Even on a personal level, not just gigs and that, but I feel really proud to have come to call Peter a friend over the years. He gave me a pretty bloody big gig back when no one had a clue who I was, and I wasn’t out there playing on all the cool festivals,  so Peter Noble took a chance on me – based on no hype, no nothing.’

Kasey believes it’s ‘taking a chance on acts people may not have heard of yet’ that is what makes Bluesfest such an important event for musicians.

‘…it’s always been such an incredibly successful and amazing festival, but I come away from every single Bluesfest I go to being a fan of new artists that I wouldn’t have heard before if I hadn’t been at that festival. I was one of those artists once too. I feel so lucky, 20 years later, to still be playing the festival.’

Kasey Chambers plays Bluesfest, Thursday 18 April – Monday 22 April.


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