“The songs are pretty much about living, dying and the passing of time” Bill says of his latest album, 1952. With daughter, Kasey, they are performing sell out concerts across America at the moment. Bill was born in the United Kingdom but spent most of his life in outback Australia and then NSW’s Central Coast.
It is always a major event for me when a Bill Chambers’ album comes out. I don’t have the credits, but I suspect that Nash Chambers has a hand in it as well. I love Bill’s style. It is a fusion of so many of my heroes and no doubt Bill’s heroes too. There is something of a nostalgic ambience around a Bill Chambers’ album. His songs take me back to a mixture of Townes Van Zandt, Gram Parsons, Jim Croce and the like with a mix of the Guthries, Bob Dylan and Hank in twists and turns.
Bill always mixes it up with light hearted moments and more than one or two songs full of sentiment and reflection. Best known recently for his advice to his daughter “Don’t be a dickhead” which is now an infamous t-shirt and various one liners, there will be a few more attributed to him on this album, like “stick the guitar up your arse”, and the like. You never know what you will hear next from Bill, but then again, you do. He is not backwards in coming forwards and he full of simple, homespun truths.
There is no confusing Bill’s music with anything but country music. That familiar husky voice and the stories that pour out like whiskey over ice, this album is probably close to Bill’s finest works, with every song a tasty piece of pie, whether it is a meat pie or an apple one….savoury or sweet. Guitars gently strumming and sometimes twangy, and that signature honesty from a man who has had a full and colourful life, you are in for a treat.
I don’t use the word ‘legend’ a lot, because it should be reserved for the very best and for those who have stood the test of time and endured it all. Bill is a legend and from his hat to his boots, Bill Chambers is a stunning example of an Aussie legend, especially with a guitar in hand.
From the opening song about Hank, to an almost Paul Kelly sounding song with some Bill touches in Truckstop Cowboy and all of the songs in between, this is a bottler. There are songs about family, friends, and all of the things from the Chambers’ quote above. I love That’s How I Remember You Best, Highway through the Snow and Gravel Road. A lot of the songs are autobiographical, and you have to love how Bill just tells it like it is.
Bravo legend, you have done it again.
01 – 1952 Cadillac
02 – Goodnight
03 – Time
04 – You Ain’t Never Owned a Gun
05 – Place Where I Was Born
06 – Highway Through the Snow
07 – Gravel Road
08 – Every Morning
09 – That’s How I Remember You Best
10 – Truckstop Cowboy
11 – 1952 Cadillac Revisited