Kacy & Clayton draw inspiration from their family and musical forefathers
Kacy & Clayton’s latest record, Strange Country sounds like it could have been pulled from the ‘60s section of a vinyl shop, alongside Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel and Bob Dylan. Their sound embodies the folk revival of the 1960s in an authentic way, and it’s easy to wonder if the Saskatchewan-born second cousins are really from this decade.
“When we were both in middle years of school we realized we had somewhat similar taste in music,” says guitarist and backup vocalist Clayton Linthicum. “We liked Roger Miller and Johnny Cash and we were both starting to get into traditional folk music, like Mississippi John Hurt, and the Carter Family and Doc Watson.”
The two cousins joined their musical abilities and formed their rurally-rooted folk duo, releasing their self-titled debut in 2011. But, they’ve been playing music together much longer than that.
“When I was nine or 10 years old, I played in a band with Kacy’s three older sisters,” Linthicum explains. “Kacy would have been around six or seven when she started singing with the band, but that only lasted for a little while. As you know, a band of sisters can, uh, sometimes lead to some pretty fierce band fights.”
Linthicum and his cousin Kacy Anderson grew up in a family with instruments and records close at hand. They were keen to find new folk, blues, country and bluegrass artists to peak their interest and fill their iPods.
“When I turned seven, for my birthday, my Dad brought me home a guitar. It was called Mark II, and it was made by Walmart,” he says. “He bought it on his way home from a trip to New Mexico. Now I have a 1951 Gibson J-50, and I treat it a lot better than I did that Mark II.”
When he and Anderson first joined together, they played gigs at small, local bars near where they grew up, experimenting with inspirations they found in old LPs. Lithicum was mostly drawn to country LPs from the ‘50s and ‘60s and old British folk albums.
“The thing about living in Saskatchewan, and really most of Western Canada, is that there’s a lot of country records in the second-hand stores, and when people die and their kids give away their record collections,” Linthicum says. “There’s usually a lot of country music in there. That’s probably what I have the most of, due to geographical circumstances.”
For Linthicum, collecting records is less about the profit potential and more about finding music of an era he and his bandmate love so dearly.
“I don’t really care so much about the value or if it’s like an original pressing, I just collect them to listen to. And mostly because the music that I like is only available on LPs—unless it was really popular, and reissued as, like, a greatest hits or something.”
Their newest album, The Siren’s Song comes out later this month to tide folk-lovers over until their next Edmonton performance at The Needle on September 25.
Sun., Aug. 13 (1:05 pm)
Kacy & Clayton
Edmonton Folk Music Festival
General day passes $85