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67 f Saskatchewandering


The young Canadian cousins are getting to meet their folk heroes. Tim Chipping catches up with Anglophiles Kacy & Clayton.


W


hen I first met Kacy & Clayton, one of them had just left school and the other was taking a break from working on


his family’s cattle ranch in the Wood Mountain area of Saskatchewan, Canada. Which is a long way from anywhere. These second cousins had been making music together at home since they were children, because they came from the sort of family where that’s what a family does. But in 2015 they flew to Europe for the first time, supporting their friend and kindred Shirley Collins enthusiast Ryan Boldt, and performing songs from their second album The Day Is Past & Gone.


That outstanding and beautiful recording paired songs and sounds learned from records made far from their postage stamp-sized town of Glentworth, and included origi- nal songs indistinguishable from the traditional. Clayton Linthicum was as gifted and inspired a guitarist as Kacy Anderson was a singer. What a find.


Three years later Kacy & Clayton are back in Britain, again with Ryan Boldt but this time in support of his band Deep Dark Woods, of which they’re also members (and vice versa). Their exquisite fourth album The Siren’s Song has earned rhapsodic five- star reviews from the mainstream music press and as many people bought tickets for the opening act as for the main attraction. But as their pre- gig shepherd’s pies congeal, I begin by asking them about something that occurred to me on the train there. Despite their music being significantly influenced by the folk revival, they’ve already lived the kind of lives the revivalists fetishised.


If Alan Lomax discovered your family he’d have flipped out.


“If he discovered certain parts of it he’d be interested,” revises Clayton. “It is a nice story to have.”


“A nice story to have!?” Kacy laughs.


“You mean it’s a nice life to live.” “Yeah, that’s what I meant.” “Our life is a story,” his cousin mock-


ingly intones .


When did you become aware your remote rural origins would hold a fascina- tion for others?


ton lives in the big city I’m feeling more strange about it. Especially trying to be an adult in that world. I’m not in school any- more so I’m kind of hanging with the peo- ple that stayed home and didn’t go to university. And they’re all just working at the hospital and farming and stuff. We have pretty much nothing in common.”


“T ton?


“I left because I have a girlfriend in Saskatoon and we live together. And I enjoy living there as well. I try to visit home where Kacy and I grew up, frequently. My parents and lots of family live there. Saskatoon isn’t really that far, it’s a four- hour drive, which is pretty standard in our part of the world. And it’s a nice drive.”


Did you think that get- ting good at the guitar would be your ticket to the world?


Photo: Dane Roy


“Let me think. I guess so. I just was obsessed with music from a really early age and wanted to remain obsessed with it and fill my time with that. I’ve never been particu- larly interested in agriculture, which is one of the options. And I haven’t gone to university so my options are…” “… few,” Kacy nods.


Did you take up music with the dream of escaping that life?


“No. I was just playing music because I want to have a good time. It’s true! I never had any aspirations. I thought I would go to college or I was gonna be a funeral director. But we’ve been playing music because we keep getting gigs.”


Is funeral directing still an option? “No. As long as I can make music I will do that, I think. I hope.”


Why did you leave, Clay-


his tour,” smiles Kacy. “Obviously it didn’t seem like a novelty because I’m still living down there. But now that Clay-


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