Calamity Jane is a US musical outfit led by violinist and singer-songwriter Lucy Cantley.
Lucy’s musical history is worth noting, she began her career at the age of six and along the way has collected some impressive accomplishments, including European tours with the Princeton Orchestra as a featured solo artist, studying with renowned teachers from the Juilliard and Cincinnati Conservatories, and sharing the stage with the acclaimed artists Sarah Chang and Joshua Bell.
In 2017 Lucy moved to Nashville to pursue a different kind of musical career and soon made headlines forming and leading Troika, which went on to win the renowned NashNext 2018, a prestigious competition involving the Big Machine Label Group (Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, Trisha Yearwood) and Nash FM.
Shortly after, Lucy broke away from the group to pursue a solo career, which ultimately led to her forming Calamity Jane.
And here we are with their first release, Devil Went Down To Georgia. This is the kind of track that might warrant the question, does it need a make-over? Despite Calamity Jane’s quite faithful rendering of the Charlie Daniels Band record, there is a point of difference which goes beyond the original.
For a start, Camille Rae’s vocal helps place the reinterpreted track into new territory; her blistering tones seem to suit the psychology of the narrative arc of the lyric. There’s a lot of talk of soul-stealing and flying fire, and the urgency of the performances provides a tangible reinforcement of this imagery.
The production is well-balanced and clean without sacrificing the energy of the track, and Lucy’s violin wizardry is masterfully presented. This track was perhaps not such a surprising choice for a musician of Lucy’s calibre if we consider its genre-crossing qualities but what is surprising, is how well the track stands up these days.
And of course, in this case, this is partly due to Calamity Jane’s attention to detail and persuasive artistry.