Kelsey Waldon White Noise/White Lines
Published Oct 02, 2019Kelsey Waldon, a native of Monkey's Eyebrow, Kentucky, is poised to be recognized among the finest country singers of her generation. Having produced at least two underground, Americana classics — 2014's The Gold Mine and I've Got A Way in 2016 — Waldon teams with John Prine's label to take the next step forward.
Waldon's approach has evolved with time; she hasn't lost any country charm or songwriting grit — rather, she has even more confidently embraced what sets her apart from more commercially focused singers. She can flat-out sing, no effort made to hide a natural, unpretentious twang.
Songs range from unvarnished portraits ("Anyhow," "Kentucky, 1988") and troubling expressions of current situations ("Very Old Barton," a drinking song of perseverance and "Live and Let Go") all housed in fine two-steppin', shufflin' tempos. Tobacco wars ("Black Patch,") faltering infatuation ("Run Away,") and hope ("Sunday's Children") also make appearances, as does a staggering reading of Ola Belle Reed's "My Epitaph." The title track is as authoritative and confident a performance heard this year.
Personal touches (a snippet of her father's voicemail, an unrehearsed picking party, field recordings of Chickasaw chants) amplify the authenticity with which Waldon approaches all aspects of her artistic development. (Oh Boy)