The album’s lead single, “Anyhow,” is a stubborn anthem of self-reliance featuring a hardscrabble honky-tonk guitar line. “The song is about self-awareness, trusting the process, and embracing yourself and who you are — even if it doesn’t fit the mold,” Waldon said in a recent interview withGarden & Gun. “In a way, it’s also about not giving up.”
The songwriting legend took the stage Saturday evening at That Tent, delivering a retrospective of his beloved hits (“Angel From Montgomery,” “Spanish Pipedream,” “Hello in There,” the new instant classic “When I Get to Heaven”) that are at the heart of country and folk music. Prine’s raspy voice and trademark grin radiated a sense that everything is going to be OK, even in dark and confusing times — a hallmark of a troubadour at the top of his game. Americana superstar Brandi Carlile made a surprise appearance for a duet of “Summer’s End,” and earlier in the set, rising country singer Kelsey Waldon (who recently signed to Prine’s Oh Boy Records) joined him for a spirited take on “In Spite of Ourselves.”
Kelsey Waldon, a daughter of the wooded bottomlands of Monkey's Eyebrow, stood center stage at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday night as legendary songwriter John Prine welcomed her to his label, Oh Boy Records.
While it was her third time playing the famed country music institution, the label signing is a highlight of Waldon's career so far.
"I feel really, really great. I'm not sure it's all totally sunk in yet, honestly," she told The Sun after the performance. "I've been waiting for a while to even share this news. I honestly can't even believe it really."
Kentucky songwriter performed “Unwed Fathers” with Prine on the Grand Ole Opry following announcement that she was joining Oh Boy Records
Though she’s been touring nonstop of late, it’s been since 2016’s I’ve Got a Way that Kelsey Waldon released new material. But the Kentucky native is gearing up for a long-awaited new album in 2019, and she used her Thursday set at the Basement East to debut some excellent fresh tracks, from “Havin’ Hard Times,” about life working in the coal mines, to soulful country songs about drugs (“not the good ones,” she told the crowd), heartbreak and home. It was a warm-up worthy of where she headed the next day — to open, and sing with, John Prine.