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.
Growing up in rural Western Kentucky, Kelsey Waldon wasn’t distracted by the bright lights of Paducah, 20 miles to the east. She spent much of her time practicing her guitar and listening to country music in her room. Those years nurtured a sensitive soul in the singer-songwriter who is making a name for herself in Nashville with “I’ve Got a Way,” her second album. Waldon will play tunes from that record and her debut, “The Goldmine,” when she visits the Southgate House Revival Thursday with Paul Cauthen.
On her second album, I've Got A Way, this plain talker from western Kentucky paints scenes from her own sentimental education within Nashville's vital young Americana/country scene, her delightfully direct language and delivery enhancing vivid musical settings that demonstrate her vast understanding of the traditions she mines.
All By Myself" is a traditional county number, with a rhythm section that evokes the '70s and plenty of sharp lead guitar work. The new clip for the track finds Waldon singing – alone, of course – in various poorly lit locales.
"It was very important to me to shoot parts of this video in Monkey's Eyebrow [KY]," Waldon told Rolling Stone Country. "We literally shot right on the land that I grew up on. I wanted to showcase the power and beauty that I feel from that environment, and a place that means a whole lot to me."