Kelsey Waldon is so country, she never has to mention it on the entirety of her new album, yet you know it from the first word she sings (the first note, in fact). Her voice is effortlessly twangy and personable and The Goldmine proudly hails from a lineage of Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Lee Ann Womack and the like.
There's a warm, hazy glow over the whole affair, like an old rural bar where half the lights are blown and they still let you smoke inside. It's strangely comfortable, but behind every set of glazed eyes, there's a sad tale and the potential for things to get dangerous.
"Town Clown" leads off the bunch with a tune about how gossip often becomes generally accepted as truth in a small town. Do you like self-pity? Do you like steel guitar? I do, and if you don't, here's where you should jump off.
The title track continues the drenched in steel approach. In it, Kelsey proclaims her preference for satisfaction over money in a relationship with a man whose financial gains may or may not be entirely on the up and up.
"High in Heels" is my favorite off The Goldmine. It's sassy and tragic at once. I'm fairly certain it's about a daughter having to resort to desperate measures to keep her broken family fed, but you may read it differently.
Kelsey Waldon sounds more vulnerable and confessional than say, Loretta Lynn, on these 11 tracks but she's every bit as confident. Hers is a sweet voice that belies a depth of realism and a spirit that forgives but never forgets. It's a world-weary but optimistic outlook that keeps The Goldmine from ever sinking into despair. It's a moving and memorable album that should easily satisfy fans of classic country and modern Americana, and make Waldon an artist to watch for years to come.
The Goldmine is available for purchase on Bandcamp.