Showing posts with label Kelsey Waldon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kelsey Waldon. Show all posts

Dec 6, 2019

No Good Country Music Released Since ’79, Says Moron


Curmudgeonly country fan Carl Outlaw says that not a single good country song or album has been released since 1979. Despite the fact that Outlaw was born in the early 90s, he feels confident in his oblivious statement. 

“There ain’t been no good country since the heyday of Merle and Willie and Coe, and you can put that in your pipe and smoke it.” said the idiot, shuffling through his playlist that managed to exclude the likes of Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakam, and The Judds. 

According to Carl, though not specifically mentioned, Patty Loveless sucks. He also believes, based on his time limits, that Jamey Johnson, Tyler Childers, Kelsey Waldon, and Turnpike Troubadours have all released subpar music unworthy of his attention. 

When asked about Johnny Cash’s renewed output from the nineties, he says “hipster bullshit…anything that snooty college kids like, I don’t like.” “If it doesn’t have a steel guitar, fiddle, acoustic guitars, and sad lyrics about dying of cirrhosis in a flophouse, it’s not good country,” continued Outlaw. “There have been no songs that fit that description in my entire lifetime and it makes me sad for the future of America.” 

The fool thinks Chris Stapleton and Sunny Sweeney are just awful, if we go by his own misguided cutoff date. Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Jamie Lin Wilson, Dale Watson, Cody Jinks, and Miranda Lambert are terrible as well.

When asked what he thought of Luke Bell’s self-titled traditional country gem from just a couple years ago, Outlaw replied “Luke Bryan, who’s she?”


Nov 6, 2019

The Billboard Country Top 30 (In My Perfect World)


Yeah yeah. One of you’s thinking “miRanDA laMBeRt sUcKS!” And one of you’s thinking “Where’s Jimmy Bob Reynolds and the Pork-loins (or insert actual artist you enjoy or that I too enjoy and just didn’t put on here)?” This is my perfect world, where Americana, red dirt, and even some pop country live in perfect harmony and give mainstream radio variety and depth. Even if you disagree with a lot of these songs, you have to admit it’d sure be better than the real world’s current country chart.



Oct 18, 2019

A Conversation With Kelsey Waldon




By Kevin Broughton

Music, a sense of place, and family have been Kelsey Waldon’s passions as long as she can remember. She took piano lessons as a 10-year-old, then switched to guitar a couple of years later. Her mom soon bought her a 10-track recorder to encourage her creativity, and by 19 she’d moved from her Western Kentucky home to Nashville for the first time. She worked as a bartender while polishing her songwriting chops and taking what gigs she could find. A brief interregnum back home in Ballard County – and community college – followed, then it was back to Music City’s Belmont University for serious study and renewed focus on her craft. 

She cultivated a loyal following through frequent touring across the U.S. and two critically acclaimed albums; the most recent of which made it onto NPR’s Fresh Air host Ken Tucker’s “Top10 Favorite Albums of 2016” while the album’s lead single, “All By Myself,” was featured on NPR’s list of “Top 100 Songs of 2016.”

On her new album, White Noise, White Lines, Waldon captures the rugged country sound of her touring band without sacrificing the intimacy of her songwriting. Because of that approach, the record feels immediate and intimate, somewhere between a concert and a conversation. Co-produced by Waldon and Dan Knobler, the collection opens with a confident anthem, “Anyhow,” which finds the artist forging ahead after some frustrating setbacks.

“The past three years since we put a record out, we’ve seen some of the biggest ups and downs, like exciting things happening, and not-so-exciting things happening. We kept going and it’s all about that process,” she says. “And the title alludes to things going on around us, in the world and in our environment. I do think there is a lot of white noise. That title describes where I am.”

The nine songs – and two perfectly placed interludes – on White Noise, White Lines are a distillation of the bluegrass-infused country emblematic of the region John Prine immortalized when he sang of the Green River and Mr. Peabody’s coal train. More on how that legend and Waldon – in Hollywood-script fashion – intersected in a moment. 

“Run Away” is a traditional country weeper about falling for someone whose life is a wreck. Waldon wrote “Very Old Barton” about binge drinking alone, with the hopeful message of getting through the highs and lows of life. But the bold centerpiece of the album comes in a pair of songs. Waldon offers an impassioned protest song with “Lived and Let Go.” She explains, “A lot of times, I tend to write because I have to make senseof the world around me.” Its companion cut (mainly because they’re both either fast waltzes or in 6/8 time – the artist and I weren’t quite sure when chatting before the tape rolled on the interview), “Black Patch,” oozes authenticity. 

White Noise, White Lines is one of the best country albums of the year, and Miss Waldon should be prepared to hear her name called when Americana award season rolls around.  

We chatted briefly about Prine, Muhlenberg County, tobacco wars and seasickness.

You’re the first artist signed to Oh Boy Records in a long time. How is it you came to the attention of John Prine, and how would you describe your personal and artistic relationship? 

Yeah, that’s right. I’m the first one signed in almost 15 years, and I think that shows how careful they’ve been; I don’t think they do anything unless they want to. And neither do I. But I actually didn’t meet John until last year. I would see him around town in Nashville a lot; I’d freak out when I’d see him at Melrose Billiards and some other places like Arnold’s Meat and Three.

When my last record came out in 2016, that’s when everybody at Oh Boy apparently took notice of me, and when John and his wife, Fiona, heard my music. Later, I performed at a John Prine Tribute show and met Fiona and she said, “John and I are big fans,” and I was just in disbelief. 

I bet!

Yeah! I was like, First off, you know who I am, and John Prine knows who I am! It was just so cool to meet her there. And she’s become a champion of mine, and a great friend. But 2018 – on the Cayamo Cruise – was the first time I met John, and I got to sing “Paradise” with him. Later in the year, when he and I played some shows together, that was when he was able to hear some of my original music. That was when we were really able to bond, and he started asking about my upcoming album. 

I can’t imagine how cool it was to have him call you out on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry and announce you’d signed with the label.

Yeah. It’s funny, but a lot of people think that’s when it happened. They actually think that was the moment he decided! (Laughs)

Like it was a reality show or something.

I know! And I’ll tell you something else, and it’s probably TMI: The first time I sang with him on the cruise, I was so nervous. I had actually been throwing up! I’d gotten seasick and felt awful. And they called me and said, “Miss Waldon, John Prine would like you to sing ‘Paradise’ with him at his three o’clock show [in an hour], can you do that?” And I was so sick, but I said, “You bet I’ll be there!” So I rolled out of the bed and made it work. 

You left Kentucky for Nashville at 19, came back home for a while & went to community college, then back to Nashville where you earned a diploma at Belmont University. What did you study? 

I actually got a degree in songwriting, as strange as that sounds. I had never really planned on being that girl who applies for scholarships and things like that. It’s a pretty exclusive program. Berkley offers a similar program, and I read that Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch did that one. It’s a lot of music theory classes that you have to take. I took a “History of Country Music” class, which was really cool. But it taught me a lot about discipline; it was really cool, because I’d never had anyone push me out of my comfort zone before. It made me learn that there’s inspiration everywhere. And it was good to learn that at a young age, I guess. 

You and Dan Knobler co-produced this album. Had you ever been on the other side of the glass before? What did you learn from the experience? 

All the records I’ve done have been my vision, but all of the experiences are a little bit different. This time I used my live touring band. You know, we’d been out on the road touring pretty seriously for about three years before going into the studio. So we had practiced [these songs], and it just seemed completely natural. The thing was my vision, and Dan was the guiding light in helping me navigate through the process. I asked him if he was okay giving me a production credit and he agreed. I’ve always had a strong say in all my records, so it seemed the natural thing to do. 

And the band, these are folks you’ve been touring and playing with for a while? 

Yes! Brett Resnick, my steel player, he’s played on all three of my records. 

Solid player, by the way.

He’s amazing, and one of my first friends when I moved to Nashville. But yeah, these are the guys who’ve been touring with me since 2016.  And a couple of them, even a few years before that. 

And the recording process: How much of it did y’all do live?

Pretty much all of it. We didn’t use any technology unless we had to. There were a few overdubs as far as layering some of the guitars, but the rhythm section – the “meat and taters” of it – was all done live right there. But if one or two of the vocals live with the band weren’t perfect, they were perfectly imperfect. I just wanted to keep the energy going. I didn’t do anything unless it felt right. None of us did. 

I brought in the songs, and some of them we already had together and where we didn’t, we just played until we got there. 

You come from a community called Monkey’s Eyebrow, Kentucky. Looking at the map, it’s one of those spots in the middle of the country where I bet you could visit four or five other states on half a tank of gas. Would you say there’s a confluence of cultures in your part of the country? 

Well, it’s a unique part of Kentucky, for sure. Growing up there in the river bottoms you see lots of different things and people. I had friends in Tennessee, because you’re right there on the state line, and you’re right across the river from Illinois. The Ohio River was in our back yard; I grew up in flood country. Backwater is part of life when you’re at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio. 

But yeah, there’s a heavy blues influence, and obviously bluegrass was a big part of my life growing up. They say you’ve got bluegrass coming down the Ohio, and the blues coming up from Memphis and Mississippi. But there’s a feel, you know? There are cypress trees all around…I grew up in the sloughs, the Kentucky swamps. My dad owns a hunting lodge down there, and when he’s not farming the land, he floods it out for waterfowl hunting. I always tell anyone who hasn’t been there how unique and beautiful it is in its own right. 

Speaking of your neck of the woods, there was a running, turn-of-the century shooting war over tobacco prices, and the Duke family’s monopoly, for about five years. I didn’t know about it until I heard your song “Black Patch,” so I had to look it up.

Oh, really? That’s great! Pretty crazy imagery, right? 


It’s awesome! Did you grow up with stories passed down? The Hatfield/McCoy thing in Eastern Kentucky/ West Virginia gets all the press and romance, but this was some serious stuff.

Yeah, you know I think the region and Kentucky in general has so much history. And growing up, yes, I did hear the stories. My great-grandmother wrote so much stuff down, and kept everything. And my brother-in-law and little sister farm tobacco and dark-fire it. It’s a huge part of fall every year. That’s the tobacco used in snuff. But I actually learned about the Black Patch war from taking a History of Kentucky class in community college, and still have the textbook. But reading about it, I was like, “Holy sh*t!” The imagery was just so romantic, and I thought, “This sounds like a song.” Just the name “Black Patch” is so killer. 

It’s also a way, I think, for me to just speak up for local farmers; people getting the thumb of the government pressed down on them. It was a way for me to share their story. 

I want to piece together a timeline, because this just seems so – if not perfect – at least poetic. In the spring, Mr. Prine formally announced you were on the Oh Boy label.  There’s an aptly-named “Interlude” on the record where you play a voice mail from your Dad where he says, “Hey, Babe. I’m down here in Muhlenberg County, looking for turkeys.” It’s freaking precious. Did you know there was a chance you’d be on John Prine’s label when you played that back for the first time? 


No! Not at all! 

You promise?

(Laughs) I do promise! We tracked this record in late 2017; it took a while to get this one out. The whole year of 2018 I was trying to find the right home for it. I didn’t want to independently release something again, and knew it was time to do something else. I wanted to elevate things a little bit. And it’s hard, you know? It’s hard to find people who understand what you do. 

That’s kind of going off on a tangent a little bit, but no. I save all my mom’s and dad’s voice mails. I just love them so much. My dad leaves the really colorful ones. And my granny does too. But I’d been wanting to do the “interlude” thing for a long time, and with this particular record I wanted it to feel very human and untainted. I also didn’t want to overdo the interludes, and that one had a perfect sentiment, I think. My dad and I had turkey hunted together in Muhlenberg County, and just had a perfect weekend.

But I swear, I had no idea. It just worked out that way. 

***

Grab White Noise, White Lines (on Oh Boy Records) wherever you get your music. Oh, and she’s touring, too. Go see a show.

Jul 18, 2019

Adam Sandler Country Reaction Gifs

When your coworkers are discussing how hot Dustin Lynch is

When somebody in the crowd keeps yelling "Wagon Wheel!"

When your son says he kinda likes the new Kane Brown song

Remember that time Old Dominion released a good song?

FGL said their new album was going to be more rootsy

When your closest friend only listens to the "country" music that the mainstream radio station feeds him

Florida-Georgia Line? I stopped to take a p...

When dad listens to Thomas Rhett, but Sonny listens to Tyler Childers and Kelsey Waldon

Jul 10, 2019

Dec 8, 2017

10 Artists Who Better Release New Music in 2018 or Else

1. Chris Knight
Well yeah. Chris tours like crazy, but there have been no new tunes from his camp since 2012's Little Victories
5 years is way too long a meantime to wait for songs from one of the best modern troubadours on the planet. 
The writer of favorites like "Down the River" and "Enough Rope" has found his writing pen a little low on ink in recent years, according to statements to Juli Thanki a year or so ago
Here's hoping the muse has been a little more giving recently. 


2. Lucero
Since trimming the horn section from their road show, the alt-country favorites have gone quiet… at least on the recorded music front. They're still touring, though a bit less than their road warrior days. I heard they were in the studio early last year, but whatever they cut is still in the can. Hopefully, with their 20th year in existence
 coming in 2018, they'll grace us with another classic. It looks like their tour dates pick up a 
good deal in February, so maybe that's a good sign.


3. Kathleen Edwards
Kathleen, whose debut album Failer, is one of my favorite alt-country albums ever, last released a full album with 2012's Voyageur. In the years since, she's taken a sabbatical from music to run a cupcake shop or something or other, but she's played some shows this year. Anyway, I'm not sure what's up, but I want her back. She's a witty, passionate writer with an unmistakable voice. She's also adept at music with a purpose - songs with political and social messages that tear at the seams of injustice without yelling at anybody. Perfect for 2018, huh?


4. Dirty River Boys
Just about the time I discovered these guys for myself, they ceased putting music out there for me to hear. What gives? Their sound bizarrely combines Americana, punk, red dirt, and skate rock and somehow works perfectly. 2014's self-titled record is the last we heard from them. C'mon back fellas. 


5. Adam Faucett
Adam landed in our top 5 with his last release, Blind Water Finds Blind Water. The keening Arkansas songwriter has toured, but there hasn't been a peep from the studio since 2014. The dark songs and that clear, haunting croon with the even more haunting falsetto are needed right now in my ears. I'll throw in on a Kickstarter.


6. Kelsey Waldon
Yeah, it was just 2016 when Kelsey last graced us with her songs, but what can I say? I'm greedy. Oh, and she should keep her name out there. There's a growing swell of awesome female country artists and songwriters and I just know the success of folks like Kelsey, Caroline Spence, Lillie Mae and others is inspiring a whole new generation of women to take up the guitar and tell us their stories. The more the merrier.


7. The Gaslight Anthem
Nothing since 2014's Get Hurt. Lead singer Brian Fallon has been doing the solo thing and it's fine and all, but I want the band back together, pumping out sad Springsteen-esque rock for my listening enjoyment in 2018.


8. Jack White
He's a busy man, running a record label, producing stuff, pulling recording stunts, and playing with other artists, but it's time man. Lazaretto in 2014 was the last release of a 'proper' Jack White album. If 2018 is Jack-White-album-free, he'll be sorry… when I complain a bunch about it online.


9. Ghost
I don't know why I love this ridiculous costumed occult bunch so much, but I do. It hasn't been all that long since they put out new music, but now that I'm hooked, I need it with swiftness. Though categorized as metal, their 70s style rock is more akin to Queen (in theatricality, not sound) than Slayer. It's absurd, tuneful, surprisingly accessible given the subject matter, and highly addictive. They almost broke through (as much as a rock act can nowadays) to the mainstream with their hit "Square Hammer" last year, so it's time to strike while the iron is hot.


10. High on Fire
Give me my sludge metal now! I just read that they are writing a new album right now, so perhaps I should give this slot to another artist, but no. Hurry up with it, guys. I need my fix of down-tuned guitars and strangely melodic screaming right away.

Honorable Mentions: Northcote, Pistol Annies, Run the Jewels, 
Baroness, Julie Roberts, Danny Brown, Car Seat Headrest.

Cody Jinks is in the studio now, so don't say he's missing from this list...





*or else nothing

Oct 6, 2016

Top 25 Albums of 2016: Trailer's 3/4 Report

 

Here's my top 25 list. It's fluid, as always, so this is just how I'm feeling about them today. 
The year-end list will be a composite from Farce the Music contributors, so it will look a lot 
different than this. There are also nearly 3 months more of new music to sort through... ~Trailer

Trailer's Top 25 Albums of 2016: 3/4 Report

1. Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
2. Lori McKenna - The Bird and the Rifle
3. Flatland Cavalry - Humble Folks
4. Brandy Clark - Big Day in a Small Town
5. Austin Lucas - Between the Moon and the Midwest
6. St. Paul and the Broken Bones - Sea of Noise
7. Justin Wells - Dawn in the Distance
8. Cody Jinks - I'm Not the Devil
9. Caleb Caudle - Carolina Ghost
10. Kelsey Waldon - I've Got a Way
11. Sturgill Simpson - A Sailor's Guide to Earth
12. Gojira - Magma
13. Lydia Loveless - Real
14. Luke Bell - s/t
15. Robert Ellis - s/t
16. Rob Baird - Wrong Side of the River
17. Drive-by Truckers - American Band
18. Mark Chesnutt - Tradition Lives
19. Quaker City Night Hawks - El Astronauta
20. Bonnie Raitt - Dig in Deep
21. Hayes Carll - Lovers and Leavers
22. Margo Price - Midwest Farmer's Daughter
23. Western Centuries - Weight of the World
24. BJ Barham - Rockingham
25. Loretta Lynn - Full Circle

Dec 30, 2014

Farce the Music's Top 20 Albums of 2014


You were expecting something else, maybe? Metamodern Sounds in Country Music is epic. Despite there only being 9 songs on the official release (plus a bonus track), this is a big big record. Simpson takes the hard country brilliance we all loved on High Top Mountain and expands on the textures and topics. He gets weird in a few places, trippy and edgy even, but it never feels like a put on. This is where Sturgill wanted to go and he hopes we'll come along, but whatever. I'm in.

Mark Kozelek may not agree, but Lost in the Dream is an immersing record, long in listen and longer in ear-pleasing sounds. Though popular in indie rock circles, there's little about Lost in the Dream that fits that usually intentionally prickly sub-genre. It's an easy-to-listen-to, hard to quickly digest collection of atmospheric classic rock, steeped in the sounds of Dylan, Springsteen, Dire Straits and the like. Mark Koz (Sun Kil Moon) said it's "beer commercial guitar rock," but he doesn't like anything not frocked with stream of consciousness lyrics and picked on a nylon string guitar. Other detractors have called it boring, and I would have agreed after a couple of listens. Once it clicked though, Lost in the Dream burrowed its way in and stuck with me throughout the year. It's a beautiful album whose strength lies in its commitment to to a cohesive sound and an unapologetic earnestness.

 
A deep and beautiful record, as easy to enjoy on first listen as it is difficult to fully grasp on the 30th. Faucett's voice would be the clear calling card if the writing weren't so damn good as well. It's an album that sticks with you long after the final notes have faded. It sounds like nothing else released in 2014.


I lack the proper words to tell you why I love this album or why you should too. It's damn good or it wouldn't be at #4. Check the context. That's enough of a review. RIYL: Deer Tick, Bob Dylan, The Band, Jimbo Mathus.


The band goes back to their roots with fantastic results on this raucous and hedonistic trip of an album. It's billed as a look back at their career, but Most Messed Up feels far more lived-in than a simple recollection. The attitude is cocky and contagious, the partying over-the-top, the drinks frequent, and the music is rocking. They've been doing this "longer than you've been alive" and it sounds like they're still way better at it than anybody else. There's a little regret and some soul-searching but all-in-all, this is no nostalgia project - it's a reclaiming of what makes Old 97s a vital and legendary alternative country act.


Lydia blends pop sensibilities into her rockabilly side on Somewhere Else and crafts a versatile and fulfilling piece of roots-rock-pop-abilly or whatever you wanna call it. It's a well-written, liberated and enchanting performance with memorable songs that sound like hits from a world with better taste.

Darker and more focused than last year's debut from the duo, Run the Jewels 2 kicks out windshields and smacks around f**kboys, all the while sounding infinitely more intelligent and purpose-driven than most of their contemporaries. This is anarchy with reason, chaos with a plan, savagery with a heart. The interplay of El-P's off-kilter lyricism and Killer Mike's straightforward bomb-dropping makes their message hit all the harder.


Kelsey Waldon sounds more vulnerable and confessional than say, Loretta Lynn, on these 11 tracks but she's every bit as sure of herself. 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 heavier realms of metal call out to me a few times a year, and while not qualified to write about such music adequately, I inevitably end up loving some of what I come across. Pallbearer is a doom metal band, but apparently Foundations of Burden isn't true doom metal or something something blah blah I read in reviews by true metal aficionados. All I know is that I do like doom and stoner metal, and that Foundations of Burden fits right in for me. It's dark, slow, anthemic, epic and driving. Some of it sounds a little prog-rock with its endless journeying, but there's always a destination here, it's not riffing on just for the hell of it. Maybe what sets Pallbearer apart the most for me is that lead singer Brett Campbell actually has a good voice. He can't wail with the classic metal gods like Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford, but he's certainly from that school of vocalizing.  The hypnotic 10 minute 17 second "Ghost I Used to Be" is even more epic in sound than length; it's one of my favorite songs of the year - and likely my favorite song ever from the doom metal genre. Non-metal fans probably shouldn't bother with this detour from FTM's usual fare. For the rest: throw some Iron Maiden, Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Queensryche into a blender on low-speed for reference. Amazing album - deserving of far better words written about it.


Womack sounds as assured and authentic as ever on this collection of memorable and well-chosen songs. She's a treasure and it's good to have her back, especially with such a worthy return.


Dereconstructed loudly takes on the "duality of the Southern thing" that Drive-by Truckers explored years ago on Southern Rock Opera. LBIII does it their own way: angry, political at times, and amped-up at nearly all times. The lyrics, which you may or may not be able to make out without reading the album booklet, are smart, poetic and often biting.


This is a downer of a Red Dirt country album that will leave you feeling surprisingly hopeful. LaRue tries out a variety of styles including folksy introspection, country rock, and even a little 70's-style Mellotron swoon - finding them all fitting in this deeply personal but highly relatable gem.


RIYL: Patsy Cline, Lydia Loveless.



Fire Mountain's All Dies Down harkens back to the 90s glory days of alt-country, bringing to mind the guitar pop of The Gin Blossoms, the addictive low-key melodies of Whiskeytown, and the edgy jangle of R.E.M.'s more country-leaning tunes. All Dies Down isn't stuck in that era by any means, but it certainly draws deeply from the well.




Don Williams sounds as good now as he did in his '80s heyday, maybe better. The excellent "I'll Be Here in the Morning" reassures a lover that "I'll be here for a while." God, I hope so.


Matt Woods has released his strongest album to date with With Love from Brushy Mountain. He's shaken off some of the "spot the influence" unsureness I heard in his earlier works and found his own voice and sound. This is country music filtered through rock, folk, punk, red-dirt and bar room soul and it doesn't sound like anybody else.

 
The early '90s might have been Stuart's commercial peak, but he's on the long swell of an artistic wave like none other right now. SN/SM shows off every facet of he and his expert band's absurd skill set of virtuoustic talents across an expansive collection of songs that never overstays its welcome.


Dark Night of the Soul presents all aspects of Jimbo Mathus: soul-singer, folksy storyteller, strutting rocker, country songwriter - there's little he can't do and sound masterful doing it. The most gripping thing about this record is just how little Mathus holds back. He's found his groove and is barreling headlong and breathlessly forward.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails