By Matt Wickstrom
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Kelsey Waldon, the riveting songbird hailing from Monkeys Eyebrow in Western Kentucky, is the latest artist to join the roster of Oh Boy Records, the label founded in 1981 by iconic songwriter John Prine.
The announcement was made last night at the Grand Ole Opry that featured Sturgill Simpson and Town Mountain in addition to Waldon and Prine. The reveal came after Waldon performed her own Opry set as Prine called her back to the stage to sing his classics “Unwed Fathers” and “Paradise” together. See video of the announcement below.
Waldon first came to my attention in 2016 when she came to Lexington to perform on Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour in October 2016, fresh off the release of her second full-length effort I’ve Got A Way. The album was a breakout of sorts for the artist, who channels nostalgic country sounds in the vein of Dolly Parton on the project that has left fans boiling over in anticipation for new songs.
The accomplishment is the most recent step on a long journey for Waldon, who moved to Nashville upon graduating high school, working 40 hours per week at a minimum wage job between gigs and juggling schoolwork at Belmont University, where she graduated with a degree in songwriting and music business in 2013. More recently, Waldon has spent much of the last year opening for artists such as Tyler Childers, Jamey Johnson and Prine, leading her to being the first signing to Oh Boy Records in 15 years.
“It’s hard for me to put into words what it truly means to me to be signed to Oh Boy Records,” said Waldon. “To have someone like John, who I have looked up to my whole life, who I have set my songwriting standards after and my general music making standards after, to have someone like him endorse my music and care enough about it to make sure it reaches a wider audience…that means everything.”
Prine says of Waldon, “I am bursting with pride to have Kelsey Waldon recording for Oh Boy Records. Her music continues an important arc of traditional folk and country music. I love Kelsey’s singing. Her voice is one of the more authentic country voices I’ve heard in a long time. I’m looking forward to all the shows we’ll be performing together this year.”
Waldon has a slew of summer dates on tap including a June 27 stop at The Burl in Lexington with John R. Miller and The Engine Lights followed by a quick return on Aug. 11 for Railbird Festival.
For more information on the artist visit KelseyWaldon.com.