By Matt Wickstrom
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kelsey Waldon, an emerging songbird from Monkeys Eyebrow, Kentucky, with a voice equal parts Loretta Lynn and Nikki Lane, has announced her highly anticipated third album White Noise/White Lines, available Oct. 4 on Oh Boy Records.
Alongside the announcement Waldon also unveiled the album’s first single “Anyhow” and accompanying music video, which you can watch below.
The song tells a story of self-reliance and perseverance despite uncertainty equipped with a honky tonk twang backing Waldon as she poetically contemplates “When the sun sinks down / And your dreams start to drown / And you still don’t know who you are” and “When the moon hangs low / And you still don’t know / Where you’re gonna be tomorrow.” As per usual for Waldon, the artist’s song oozes with authenticity and a personal touch, with “Anyhow” regarding her own personal struggles in pursuit of a music career, which began with a move to Nashville nine years ago and included working a minimum wage job between playing gigs and earning a degree at Belmont University in songwriting and music business in 2013.
White Noise/White Lines will be Waldon’s first since 2016’s All By Myself, which thrust the artist into the Nashville music spotlight with authentic ballads of triumph and tribulation weaved in and out of traditional country and honky tonk infused soundscapes. The album will be the artist’s first project in affiliation with Oh Boy Records, the label founded by iconic songwriter John Prine, and co-produced by Waldon and Dan Knobler (Rodney Crowell, Caroline Spence, Lake Street Dive).
The announcement about Waldon’s addition to Oh Boy was made on May 28 when she joined Prine on-stage at the Grand Ole Opry to perform his classic hit “Paradise.” Waldon is the first artist in over 15 years to join the label.
Listen to Waldon discuss the partnership with Oh Boy, her first time meeting Prine and more nuggets regarding the album below from her interview with me last month that aired during episode 72 of Wick’s Picks on Lexington Community Radio.
Aside from the songs themselves, White Noise/White Lines is riddled with unique touches, very personal to Waldon. From the Chickasaw Tribe chant which Waldon recorded on her cell phone at her father’s hunting camp to a voicemail recording of Waldon’s father who’d called to tell her he’d heard her on the radio to a snippet of her friends playing the bluegrass classic “Run Rabbit Run;” little moments and memories dropped into the album’s track list speak worlds to Waldon’s deep connection with her roots, her family and her home state of Kentucky. All of these threads run tirelessly through White Noise/White Lines, weaving together a decidedly country sound, but not without some of Waldon’s unique influences shining through. The Band and The Meters, to Hazel Dickens and Ralph Stanley, to Ann Peebles and Bill Withers have all left their imprint on how Waldon fleshes out her songs.
Waldon will return to Lexington on Aug. 11 to perform at the inaugural Railbird Festival at Keeneland alongside Tyler Childers, Old Crow Medicine Show, Mandolin Orange and others.
For more information on Waldon visit KelseyWaldon.com.
White Noise/White Lines track list
2. White Noise, White Lines
3. Kentucky (Interlude)
4. Kentucky, 1988
5. Lived and Let Go
6. Black Patch
7. Run (Interlude)
8. Run Away
9. Sunday’s Children
10. Very Old Barton
11. My Epitaph (Ola Belle Reed cover)