For several years, Kelsey Waldon has been a darling of the new wave of trad-country music arising in Nashville. With a charming pixie appearance draped in denim, Waldon brings a new character of authenticity to the movement – she seems to have found her own distinctive niche early on in her career, and has pressed forward in a steady evolution of doing what she knows to do, and doing it well.
In her latest release, The Goldmine, Waldon finds a new maturity in her sound – the album showcases a traditional bent that underscores modern stories and the psychology of existing independently in the post-millennial world. But perhaps the most impressive part of Waldon’s evolution is her recognition of the country greats while staying true to her own voice – she isn’t trying to copy anyone, she’s just honoring legends through a point of view all her own.
With a voice that sings in equal parts melodic sweetness and raspy woes, Waldon has managed to achieve the expert balance that mandates a success career in country music. She understands the importance in remaining both relatable and attainable; several of my long drives down Sunset have been caressed by the sounds of her “wise beyond her years voice,” wondering whether I could possibly achieve a similar sense of grace as I stumble through my mid-twenties in this new city. The song featured below, “Life Moves Slow,” shot at the Basement East with Brett Resnick on steel, makes use of Waldon’s authentic tone and and ageless wisdom to compound the feeling that accompanies long and uncertain days. And it gives me hope, that even when hindsight is 20/20, it’s okay to be stuck in the languor of a long and winding road.
Kelsey photo by Don Van Cleave