The grit caked beneath an overworked coal miner’s fingernails. The simultaneous sinking hurt and rage of seeing a philandering lover with another woman beneath the neon lights on lower Broadway. The allure and escape of smoky honky-tonks where wannabe country stars and undiscovered legends sing their souls away over in the corner by the bar. The splitting headache that wakes you the morning after like an old friend. The plight of the impoverished scraping by on menial wages. Flawed, misunderstood folk fighting the urge forget their troubles momentarily by spending the bills on beer, liquor, pills—anything to get their minds away from where it’s supposed to be.
These are just a few of the portraits country singer Kelsey Waldon deftly captured on her stirring 2014 debut full-length record “The Goldmine.” Waldon’s unfeigned southern drawl and razor sharp lyrical style conjures the world-weariness that defined Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette’s most iconic recordings. Waldon calls Nashville home, but the Monkey’s Eyebrow, Ky. native draws from a well of inspiration that came the result of growing up in western Kentucky life.
The Kentuckian will release her sophomore album “I’ve Got A Way,” on Aug. 12. Waldon performed a batch of new songs that will appear on the record for NPR’s Nashville Sessions, which was released June 6. “All by Myself,” the record’s lead single, is currently available on iTunes and Spotify.
On slow-burning album closer “The Heartbreak,” Waldon swallows the bitter pill of lost love with the wisdom of an old soul. “So I just wanted to thank you for the heartbreak and for the good times I know that were there / And everything I gave remains one and the same, one day we’ll all meet in the middle somewhere,” Waldon sings wistfully on the track.
An interview with the rising country singer will appear in Fringe Zine’s first issue.