Country singer Kelsey Waldon stopped by the Paste Studio in Atlanta, Ga., on Monday afternoon to play a few songs from her new album, White Noise, White Lines, out now on Oh Boy Records.
Waldon was the first signee to Oh Boy, John Prine’s storied label, in 15 years. White Noise, White Lines is the Kentucky native’s third LP, but it’s decidedly more of an arrival than either of her preceding records, as she told me over the phone in early September. “I keep saying that this record feels like my Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,” she said, referencing Dylan’s brilliant second album, which is primarily acoustic. “It felt like Bob hadn’t really arrived [until] that one to me, even though the other ones were awesome, and that’s kind of how I feel about my new record.”
If White Noise, White Lines is Waldon’s Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, then “Anyhow” might be her “Blowin’ in the Wind.” “To be knowin’ is to know how / There’s no turning back now,” Waldon contemplates. “Keep your nose on the grindstone / and your hand on the plow / and do it anyhow.” Just as Dylan once posited, we can’t know all the answers, but we can still keep going.
“Anyhow” is one of four songs Waldon played for us in the studio, including the title track from White Noise, White Lines, her swingin’ country origin story “Kentucky, 1988” and “Very Old Barton.” Waldon’s sound is red-dirt country polished up with a little Americana sheen. And she’s got the songwriting chops to match that classic twang. Waldon’s tight-as-can-be band, which included a pedal steel, accompanied her during Monday’s set.
Watch Waldon’s Paste Studio session below. Keep scrolling for her 2014 Daytrotter session.
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