Album Review: Kelsey Waldon - “I’ve Got A Way”

Talented traditionalist brings classic country to forefront on sophomore album release.

Two years ago, Kelsey Walden released an album called Goldmine that showcased her talent for traditional country in the style of records from Loretta Lynn, Kitty Wells and more modern artists like Elizabeth Cook. With stronger production than that first recording -- really the only nitpick -- thanks to increased technique from longtime collaborator Michael Rinne, I’ve Got A Way feels like a record designed to make folks stand up and notice Kelsey. 8 of the 10 songs here were written by Waldon except a pair of covers from the fountains of Bill Monroe and Vern Gosdin.

Recalling a young Loretta Lynn on “Dirty Old Town” and “False King,” Waldon simply sounds in her element with these timeless traditional country songs. The lyrics are witty and biting in places (take, for instance, this refrain from “False King”: “You can’t place a crown on the head of a clown and hope he turns out to be a king”). “All By Myself” is about as honest a song lyric you’d hear from anyone. The production is raw and and the vocal is real and not glossed over.

The band is mostly Waldon, and backing four piece with a few notables including Dan Knobler, Dan Parks and Skylar Wilson used for added texture and color in places. I’ve Got A Way is laced with loads of steel guitar, a lead instrument here, that it wouldn’t surprise me to see Kelsey Waldon play residency sets at Roberts Western World or The Station Inn. She’s a timeless artist with stellar chops and here’s hoping that more will pay attention to Kelsey Waldon.