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Kelsey Waldon Represents The Neo-Traditional Scene Burgeoning In Nashville

Kris Kristofferson's publicist, Tamara Saviano, offered Kelsey Waldon an internship after listening to her cover Townes Van Zandt.
Laura E. Partain
Courtesy of the artist
Kris Kristofferson's publicist, Tamara Saviano, offered Kelsey Waldon an internship after listening to her cover Townes Van Zandt.

There are 8,000 stories in Music City from folks who arrive here with a dream in their hearts for a music career. But how exactly do you get there? There are just as many paths to success.

Today, our Nashville correspondent, Jessie Scott, brings us a session with an artist representative of the neo-traditional scene burgeoning in Nashville. Kelsey Waldon plays hard country indebted to her native Kentucky. Her latest album, White Noise / White Lines, was released by John Prine's Oh Boy Records and she's the label's first signee in 15 years.

Kelsey writes what she knows, about rural vistas and the personal inter-connectedness of small-town America. Though mainstream country sounds like pop these days, Kelsey will always be perceived as country — if only from the way her voice sounds. Her songs are rocking and ragged — John Prine was quoted recently saying that he signed Kelsey because he "believed" her. Today on the show, Kelsey talks with Jessie Scott about being true to her roots and delivering an album that represents her commitment to honesty. She brought her band to perform music from her latest album at Nashville's Love Shack Studio, and they start off with a song called "Anyhow."

Copyright 2019 XPN

World Cafe senior producer Kimberly Junod has been a part of the World Cafe team since 2001, when she started as the show's first line producer. In 2011 Kimberly launched (and continues to helm) World Cafe's Sense of Place series that includes social media, broadcast and video elements to take listeners across the U.S. and abroad with an intimate look at local music scenes. She was thrilled to be part of the team that received the 2006 ASCAP Deems Taylor Radio Broadcast Award for excellence in music programming. In the time she has spent at World Cafe, Kimberly has produced and edited thousands of interviews and recorded several hundred bands for the program, as well as supervised the show's production staff. She has also taught sound to young women (at Girl's Rock Philly) and adults (as an "Ask an Engineer" at WYNC's Werk It! Women's Podcast Festival).
World Cafe Nashville correspondent Jessie Scott is a 50-year radio veteran, and is currently the program director and afternoon drive host at WMOT Roots Radio in Nashville. She has spent the last couple of decades nurturing, curating, writing, and creating audio and video, in an effort to tell the story of American roots music.