No Regular Dog
Oh Boy Records!
Sprinkling Her Very Own Brand of Country Stardust To Create a Series of Mini-Soap Operas
While avoiding the actual Press Release, I obviously had to read the email that accompanied this album last week; and seeing it was being released on John Prine’s Oh Boy Records! meant I was 99% sure I was going to like the contents; then seeing Shooter Jennings’ name as producer and his band featuring as backing added the extra 1% before I’d even heard a note!!
My ‘Spidey-Senses’ were confirmed after only a minute or so of first song; No Regular Dog, which is very much the type of Modern Country Music that both I and Mrs Magpie love to bits. There’s enough pathos in Kasey’s voice to fill a bathtub and when that ‘warble’ arrives in the chorus I genuinely choked up.
Alongside a couple more, later track #2; Sweet Little Girl has a big production from Jennings; but instead of smothering Walden’s vocals he/they somehow manage to capture the spirit of the story in a way I’d normally associate with early Loretta and/or Reba recordings … and I’m not exaggerating at all.
Recording since 2007; Kelsey Walden still has a lot to say in her songs; and I’m sure I won’t be the only one who will revisit the harrowing tale of Small Town America (or England) History Repeats Itself, or the heart squeezing Simple As Love and the stunning Progress Again many, many times as while being very personal to the singer; also open up doors from my own life and plenty of other listeners too.
While Jennings’ sympathetic production and the arrangements of the songs themselves make for perfect listening at home; I’m pretty sure Ms. Waldon will be touring these songs without a band behind her; and certainly not one of this quality; so you have to see past what you are hearing to imagine her standing alone on a stage somewhere in East Treestump, Nowheresville on a Thursday night ….. and even then; You Can’t Ever Tell and Backwater Blues will blow you away, such is the strength and intimacy in the writing … and of course the delivery.
Never having heard Kasey Waldon previously has made this album an absolute delight from start to finish; with the word ‘quality’ turning up 6 times in my handwritten notes over the last few days; and two songs received 3 stars too!
These are the fabulous Honky Tonkin’ Peace Alone (Reap What You Sow) which again tugged at my heartstrings while also making me return to a couple of times in my own life that I’m not too proud of …. and Kelsey somehow makes that sound romantic; plus Doug Pettibone’s searing guitar interludes and Aubrey Richmond’s outstanding fiddle playing will draw even the most casual of listeners into the fold.
The other is actually the most ‘obvious’ of songs to become a Favourite; but in my defence I’d already given Season’s Ending 3 stars before I knew it was actually about John Prine …. and when I read the story behind it as it gently eased out of the office speakers I had to wipe some dust from eyes more than once; so Season’s Ending takes the well deserved accolade of RMHQ Favourite Song.
Like many of her contempories Kasey Waldon takes the minutiae from her everyday life and loves then adds her very own brand of stardust to create a series of mini-soap operas that somehow gel together to make for a fascinating and thought provoking album that will never stray far from the house stereo.
PS …. It turns out that Kelsey Waldon was raised in the Western Kentucky town of ….. Monkeys Eyebrow! Please, please, please let that be true and can someone send me confirmation that it really does exist.