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Kelsey Waldon|No Regular Dog

No Regular Dog

Kelsey Waldon

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Kelsey Waldon has hovered on the cusp of almost-famous for a few years now. After a couple of promising-potential releases, she released White Noise/White Lines on John Prine's Oh Boy Records in 2019, to critical acclaim. But it still didn't get her the same level of attention as, say, Margo Price—an inevitable comparison given that they both embrace classic '70s country traditions. No Regular Dog is poised to take Waldon to the next level. Produced by Shooter Jennings, it is at once familiar and completely unique. The title track has an air of dark mystery, like some long-lost Bobbie Gentry track, and finds Waldon declaring: "I ain't no regular dog … howling at and hiding in shadows." The songs here are unabashedly, unashamedly country, both in music and lyrics. "I'm going to drink myself drunk/ I'm going to get myself high/ Anything just to make the time pass by," she sings on "Sweet Little Girl," as fiddle and an outlaw rhythm make a bed for her tale of what used to be known as hard living and is now recognized as self-medicating. "I was inspired by real-life incidents, like all the thoughts that go through your head when you're dealing with addiction and feeling like you've got this rage inside that you don't know what to do with," Waldon has said. On "History Repeats Itself"—its slinky bass like a skeptical side-eye—she spins a Southern-gothic story about being the bad seed of a pair of twins. "I'm wanted in two, three counties … the law finally found me to take me away/ There was nothing left to do but run." And the singer seems to be questioning her own next moves on "Tall and Mighty," woozy on heartbreaking pedal steel and weighing if playing small stages is still worth it. "Feeling so low/ Downright mean/ Trying to live up to some honky-tonk dream/ Wondering if three chords and the truth still mean the same to me." But it's not all that heavy. "Simple as Love" is the rare love song that, Waldon has said, reflects her life now. Among the vivid imagery she conjures up for it: "Rivers run wild like a spider vein." ("History Repeats Itself," meanwhile, yields the great line "Worn out like an old pair of denim/ I'm faded.") "Backwater Blues" is bright and shiny, evoking Ronee Blakley in Robert Altman's Nashville. "You Can't Ever Tell" emulates the raw beauty of Loretta Lynn or Tammy Wynette, with Waldon not trying to put on airs or hide her Monkey's Eyebrow, Kentucky, accent. And "Season's Ending" is a stark, bittersweet beauty—a tribute to her mentor, Prine, who passed away in 2020. "Ain't it just like you to bloom and be gone," channeling respect and awe and love without any sap. "Seems like you can't have heaven on earth without hell to pay." © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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No Regular Dog

Kelsey Waldon

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1
No Regular Dog
00:03:20

Shooter Jennings, Producer - Kelsey Waldon, Composer, MainArtist - MYKAINTUCK Publishing (SESAC), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

2
Sweet Little Girl
00:03:18

Shooter Jennings, Producer - Kelsey Waldon, Composer, MainArtist - MYKAINTUCK Publishing (SESAC), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

3
Tall and Mighty
00:03:11

Shooter Jennings, Producer - Kelsey Waldon, Composer, MainArtist - MYKAINTUCK Publishing (SESAC), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

4
You Can't Ever Tell
00:03:07

Shooter Jennings, Producer - Kelsey Waldon, Composer, MainArtist - MYKAINTUCK Publishing (SESAC), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

5
Season's Ending
00:04:26

Shooter Jennings, Producer - Kelsey Waldon, Composer, MainArtist - MYKAINTUCK Publishing (SESAC), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

6
History Repeats Itself
00:03:20

Shooter Jennings, Producer - Kelsey Waldon, Composer, MainArtist - MYKAINTUCK Publishing (SESAC), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

7
Backwater Blues
00:02:49

Shooter Jennings, Producer - Kelsey Waldon, Composer, MainArtist - MYKAINTUCK Publishing (SESAC), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

8
Simple as Love
00:03:27

Shooter Jennings, Producer - Kelsey Waldon, Composer, MainArtist - MYKAINTUCK Publishing (SESAC), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

9
Peace Alone (Reap What You Sow)
00:02:48

Shooter Jennings, Producer - Kelsey Waldon, Composer, MainArtist - MYKAINTUCK Publishing (SESAC), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

10
Progress Again
00:03:17

Shooter Jennings, Producer - Kelsey Waldon, Composer, MainArtist - MYKAINTUCK Publishing (SESAC), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

11
The Dog (Outro)
00:01:45

Shooter Jennings, Producer - Kelsey Waldon, Composer, MainArtist - MYKAINTUCK Publishing (SESAC), MusicPublisher

(C) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers (P) 2022 Oh Boy Records marketed and distributed by Thirty Tigers

Album review

Kelsey Waldon has hovered on the cusp of almost-famous for a few years now. After a couple of promising-potential releases, she released White Noise/White Lines on John Prine's Oh Boy Records in 2019, to critical acclaim. But it still didn't get her the same level of attention as, say, Margo Price—an inevitable comparison given that they both embrace classic '70s country traditions. No Regular Dog is poised to take Waldon to the next level. Produced by Shooter Jennings, it is at once familiar and completely unique. The title track has an air of dark mystery, like some long-lost Bobbie Gentry track, and finds Waldon declaring: "I ain't no regular dog … howling at and hiding in shadows." The songs here are unabashedly, unashamedly country, both in music and lyrics. "I'm going to drink myself drunk/ I'm going to get myself high/ Anything just to make the time pass by," she sings on "Sweet Little Girl," as fiddle and an outlaw rhythm make a bed for her tale of what used to be known as hard living and is now recognized as self-medicating. "I was inspired by real-life incidents, like all the thoughts that go through your head when you're dealing with addiction and feeling like you've got this rage inside that you don't know what to do with," Waldon has said. On "History Repeats Itself"—its slinky bass like a skeptical side-eye—she spins a Southern-gothic story about being the bad seed of a pair of twins. "I'm wanted in two, three counties … the law finally found me to take me away/ There was nothing left to do but run." And the singer seems to be questioning her own next moves on "Tall and Mighty," woozy on heartbreaking pedal steel and weighing if playing small stages is still worth it. "Feeling so low/ Downright mean/ Trying to live up to some honky-tonk dream/ Wondering if three chords and the truth still mean the same to me." But it's not all that heavy. "Simple as Love" is the rare love song that, Waldon has said, reflects her life now. Among the vivid imagery she conjures up for it: "Rivers run wild like a spider vein." ("History Repeats Itself," meanwhile, yields the great line "Worn out like an old pair of denim/ I'm faded.") "Backwater Blues" is bright and shiny, evoking Ronee Blakley in Robert Altman's Nashville. "You Can't Ever Tell" emulates the raw beauty of Loretta Lynn or Tammy Wynette, with Waldon not trying to put on airs or hide her Monkey's Eyebrow, Kentucky, accent. And "Season's Ending" is a stark, bittersweet beauty—a tribute to her mentor, Prine, who passed away in 2020. "Ain't it just like you to bloom and be gone," channeling respect and awe and love without any sap. "Seems like you can't have heaven on earth without hell to pay." © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz

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