Kelsey Waldon: No Regular Dog Tour / Abby Hamilton

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Event Dates
Wednesday / November 30, 2022 / 7:00 pm
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
United States

On her new album, No Regular Dog, singer-songwriter and guitarist Kelsey Waldon shares a gritty and glorious portrait of living in devotion to your deepest dreams: the brutal self-doubt and unending sacrifice, hard-won wisdom, and sudden moments of unimaginable transcendence. Revealing her supreme gift for spinning harsh truths into songs that soothe and brighten the soul, the Kentucky-bred artist ultimately makes an unassailable case for boldly following your heart—a sentiment perfectly encapsulated in No Regular Dog’s raw and radiant title track.

Originally from the tiny rural town of Monkey’s Eyebrow, Waldon has long relied on music as a lifeline. "I've always used songwriting as a way to process the world around me and also process my own thoughts and feelings," she says, naming classic country artists like Loretta Lynn, George Jones, and Merle Haggard among her early influences. "If I didn’t have the ability to put all that down on paper, I think I'd be pretty lost today." After penning her first song as a small child ("My mom still has lyrics sheets I made when I was about nine, everything laid out in verse and chorus."), Waldon continued sharpening her craft and eventually left home for Nashville, where she further honed her chops by playing local bar gigs.

Over the ensuing years, she put out a series of EPs before making her full-length debut with The Goldmine, a self-released 2014 effort that earned abundant praise from leading outlets like Rolling Stone, who hailed her as "Tammy Wynette on a trip to Whiskeytown." Arriving in 2016, Waldon’s sophomore album, I’ve Got a Way, drew even more acclaim and appeared on coveted year-end roundups, including that of Ken Tucker from NPR’s Fresh Air. The album's lead single, "All By Myself," also was featured on NPR’s Top 100 Songs of 2016. Several years later, Waldon performed at the Grand Ole Opry with the likes of Sturgill Simpson and John Prine, who invited her to join the Oh Boy Records family while she was up onstage, making Waldon the label’s first new artist signing in 15 years. Co-produced with Dan Knobler (Allison Russell, Della Mae), White Noise/ White Lines delivered such standouts as "Kentucky, 1988," which later topped Rolling Stone’s 25 Best Country and Americana Songs of 2019.

If you’ve spent any time exploring Kentucky’s booming music scene, chances are you’ve heard somebody say, “You’ve really got to hear Abby Hamilton.” The Kentucky singer-songwriter has garnered a reputation as a can’t-miss live performer, opening for acts like Wynonna Judd, Shakey Graves, Kelsey Waldon, Valley Queen, Arlo McKinley, and Justin Wells, as well as singing at festivals including Railbird and Masters Musicians. With influences ranging from the classic country divas to Bruce Springsteen, she wins over audiences with her clever lyrics and entrancing vocals.

Her long-anticipated second EP, Afraid of the Dark, is bound to appease Hamilton’s avid fan base, perfectly encapsulating her unique sound that feels just as comfortable in the Appalachian mountains as it does in a whiskey-soaked barroom in the city. She spent months in a hollow in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, crafting songs that tell stories inspired by true events about hope, home, and young love. It’s a genre-bending folk-rock experience that cements her place as one of the region’s most interesting young, up-and-coming songwriters.