Kentucky native Kelsey Waldon is paying tribute to her home state with her brand new music video for “Backwater Blues.”
Released today (Sept. 22), the clip opens with a message that reads, “Dedicated to the resilience of Kentuckians,” referencing those still recovering from the devastating floods that affected the state’s eastern region in July. According to NPR, the floods caused the deaths of 39 people, over 10,000 homes damaged or destroyed and thousands homeless.
Waldon, who grew up in the small town of Monkey’s Eyebrow, understands the determination and deep connection felt by those still picking up the pieces.
“I wrote this song from personal experience, and something I lived every season of my life growing up. It was inevitable that one day I would write a song about the backwater. To everyone I know down in the Ohio River bottoms, people will ask them why they still live there in flood country? The answer is because it is home. Just like when people outside of the state ask, ‘why do they still live in hollers by the river and creeks?’ It is home and most people simply can’t move. They don’t have the means or money to do it, and the reasons why are mostly out of their control.”
In the video, Waldon stands firm on her home soil even as the waters rise around her. The powerful visual reiterates both the radiating impact of natural disasters and the increasing effects of climate change on our planet.
“The message is one of empathy and the storyline is one of heartbreak, except this time Mother Nature is doing the breaking, over and over again. She is upset for good reason, but the character in the story has a simple plea. I think most anyone, outside of the state and all around this world, can relate… especially in these times we are living in. Pitch in if you can, to give back to a place that has given us so much.”
Watch the official music video for “Backwater Blues” below:
To coincide with the video’s release, Waldon has also launched a raffle in partnership with Gibson Gives — the philanthropic arm of the iconic American instrument brand, Gibson— and RallyUp to raise funds for Kentuckians affected by the floods. Fans can bid on three Gibson guitars adorned with special edition “Backwater Blues” themed designs.
Following an appearance at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Waldon will kick off her headlining No Regular Dog Tour with a performance in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Oct. 5. She’ll visit venues across the U.S. over a two-month span before wrapping up with a set at The Basement East in Nashville.
Waldon will be joined by Emily Nenni, Bob Sumner, Brit Taylor, Abby Hamilton and Kristina Murray on select dates. You can find additional information about the tour and ticketing options at Kelsey Waldon’s official website.
Kelsey Waldon 2022 Tour Dates:
Oct. 1 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Oct. 5 – Ann Arbor, Mich. @ The Ark ‡
Oct. 6 – Evanston, Ill. @ Space ‡
Oct. 7 – Davenport, Iowa @ Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel ‡
Oct. 8 – St. Paul, Minn. @ Turf Club ‡
Oct. 9 – Madison, Wis. @ High Noon Saloon ‡
Oct. 11 – Columbia, Mo. @ Rose Music Hall ‡
Oct. 12 – Des Moines, Iowa @ Wooly’s ‡
Oct. 14 – Denver, Colo. @ Cervantes’ Other Side ‡
Oct. 15 – Fort Collins, Colo. @ The Coast ‡
Oct. 18 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ The State Room ‡
Oct. 20 – Spokane, Wash. @ Lucky You Lounge ‡
Oct. 21 – Seattle, Wash. @ Tractor Tavern*
Oct. 22 – Portland, Ore. @ Polaris Hall ‡
Oct. 25 – Arcata, Calif. @ Arcata Theatre Lounge ‡
Oct. 26 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Amando’s ‡
Oct. 27 – Felton, Calif. @ Felton Music Hall ‡
Oct. 28 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Hotel Café ‡
Oct. 30 – Palm Springs, Calif. @ The Alibi ‡
Nov. 2 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ Last Exit Live ‡
Nov. 4 – Austin, Texas @ 3TEN ACL ‡
Nov. 5 – Houston, Texas @ White Oak Music Hall – Upstairs ‡
Nov. 6 – Fort Worth, Texas @ Tulips FTW ‡
Nov. 8 – Oklahoma City, Okla. @ Ponyboy ‡
Nov. 10 – Louisville, Ky. @ Zanzabar #
Nov. 11 – Lexington, Ky. @ The Burl #
Nov. 12 – Bowling Green, Ky. @ The Warehouse at Mt. Victor #
Nov. 29 – New York, N.Y. @ Mercury Lounge
Nov. 30 – Boston, Mass. @ Café 939 ^
Dec. 1 – Sellersville, Pa. @ Sellersville Theater ^
Dec. 2 – Pittsburgh, Pa. @ Club Café ^
Dec. 3 – Huntington, W.V. @ The Loud ^
Dec. 5 – Vienna, Va. @ Wolf Trap ^
Dec. 8 – Asheville, N.C. @ Grey Eagle ^
Dec. 9 – Carrboro, N.C. @ Cat’s Cradle ^
Dec. 10 – Charlotte, N.C. @ The Evening Muse ^
Dec. 15 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Smith’s Olde Bar +
Dec. 16 – Nashville, Tenn. @ The Basement East +
‡ with special guest Emily Nenni
* with special guests Emily Nenni and Bob Sumner
# with special guest Brit Taylor
^ with special guest Abby Hamilton
+ with special guest Kristina Murray
Top 10 Kelsey Waldon Songs
With three albums of original tunes already to her name and another, No Regular Dog, coming on Aug. 12 via Prine’s Oh Boy Records, Waldon has accumulated a vast catalog of well known hits and undercover gems. Her songs cover everything from her Western Kentucky upbringing to working as a bartender upon her moving to Nashville, self discovery, the hypocrisy of religion and more.
In 2019, she became the first new signee to Oh Boy Records in 15 years — and for good reason. Let’s take a look at our choices for Kelsey Waldon’s 10 best songs, so far: