Women of the Rural Blues

Issue 111, Winter 2020

Illustration by Three Ring Studio

The music on this playlist is what I would consider to be part of the foundation of what we know as “country” music today. What is the rural blues, one might ask? It’s the country blues, the mountain blues, the Delta blues, the hillbilly blues . . . it is country music. It comes from across the Southern and Appalachian region from Kentucky, West Virginia, and North Carolina to Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Reaching across all colors, regions, and backgrounds, this music truly comes from one unified place in the soul, and most of the time, a similar state of injustice, struggle, and poverty. The mountain blues is really no different than the Delta blues at the heart of it, and no one knows this blues better than the women of its time.

Kelsey Waldon

Kelsey Waldon, a proud native of Monkey’s Eyebrow, Kentucky, took an interest in singing, songwriting, and playing guitar as a child. After moving to Nashville, she cultivated a loyal following through frequent touring across the U.S. and two critically acclaimed albums. Her persistence paid off when, on stage at the Grand Ole Opry, John Prine invited her to join his Oh Boy Records family. White Noise/White Lines was released October 4, 2019, on Oh Boy Records.