ReviewShine Wednesday: Anchor in the Valley & The Back Row Baptists

Every Wednesday, I feature a brief review of at least one album that has been submitted to me through the ReviewShine website. I have cleverly titled this recurring segment “ReviewShine Wednesday.”

We’ll start today with 22-year-old singer/songwriter Kelsey Waldon. Waldon hails from Western Kentucky and records under the name Anchor in the Valley. Waldon’s newest effort as Anchor in the Valley is a self-titled release that inhabits some fairly mellow territory. Waldon’s sound is built on easy folk melodies and fleshed out with various indie elements that add a fullness to her sound. Although she claims influences from the past such as Emmylou Harris and Neil Young, it’s not hard to hear a bit present day artists such as She & Him mixed in as well. I can really hear the latter’s influence in the album opening “It Takes Three Words.”

Anchor in the Valley: It Takes Three Words (Buy Album)

Our second band today is a self-proclaimed “Outlaw Gospel” outfit from Birmingham called The Back Row Baptists. Having been raised in a southern Freewill Baptist church myself, I am well aware of the connotation that their name brings. It’s harder for the preacher (and maybe God himself) to see what you’re doing (or what you’ve done) if you aren’t up front and center.

It was with that in mind that I first listened to the Baptists’ new CD Broken Hearts & Bad Decisions. What I heard was a disc full of rollicking, southern gospel inspired tunes with a hard worn edge that drags a little bit of Saturday night into Sunday morning. Front man Chris Porter says the band’s music is gospel without being religious, but I think the band’s persona is best described by the lyrics to their song “By & By.” In it they sing, “Don’t be scared to raise some Hell, and don’t be scared to cry.” I don’t think they’re afraid to do either.

One Response to “ReviewShine Wednesday: Anchor in the Valley & The Back Row Baptists”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Great album

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