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NEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Kelleigh Bannen


 
NEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Kelleigh Bannen

By Bob Doerschuk

© 2012 CMA Close Up® News Service
/ Country Music Association®, Inc.

Kelleigh Bannen never made the trek
to Nashville — she was already there. Born and raised in Music City, she was
singing and writing songs when she was 2 years old. Well, actually, as she notes
in her self-written bio, “it was a little song with two lines that I would sing
to myself inspired by the ‘word of the day’ from ‘Sesame Street.’”

Safe to say, at least, that her ears were wide open at an early age, taking
in music beyond the Country playlist and kiddie show themes to include Frank Sinatra,
Patty Griffin and other eclectic performers. However, Country proved to be her
true calling, so after graduating from college in Virginia, she hastened back
home to develop her writing and discover her own sound as a singer.

That
sound shines on her upcoming debut album, produced by Paul Worley and Jerry Smith
and set to release on EMI Records Nashville. Written by Bannen and Troy Johnson,
its first single, “Sorry on the Rocks,” recounts a relationship melting down,
like ice in an untended glass past last call. Bannen’s strong, assertive vocals
underscore the clever metaphor that flows through each verse and chorus.

Similarly,
the words on another Bannen/Johnson tune, “Rose Colored Glasses,” balance
playfully between the prosaic poetry of getting up in the morning and more elevated
appreciations of how love can add color to “the whole world covered in ashes.”
The music, strutting at medium tempo over a guitar riff that might recall “American
Woman,” underscores Bannen’s ability to animate a sunny tale as handily as
a lost-love lament. Her confidence and her Country soul make it sound like she never left Nashville at all.

IN HER OWN WORDS

CD IN YOUR STEREO
Lee Brice’s Hard 2 Love
and the Gotye record (Making Mirrors).”

SONG YOU WISH YOU’D WRITTEN
“Easy — ‘The House That Built Me.’”

PET PEEVE
“Loud chewing
noises at the dinner table — gross!”

MOMENT YOU WISH YOU COULD RELIVE
“The last Christmas before my little brother passed away.”

SOMETHING WE’D NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU
“I was bitten by a rattlesnake the summer before my freshman year in high school.”

On the Web: KelleighBannen.com

On Twitter:  www.twitter.com/kelleighBannen

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