I don’t know whether you’ve heard or not, but there seems to have been a drought of new female vocalists on the radio as of late. Hopefully, that trend will reverse itself due to the success of Black River’s talented newcomer, Kelsea Ballerini.
A Knoxville native, the singer is currently climbing the charts with her energetic debut single, “Love Me Like You Mean It.” With its’ infectious beat and undeniable personality, the songstress makes an impression from the first verse on. As tough as it is to break a female vocalist these days, the good news for Ballerini is that there is more where that came from on her debut album The First Time. The opener, “XO,” has a definite swagger to it, which the singer pulls off convincingly – as she also does on “Peter Pan,” the story about a man who isn’t quite ready for love – at least with her.
She can also slow down the tempo rather well, as she does on the sweetly sang title cut, as well as “Looking At Stars.” Honestly, either one of the afore-mentioned singles could be big follow-ups at radio, but performances like “Underage” and “Square Pegs” seem to firmly establish Ballerini as someone who younger listeners might look to as an example and influence – much the same way she did to an artist named Swift, who just happens to be a big fan of the singer. But, after a few listens to this disc….I have a feeling she’s not going to be alone!
Billboard’s Chuck Dauphin for CMchatLIVE.com
#Cmchat’s Dan Van checks in with Kelsea Ballerini backstage at the CMT Next Women of Country Tour. Hear what she had say about the epic endorsement she received from Taylor Swift.