Coles Whalen is our latest Artist of the Week here at OurStage. The country singer and songwriter has been on our Best of the Best charts for over 140 weeks, and perched at #1 on the Best of Country chart for the better part of that time. And it’s no surprise. Whalen’s voice is strong and commanding, but without the usual grit many singers employ when striving for power. Often delivering her lyrics in a kind of hushed whisper, they only come off as more insistent.
Whalen has just released her newest LP, Come Back, Come Back on XMG Records. It’s a collection of alternately seething and jubilant country songs. The Denver-based musician straddles the line between commercially accessible and alt-country, hitting the sweet spot for an artist possessing both soul and ambition. The lead single, Catch Hold captures this perfectly, with a flowing melody atop a clever arrangement that adds harmonies, banjo, shaker, and a subtle, phasey guitar solo to some roomy drums and bass as the song builds.
Having crossed the country many times, opening for the diverse likes of Rufus Wainwright, Paula Cole, and Joan Jett, Coles Whalen is no stranger to the road. Starting in May, she’ll be out again in support of the new record. Check out her tour dates below.
Coles Whalen is a woman who makes things happen. When she wanted to jumpstart her music career she bought a pickup truck, toured the country and sold CDs out of the back. Then, when opportunity knocked and kept knocking, she picked up her guitar to open for artists like Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Rufus Wainwright, and yes, even Akon in Montreal, Nashville, Denver, and all points in between. But it isn’t just sheer will that’s gotten Whalen to where she is today. Her homespun blend of bluesy, swampy folk has something to do with it. On Wake Up Easy Whalen breezily sings, You’re making coffee, making the bed / I kind of feel like making something else instead. A languorous piano, creaking washboard and softly shaken percussion help create a mood of sleepy-eyed seduction. Those coy turns-of-phrases continue in The Getting Side, a bluesy mid-tempo strut where Whalen warns, If you’re giving your love, make sure it’s me on the getting side. A backwoods coquette, Whalen knows how to woo her listeners. Make sure you stay on the getting side with this one.
“Wake Up Easy” – Coles Whalen
May is the by far the perfect month to help you shake off those winter blues. The sun is back out, the weather is warm and if you’ve been cooped up all winter”strumming on your six-string and singing about your long lost love”we know a little spring break is always welcomed. Luckily, Ernie Ball is stepping up to the plate with a big cure for all you blues players out there; a year’s supply of free strings and accessories! Whether you get down to the electric blues of artists like Stevie Ray Vaughan and BB King or the old school acoustic blues of Robert Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson, Ernie Ball’s got you covered. ENTER your best track by May 23, 2011 for your chance at this sweet prize package.
In case you had any doubts about how cool this prize really is, you can hear it firsthand from February alternative country winner Coles Whalen. We asked the Colorado songstress about what it was like to win the free strings, she commented “Awesome! So thankful to the people at OurStage! The Ernie Ball strings sound and feel amazing.” Ernie Ball has hooked up some truly exceptional OurStage artists with free strings and Whalen is no exception. Her music has been described by critics as soulful, powerful and straight from the heart, and after listening to her Ernie Ball winning song Go Child we think that description pretty much hits the nail on the head. To hear a little more music from Whalen, check out the playlist below. If you dig what she’s doing, head to her OurStage profile and show her some love.
Strings are the oil that keeps the alternative country engine running. Whether in the studio, on the road or on stage, shiny new strings keep the music blasting well into the night. In February, Ernie Ball lent a helping hand to artists in the Alternative Country Channel, offering one Grand Prize Winner a chance to earn a year’s supply of free strings and accessories.
Coles Whalen, a songstress hailing from Denver, Colorado took home the cake with her song Go Child. One look through Whalen’s OurStage profile is all you need to know that she has alternative country in her blood. Whalen spent her early days touring the country in her pick up and camper, spreading her voice and music across the country. In 2007, she parked the camper permanently in Denver, and has been cranking out the tunes ever since, opening for artists the likes of Rufus Wainwright, The John Butler Trio and Paula Cole. Join us in congratulating Coles Whalen on her win, and stay tuned to the OurStage Magazine for our upcoming interview with her.
Artists in the Hard Rock Channel are currently competing for this month’s Ernie Ball prize. Head over to the channel now and show those artists some love!
So the New Year is upon us, and that means many things: I need to start working on taxes, remember my trash day was changed from Mondays to Tuesdays and go to the gym more than once a week. Of course none of these are true resolutions, more like ideas that I probably won’t follow through with. Regardless of my inability to dedicate myself to these lame self-promises in 2010 (oh by the way, it’s pronounced twenty-ten), I asked a few of the artists on OurStage for their resolutions. Here are some of the top responses:
|My new year’s resolution is to let the world know that I am Elvis Presley reincarnated and to convince Jennifer Anniston to stop dating all the Mr. Wrong’s and hook-up with her real soul-mate…ME!!!
-Chad Evan Todd
|Well I have a few New Year’s resolutions. The most music-related one is to stop bending over backwards for agents and club owners. After forty years of playing clubs and touring I finally realize you can’t count on anyone looking out for you and your band but yourself. One will say “I can send you the rest of the money later…” or “we really want you back next month after we remodel…”-Derrick Big Walker|
|My New Year’s resolution is to take up the accordion. Seriously, what’s
more sexy than a lead singer who plays accordion? Happy New Year!
|My New Year’s resolution is to be more focused and to reach a broader audience with my NOT UR EVERYDAY MUSIC. While I was in the Army, I didn’t have the opportunity to pursue my goals effectively. So now, since I do have that chance, I have nothing to lose. Don’t follow your dreams…don’t chase your dreams…live ‘em. -Arson The Enigma|
|Jakob is going to loose some weight, but he probably will get fat again next year. Mikkel claims that he is going to stop drinking beers and booze, but it will only last for one or two days. Kristján is trying to be more emo, but in fact he doesn’t know what that is. Gerhard’s resolution is to eat more vegetables, he eats tons of meat and therefore he is always on the toilet.
-Born To Love Mary