I sit here writing this article as I make the three and a half hour journey from Nashville to Wilmore, Kentucky, to attend the revival taking place at Asbury University.
It felt fitting to me to bring my laptop along for this trip, as I’ve spent the majority of my weekend recalling my recent interview with country singer/songwriter, Kasey Tyndall, where, much like the people I’m going to spend time with, she was unashamed of her faith.
Now before you roll your eyes, ya heathens, I’m not talking about some kind of Bible-beating conversation. I’m talking about hearing a humble woman’s journey through life and music that she knows wouldn’t be possible without the One who created her. But let’s talk a little about her music, first.
It is true that there are countless female artists dominating country music today. Blonde beauties dripping in rhinestones along with sweet, southern hippies rocking bell-bottoms. All ridiculously talented and all with their own unique personalities. But to me, Kasey Tyndall is a different breed altogether.
Much like her hit song “Jesus and Joan Jett,” Tyndall’s nature is comprehensive. She’s authentically gritty, humbly honest and casually represents the every-woman with such ease and understanding that you almost feel as though you’ve met her before. After our interview, I kept thinking of that old Donnie and Marie Osmond song where they sang “I’m a little bit country, I’m a little bit rock n’ roll.” That, right there, is Kasey Tyndall.
It all makes sense when you consider her upbringing. Kasey grew up in two different places, between Greenville and Rocky Mt. North Carolina. As a child of divorce, she spent her childhood traveling back and forth between each parent’s home. The soundtrack of Kasey’s early years was eclectic, to say the least. “My mama would listen to rock and my daddy would listen to whatever was on country radio,” she said.
A life like young Kasey’s, split into so many directions, could have broken her. Instead, she says it built her. Like the stunning stained glass windows in your childhood church, she has taken all the parts and pieces of her experience and used them to make one of the most multi-faceted pictures of any artist on the radio today.
It is that extensive influence and resilient nature that lends itself masterfully to Tyndall’s music. She writes from the heart and performs with all the life and energy of what I imagine that young girl with countless Carolina miles under her belt had. (I’ve also seen a video of her practicing in a beanie and camo pants while pregnant so “can I get a hell yeah?”)
You might be surprised to learn, however, that Kasey wasn’t always sure that she would pursue music. Originally studying to be a nurse, she didn’t consider the rockstar career path to be realistic. “Everyone wanted to make it big, it just seemed out of reach.”
That is until her friends pushed her to enter a contest at a local radio station that won her a duet with country superstar, Keith Urban. After that performance, with her future manager in the crowd, she dropped out of school and headed to Music City. She credits God with that opportunity, confidently stating, “If that’s where you’re meant to be, God will put you there.”
In fact, she credits God with just about everything.
Not one to act pious, Kasey proclaims her faith just as loudly as she proclaims her failures. And it’s that kind of attitude that I believe will affect countless more people for the gospel than sermons preached from a high horse ever will. The majority of this country is blue collar, a people that won’t be reached with pomp and circumstance, but with genuine humility and by someone willing to admit “I love Jesus, but I also mess up a lot.”
The most recent example of this is “Place For Me”, Tyndall’s latest single with Dylan Marlowe. In it, she communicates some soul-stirring questions and ultimately concludes that “If rednecks got a place up in heaven then there’s a place for me.” What some have described as a “country ballad” I call a “redneck Psalm.” The Davidic nature of her songwriting is more than reminiscent of the biblical Psalms that chronicle a man’s journey in his faith. The highs, the lows, the laments and everything in between. And that’s exactly what Kasey wants for herself.
“At the end, when I look back on my life and career…I just want it to look like a journey”
And a journey it has been. Thus far, that journey has put Kasey right were she belongs – on stage with artists like Joe Diffie, Kane Brown, Jamey Johnson, Strype, Drake White, Bailey Zimmerman and Tracy Lawrence. Additionally, it has earned her a spot in CMT’s 2023 Next Women of Country.
Although she is coming up on 9 years in what many call a “ten-year town,” Kasey Tyndall is only just beginning to bring “fire on the throttle” of her career, as she continues to bring her one-in-a-million style to the industry, to share her love for God and share that good, ole redneck gospel.
To find out more about Kasey Tyndall, check out her two-part docu-series “Who Is Kasey Tyndall?” out now.