Anchor in the Valley, Margot West and Nicholas Altobelli Tonight at Opening Bell Coffee

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There are a lot of musical acts other than Lady Gaga playing our area this evening. But for those wanting to slow things down a bit after the hectic pace set by the Dallas Observer Music Awards, I can't think of a better change of pace than Kentucky's Anchor in the Valley.

Actually, despite the great band name, Anchor in the Valley is not a band at all. Rather, it's the alias used by 22-year-old singer/songwriter Kelsey Waldon.

Hailing from the very Western tip of Kentucky (an area close to both the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers), Waldon has been writing songs and playing guitar since she was 13.

Channeling the expected alt-country influences (Neil Young and Emmylou Harris), Waldon nonetheless shows maturity far beyond her age. Songs like "Waiting on My Man" and "It Takes Three Words" are about as unflinchingly honest as one can expect from a singer barely in her twenties.

Adding some girth to tonight's bill is Margot West, not another female singer, but a talented quartet from Lake City, Florida. Featuring a sound that is quite a bit more electric than the headliner, Margot West also features some fine male/female harmony vocals that should play well in front of the literate clientele of Opening Bell Coffee.

Local yokel Nicholas Altobelli opens things up this evening, but when Anchor in the Valley and Margot West head to Denton tomorrow night (at Art Six Coffee House), it will be Daniel Folmer taking Altobelli's place.

Whoever opens, this is a great chance to hear some prime Americana in a relaxed atmosphere.

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