Three Chords and the Truth UK

  • the epitome of somebody born to strap on a guitar and pour her guts into simple songs
  • a brazen confidence and steely persona give her songs a tough coating to transmit profoundly from feisty performer to receptive listener
  • we witnessed a thoroughly passionate heart-on-sleeve artist channeling every sinew of her talent into songs that tell the simple story of real life
  • artists like Cheley Tackett are worth more than any array of pseudo acts masquerading under a pretense of ‘three chords and the truth’

The Rocking Magpie

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  • A real-deal feisty and passionate country singer-songwriter.  
  • A leathery, worn, and very expressive voice and a talent with words and storytelling.
  • I can't think of a song in this vein this good i've heard for over 20 years (regarding "My Best Dress")
  • ...just like Mary, Lucinda, and Nanci before her, we will clutch her to our collective bosom and make Cheley Tackett one of our own.

Lyric Magazine

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LYRIC INTERVIEWS: CHELEY TACKETT ON HER UPCOMING UK TOUR, GENRE DIFFERENCES & HER ‘BUCKEYE’ ALBUM

Belles & Gals

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  • incredible Nashville artist 

Belles & Gals

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  • I have to thank a random comment on an Ashley McBryde fan page for coming across Ohio born Cheley Tackett. The pair are friends and frequent collaborators, so of course I had to give Cheley’s music a listen ( incredible!)
  • ...seeing her in such an intimate setting was something very special. Playing songs from her recent release Buckeye and back catalogue she told us some of the stories behind her writing (often hilarious, sometimes poignant, always interesting) and her rich, powerful and emotional vocals were even better than on her recordings.

 

Country Music People

*Full article in September 2018 issue page 58 (click above for link)

  • The album truly does contain some excellent songs
  • I believe this tour (Cheley's) will provide a feast of good music for those fortunate enough to catch one of the dates 

Think Country

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  • from the very first few notes I heard I knew I was all about this music.
  • crazy good album...I listened to the entire CD twice, then I downloaded it so I could share it online and share it with anyone I encountered in person.  I wanted to scream about it to the world immediately
  • Buckeye is a great album
  • pure country music storytelling
  • Track 5 put me at a dead stop.  From the very first note, I had to SIT DOWN.  “My Best Dress” (Randall Clay, Ashley McBryde, Cheley Tackett) begins with an acoustic guitar that is so precise and so pretty, I felt like I was sitting at a songwriter round.  For someone that can never get enough of songs that tell stories based on history, this wins every prize imaginable
  • By the time you reach Track 9, “Crucible Steel” (Ashley McBryde, Cheley Tackett), you’re pretty well-schooled as to why this album is called “Buckeye”....Ohio, along with so many states in the Midwest and Northeast, continue to suffer economically thanks to the loss of industry.  One of those industries that went away and hit those regions hardest was big steel....Much of this song walks in the shoes of these people.  Once again, true stories and country gold that sadly, I think too many will relate to. It’s a great piece of music.
  • When I listened to “Used to Feel Good” (Cheley Tackett, Robert K. Wolf) while reading the lyrics, I was brought to tears.  Not making this up.  Tears rolling down my face.  I’ve not ever heard a song that takes me back to when we were young and we were great and everything felt good because it was new and fun.  That time traveled with me through a rough spot where we were lost and weren’t sure what we were going to do with our lives, then gently placed me in another time and place that’s so different, yet even better than it ever was before. Somehow, the writers of this song did that.  Cheley Tackett performed that song to perfection.

 

Country Music People

(4 out of 5 stars)

Recently when I was researching a feature for CMP, I noticed that k.d. lang had only had two minor successes on the US country chart, and yet so many of her records were obviously good and obviously country. The reason I suspect is that the average listener to country radio stations in the 1980s didn’t want to hear an openly gay artist. How attitudes have changed as in 2015, Cheley Tackett was voted Nashville’s favourite LGBT artist. However, that can only be the favourite of those who have chosen to come out, so there’s still a way to go. Her best- known song Right Side Of History is about the struggle:“Love ain’t proud, love don’t hate, Love loves truth and truth can’t wait”.

This is Cheley Tackett’s third album and most of the songs relate to growing up in Ohio, which is sometimes called the Buckeye State. She wrote or co-wrote them all with the exception of an intense version of Neil Young’s Ohio, which he wrote about the Kent State Massacre of 1970. The arrangement of the opening song, Bitter Girl, echo that Neil Young song.

There are some excellent songs here: a dramatic Civil War story, My Best Dress; the feelings of being raised in the industrial city of Portsmouth, Ohio, Crucible Steel; and receiving her grandparents’ regular Christmas gift, $2 Bill.

The most poignant song is The Healer which was written after a massacre at a gay bar in Orlando, Florida. It separates the public into breakers or healers, and the song reminded me of Jackson Browne at his best. I could see this becoming an anthem, although it would have been more effective to advocate the obvious solution (at least from a British perspective): gun control. Maybe we will be able to see the reaction for ourselves as Cheley is planning to tour the UK and Ireland later in the year.

 

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Springfield News Sun

Focus Mid Tenn

*Please click above for full interview (Nov/Dec 2017 issue pgs. 22-23)

 

Out & About

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  • Cheley Tackett has earned more than a few accolades that mark her as a stand-out, emerging artist. 
  • Like many of Nashville’s most under-appreciated musicians, Tackett is also part of the LGBT community.

Music News Nashville

Cheley Tackett and Steff Mahan at Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta, GA

I photograph concerts.  Big names, national touring acts.  I live a blessed life having had the opportunity to meet some of my favorite bands, take their photos, hear their music.  And yet, it’s when I get to take in a night of music from singer/songwriter friends like Cheley Tackett and Steff Mahan that I realize being blessed comes in all aspects of the music world.

Cheley and Steff aren’t the biggest hit writers out there.  They’re not “gene pool” clones that the major labels these days pump out in assembly line fashion.  And, they’re definitely not “mainstream,” whatever that term really means. But, along with being my friends, they are exceptional live performers, outstanding lyricists and melody writers, and phenomenal singers with strong, vibrant voices.

Taking the stage at Atlanta’s premiere songwriter venue, Eddie’s Attic, Cheley and Steff performed their unique and well-crafted songs for a room full of local fans who came out to hear the duo.  Tackett started the evening off with an upbeat song, belting out the lyrics in a powerful voice redolent with shades of Wynonna Judd.  Mahan’s voice could be called a mix of Janis Joplin and Grace Slick at times, and yet transitions to a Sarah McLachlan tone when singing soft ballads.

Together, these two women could give alternative duos like Indigo Girls a run for their money on the national touring stage IF ONLY…  I say “if only” because the one thing lacking in their performance is the two of them singing as a duo rather than two individual singer/songwriters on stage.  If they took that next step and included a backup band to support them, Steff and Cheley would find themselves in an entirely new stratosphere of live performances because their voices work well together and compliment each other.

Writing from the heart, both performers draw on their personal experiences with relationships, family and the social environment to write songs that have messages which resonate with the audience.  From breakups to bullying, the two talk about things that have affected them and which affect us all, making it easy to connect and relate to their music.

Maverick

Cheley Tackett WHISPER ME SLOW Adroit 206 (4 stars) is a five-track EP
that not only showcases this lady’s superb songwriting talent, but also her vastly
under-appreciated vocals. Originally from Ohio, Cheley is now a fixture on Music
Row, where she writes with many of Nashville’s most notable songwriters. One
of the most powerful, soulful singers in the business, she writes with the deep
confidence and total abandon that only a true artist is capable of. She draws her
listeners in with comfortable ease and offers each and every one an original and
deep personal experience. Train Wreck is a deeply moving song about a woman
down on her luck, that even booze, anti-depressants or friends can’t help her get
back on track. Good For Me is another slow soulful ballad with lyrics and a vocal
straight out of a sawdust floor barroom. With such players as Pat Buchanan, Harry
Stinson, Mike Daly, Jen Gunderson and Steve Bailey all lending support this is top quality stuff from a singer and
songwriter who should be a whole lot better known and appreciated.

American Country Magazine

American Country April 2009 ALBUM: Words & Music Nashville Written by Ken Churilla If you’ve ever wondered what the saying ‘a diamond in the rough’ is, then welcome to Words & Music Nashville. The music that you hear on this album is just that and nearly identical to what you might hear if you stumbled into the Bluebird Café, Douglas Corner, or any of the other songwriter infested bars in Nashville. It’s not a new concept, an album of songs performed by little known songwriters instead of superstar artists, but Words & Music Nashville is very much a breath of fresh air. The songs themselves are bare bones recordings’ often featuring nothing more than the singer and an acoustic guitar but their sheer power is enough to feel like you’ve been punched directly in the gut. Most are not well known hit songs, but they are written and performed by songwriters who have written some of country music’s biggest hits such as Lisa Carver who cowrote Sugarland’s “County Line” and “Everyday America” and “These Are The Days” and Craig Monday who helped pen songs like Kenny Chesney’s “Got A Little Crazy.” “Walk Away Joe” is the exception as nearly everyone will recall the Trisha Yearwood classic written and performed here by Vince Melamed (who co-wrote the songs with Greg Barnhill). “Play The One I Like” by remarkable songwriter Cheley Tackett is hands down the most chilling moment on this album. Truth be told, it might be the best song that I’ve heard this year so far. Other songs to seek out include “I’m Not Ready” is one that would take over any writers night in Nashville and Joshua Rush’s “I Found Myself Dancing” is a hit waiting to happen. Words & Music Nashville gives the listener a chance to hear songs in their infancy the same way your favorite artists hear them when they are deciding on what songs to record for their next record. Don’t be surprised one day when you hear a new song on the radio by some huge artist and start singing along wondering “…where do I know this song from?”

Roughstock

"One of the most remarkable vocalists on this first "Words & Music Nashville" project is Cheley Tackett. Imagine Allison Moorer's blissfully soulful voice and you've got yourself a good comparison for Cheley. Written with Nicole Witt and Rick Tiger, "Play The Song I Like" is a truly wonderful track that showcases Tackett’s great songwriting as well."

Springfield News Sun

Tackett finds home on new Nashville label By Andrew McGinn Staff Writer Friday, March 06, 2009 SPRINGFIELD — Cheley Tackett's big break was at hand — Lee Ann Womack had placed one of her songs on hold. "It just means they're considering it," Tackett explained. "But in their heads, it means it shouldn't be pitched to other artists." It was one of the few love songs Tackett had written since arriving in Nashville a decade ago, and Womack would've been a good fit for it. Or so she thought. Womack ended up releasing an entire album of heartbreak songs. "Go figure," Tackett said. "It's all timing." The singer-songwriter — a 1990 Northeastern High alum and the daughter of Clark County Commissioner Roger Tackett — has had similar close calls with Montgomery Gentry, Martina McBride, Jo Dee Messina, Billy Currington and Diamond Rio. She's gotten close. Just not close enough. "I was definitely naive when I got here, fresh from college and ready to take on the world," Tackett said. "I knew it'd be hard. I didn't know how hard it would be." Life for Tackett — and a few other Music City songwriters — might be getting a little easier thanks to a new startup label, Adroit Records. The label, started by L.A. transplant Jim Tract, was created to give a select group of Nashville songwriters some visibility. Tackett was picked to be on the label's first release, the compilation "Words & Music Nashville." On the new comp, 10 Nashville songwriters give voice to their own songs. "He's trying to get us exposure we don't usually get," Tackett said. But not all of them are struggling. Vince Melamed can be heard performing his song "Walkaway Joe" — a No. 2 hit for Trisha Yearwood in 1992. Tract spotted Tackett by accident performing at Nashville's legendary Bluebird Cafe. "It was astonishing," he said. "There are very few people that can quiet a room. Cheley's one of those people, where glasses come down and heads turn." For Tract, Adroit Records is something of a dream come true. He remixed the hit version of the Pointer Sisters' "I'm So Excited" back in 1984, but eventually got pigeonholed, he complained. "What I really wanted to do was organic, true music," he said. Same goes for Tackett. She left Ohio for Nashville with hopes of being a singer-songwriter, and she's had promising breaks. In 2002, she followed in the footsteps of Lucinda Williams and Lyle Lovett by winning the New Folk award at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. She still writes for herself — she runs a cleaning service by day — but she also tries to write commercially for mainstream country artists. "One of my worst fears is that I'll write some dumb song," she said, "and that'll be my biggest hit."

Springfield News Sun

Fair enternment to have local flavor By Andrew McGinn Staff Writer Up until this year, the Clark County Fair had been the place to see country stars before they became stars. Garth and Reba were there. So were Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts. But even though the fair has opted for local country talent over a national country act this year because of money worries, nothing’s really changed. The two homegrown singers you’ll see in action under the Big Tent still have their sights set on that Nashville skyline. And, yeah, when the 2006 fair opens on Friday, all music will retreat back to its old home in the Big Tent after a stint inside the Champions Center. Singer-songwriter Cheley Tackett, who plays the fair at 8 p.m. Saturday, actually has been kicking around Music City for a while now. The daughter of Clark County Commissioner Roger Tackett, Cheley Tackett already has a few things to brag about. She won the 2002 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in North Carolina for her song “Penny Wishes.” She also had been named a new folk winner at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. Previous new folk winners include Lucinda Williams and Lyle Lovett. Closing the fair at 8 p.m. July 28 is a guy who really doesn’t need much of an introduction anymore — Gene Bowshier. The king of the region’s country scene, Bowshier has been working to finish a new album in Nashville. He also opened for Billy Currington recently in Blue Ash, Ohio. Admission to both concerts is free with the fair’s $5 gate admission (plus $2 for parking).

Americana Tonight! Monthly Nov/Dec 2005

In 2001, Cheley released her debut CD "When We Knew It All." The track "Penny Wishes" earned the Just Plain Folks Award for Country Song of the Year in 2001, while also topping the country category of the 2002 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest. One month later, Cheley's songs "When We Knew It All" and "Feelin' A Little Lonely" helped her become a New Folk Winner at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville, TX. Tackett hosts a hugely popular writers' night in Nashville and can often be found as an integral part of the monthly Girls With Guitars series. Her current release, "Here," is an absolute gem, showing equal parts sensitive and swampy, and cementing the idea that Cheley is the real deal.

Church Street Freedom Press Nov. 24, 2005 p. 16

The thing that carries the new release from Ohio native Cheley Tackett is the same thing that has helped her develop and maintain such a loyal following for her live performances: she’s a damned fine songwriter. On her new CD release “Here,”Tackett’s fans get a sampling of the kind of writing that puts her in that rare echelon of artists who cut to the heart of the matter in ways which speak the language of the listener while creating poetry. The trick to any art form is to make it so accessible that anyone believes he or she could create it themselves. It’s only in the trying that one sees just how much work and talent go into saying those "simple" words in conversational ways, keeping a flowing storyline, and matching it to just the right melody to create that seminal three and a half minutes of musical cohesion. Tackett’s musical style sits on the point of the Americana landscape where country, gospel, southern rock and singer/songwriter traditions collide. In the opening number “Homegrown.” a musical tribute to her father, she let’s her flag of patriotism fly as high and proudly as any Toby Keith or Molly Hatchett number could do. Family tradition and history are recurring themes, whether in the more nostalgic numbers such as “Jerusalem Ridge” or in the playful strut of “Fried Chicken.” The latter puts a distinctively female spin on the age-old southern culture balance of sin and salvation, in this case trolling for a little excitement while wearing the puppy-dog grin that guarantees Sunday’s forgiveness for Saturday night’s misadventures. The wistful ballad “Good for Me” finds all the weariness and resignation of a lifetime of self-defeating behaviors sung with the knowingness of a self-professed alcoholic ordering a double. In a slight departure of style if not totally of theme,“Up Here” (co-written with Lisa Christian) is a wonder, somehow combining the seemingly dichotomous themes of loss, comfort, connection, detachment, reaching out and letting go.Many of Tackett’s songs are meditations on love, loss and longing and her vocal quality only adds to the mood, providing the ambient melancholic ache of a distant midnight train whistle. As an independent effort, “Here” is one more reminder of the level of talent that exists just under the radar of the major labels in today’s music market. Here’s hoping that this talented writer gets the industry attention she so deserves. For more information on Cheley Tackett, check out her website at www.cheleytackett.com.

Church Street Freedom Press Nov. 3, 2005 p. 17

Ever since I first met Cheley Tackett I have been captivated by her warm spirit, heated intelligence and burning talent. It was several years ago that I first attended a Girls With Guitars show at Douglas Corner. She is a regular member of GwG. I was skeptical because I am not generally a country music fan.At first glance, in her black western shirt, denim jeans and cowboy boots, I definitely had her pegged as yet another Nashville Country-ite – not for me. I was wrong.Her voice powered through the room as a noisy, well on their way to drunk, crowd couldn’t help but quiet themselves. It didn’t take long to figure out that Tackett couldn’t be boxed in to any one genre, ranging from rock, folk,Americana and yes, Country.You would never guess that she is from South Vienna,Ohio as she sings songs that any self-respecting Southerner (or Southern transplants like myself ) can relate to on a very real and personal level. Apparently, those who know more about music than me agree since Tackett has won awards in virtually every musical category out there, including winning Merlefest’s Chris Austin Songwriting Contest in the Country category (past winners have included Gillian Welch and Tift Merritt). Shortly thereafter, at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Tackett won as a New Folk Winner, following in the footsteps of Nancy Griffith, John Gorka and Lucinda Williams, to name a few. Just last year, she was a semifinalist in the Rock category of the International Songwriting Competition. Tackett can be found playing around town any given week on her own or with various combinations of a shady group of sultry musical vixens including Lisa Carver,Annie Mosher,Tammy Fowler and Cathey Stamps. Set to release November 12,Tackett’s latest CD, titled “Here,” is a beautiful follow-up to her first, leaving a lasting impression of seasoned songwriting and storytelling with a vocal talent that is so affecting and effusive, you’ll find yourself humming the tunes after a single listen.When she nails her introspective material as she does on “Play the One I Like” and “Where Is There,” she conjures up images of Johnny Cash and Mary Chapin-Carpenter with her deceptively simple but instantly engaging style of lyricism. Elsewhere, she tries her hand at tongue-andcheek “behind the music” writing with “Homegrown” and “Fried Chicken,” nicely kicking introspection in the ass with a heartfelt upbeat passion for her home and family that most songwriters fail at getting across without cheesing it up. It is a mark of artistic virtuosity and range when a singer-songwriter can make you dance in your car one minute and then have you purposely miss your exit, so you can compose yourself, after hearing one of her many deeply moving songs that touch on regret, loss or hopes and dreams. Cheley Tackett is a touchstone of authenticity in an imagedriven, media- defined musical world. She is a beautiful singer and songwriter, deeply refreshing. CD Release Party: November 12th, 9:00 PM at Douglas Corner, 2106, 8th Avenue South,Nashville.Tackett’s website: www.cheleytackett.com

Belgium's MazzMusikaS Free-zine

‘Out of the blue’ mocht ik verleden jaar een cd ontvangen van Annie Mosher. Die bleek een voltreffer te zijn. Annie bracht me dan weer op het spoor van een Nashville meidencollectief dat Girls with Guitars heet, momenteel 12 vrouwelijke songwriters telt die allemaal met een gitaar overweg kunnen, en onlangs een eerste cd uitgebracht heeft. Check www.girlswithguitars.us. Benevens Annie Mosher is o.a. Cheley Tackett één van deze Girls with Guitars. Jawel, ook deze Cheley Tackett kan me uitermate bekoren. Net zoals Annie Mosher heeft ze weinig van doen met de mainstream Nashville country. Integendeel, op deze tweede cd van haar – in 2001 verscheen When We Knew It All – horen we vooral stevige Southern countryrock, r&b, rootsrock en songwriterreferenties naar Lucinda Williams en pakweg Steve Earle. Pure country is hier ver te zoeken. Haar twee belangrijkste troeven zijn haar stem, die uitstekend geschikt is voor het stevigere werk, en haar songs. Ze schrijft al haar songs zelf of gaat op zoek naar een gelijkgestemde ziel om songs mee te componeren. Op deze cd zijn dat respectievelijk Lisa Christian en Nicolle Witt. Het verbaast me niks dat ze o.a. de Kerville Folk Festival contest en de Merlefest Songwriting Contest op haar palmares heeft staan. De track Penny Wishes uit haar eerste cd leverde haar in 2001 de Just Plain Folks Award for country song of the year op. Om maar te zeggen dat deze dame knappe songs uit haar mouw schudt. Het is vooral de mix van allerlei Americana stijlen die het hem doen: country, Southern rootsrock, r&b, gospel, songwriting... In opener Homegrown is het meteen raak: een flinke dosis Southern countryrock met de nodige r&b inslag. Play The One I Like is dan weer een mooie piano ballad. Sky Is Falling gaat wederom de rootsrock toer op. In de weemoedige ballad Good For Me heeft ze het over allerlei verleidingen des levens waaronder drank en de drang daar niet aan kunnen te weerstaan. Absolute hoogtepunten zijn Jerusalem Ridge en Where Is There, beiden gezegend met een hoog Lucinda Williams/Steve Earle gehalte, en Fried Chicken, Southern rock van het zuiverste water. Deze dame is geen katje om zonder handschoenen aan te pakken. ‘One of the best kept secrets in Nashville’ staat er ergens op haar website te lezen. Daar ben ik het volledig mee eens. (BV)

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(Rough translation) 'Out of the blue' I received a CD from Annie Mosher last year. That turned out to be a direct hit. Annie then put me on the track of a Nashville girl collective called Girls with Guitars, currently has 12 female songwriters who can all get along with a guitar, and recently released a first CD. Check www.girlswithguitars.us. In addition to Annie Mosher, among others, Cheley Tackett is one of these Girls with Guitars. Yes, even this Cheley Tackett can really charm me. Just like Annie Mosher, she has little to do with the mainstream Nashville country. On the contrary, on this second CD of her - in 2001, When We Knew It All - we heard mainly heavy Southern country rock, r & b, roots rock and songwriter references to Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle. Pure country is hard to find here. Her two main strengths are her voice, which is excellent for the sturdier work, and her songs. She writes all her songs herself or goes in search of a like-minded soul to compose songs with. On this cd they are Lisa Christian and Nicole Witt respectively. It amazes me that she has, among other things, the Kerville Folk Festival contest and the Merlefest Songwriting Contest. The track Penny Wishes from her first CD gave her the Just Plain Folk Award for country song of the year in 2001. Just to say that this lady shakes handsome songs from her sleeve. It is mainly the mix of all kinds of Americana styles that do it: country, Southern roots rock, r & b, gospel, songwriting ... In opener Homegrown it is immediately striking: a good dose of Southern country rock with the necessary R & B impact. Play The One I Like is a beautiful piano ballad. Sky Is Falling is again the roots rock tour. In the melancholy ballad Good For Me, she talks about all kinds of temptations of life, among which drink and the urge can not resist. Absolute highlights are Jerusalem Ridge and Where Is There, both blessed with a high Lucinda Williams / Steve Earle content, and Fried Chicken, Southern rock of the purest water. This lady is not a kitten to handle without gloves. 'One of the best kept secrets in Nashville' can be read somewhere on her website. I fully agree with that. (BV)