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music

You’d think with the political atmosphere that we might have taken a step back, but I’m actually more encouraged than ever.

by Selena Haynes x photos by Joshua Black Wilkins

CHELEY TACKETT

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Nashville staple, Cheley Tackett, is back in the groove with her new album, ‘Buckeye.’ The CD release party is scheduled for 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17 at Douglas Corner. Focus asked Tackett a few questions for our readers become acquainted or reacquainted as the case may be.

What was your inspiration to make this album? I had these songs piling up that seemed unrelated in style and content until I realized there was a common thread in that most of the songs were related to my home state of Ohio in one way or another. As a few examples, “Used

to Feel Good” is a song inspired by my great aunt and uncle who lived in Dayton and were married for 70 years! “Crucible Steel” is about my parents’ hometown of Portsmouth. It used to be the No. 1 steel mill town in the United States during WWII. It is now the #1 pill mill town in the U.S. “$2 Bill”

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mentions my granddad giving me a $2 bill for my birthday. Grandma and Grandpa didn’t have a lot of money, much less enough to buy birthday and Christmas presents for 35 grandchildren. Every Christmas, though, I got a crisp $2 bill from them. Has being an out lesbian ever held you back in the music industry? That’s a tough one and it’s hard to know with any certitude because discrimination often plays out subtly. I don’t think it has in any blatant way but I certainly think looking back that there are doors that probably didn’t open that would

have otherwise. I made a decision though early on to be who I am and decided I didn’t want to work with anyone who would have trouble working with me living my truth. Conversely, as an artist, there’s no more loyal fans to have than members of the LGBTQ community so I think even if it’s hurt me on some level within the industry, it’s also helped in terms of building a following. Where are you now, musically, and personally? I’ve become much more comfortable letting the song guide what my music sounds like instead of trying to conform to make

Focus Middle Tennessee  

The Joyful Noise issue November+December 2017

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