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Texas traditionalist Kristi Kalyn has taken the "long way around the barn" at several critical junctures before taking control of her now-successful music career. "I was performing as part of a popular entourage that traveled the world, doing everything from impersonations to 'character' sets," the stunning brunette explains. "It was wonderful and crazy. We were playing 275 dates a year, in front of these huge audiences." Her plan to use that experience and those connections to further a solo career worked, and she released a CD that added more shows to her already busy schedule. For Kristi, it seemed as if everything was falling into place, when a single phone call changed the course of her personal history.

"My two nephews both suffer from a very rare disease," Kristi says. "When my sister called to tell me that her oldest son, Tyler, needed a liver transplant, I walked away from everything to help them." For Kalyn, leaving a career on the verge of stardom to care for her nephew seemed the most logical thing in the world. "I love the music," she says. "But I love my family more."

Her nephew's hospitalization came on the heels of her father's death, and during a period of health challenges and personal losses for her mother. In a short span of time, Kalyn lost not only her father, but her beloved maternal grandfather as well. Kalyn refers to her father's death as "the day the music died," but says she drew inspiration from her mother's endless strength. From a loving, laughter-filled home that brimmed with music, Kristi would go on to face what can only be described as several years of severe emotional hardship. "It wasn't all bad," she reflects now with a laugh, "but it was hard."

Kalyn dedicated her time to helping her family, forgoing recording and playing only a few live shows each year. "It was good for me in a way," the singer admits. "The 'shine' was off the music ... and it took a while to get it back." Several years would pass before her childhood dreams were once again within reach. "Once my family's health improved, I relaxed a bit," says the Texas native, who now resides on a small ranch outside of Fort Worth. "I got out of a relationship that was dragging me down, started writing songs, and began living for the music again."

Suddenly, Kristi found herself working the stages of vibrant Texas music halls, singing at professional rodeos, major league sports and NASCAR events, while keeping busy recording jingles and songwriter demos. But for this petite powerhouse, it wasn't enough. "It was now or never for me. I chose now."

Suddenly, Kristi found herself working the stages of vibrant Texas music halls, singing at professional rodeos, major league sports and NASCAR events, while keeping busy recording jingles and songwriter demos. But for this petite powerhouse, it wasn't enough. "It was now or never for me. I chose now."

Suddenly, Kristi found herself working the stages of vibrant Texas music halls, singing at professional rodeos, major league sports and NASCAR events, while keeping busy recording jingles and songwriter demos. But for this petite powerhouse, it wasn't enough. "It was now or never for me. I chose now."

The result is a 16-track traditional country tour de force titled IT'S NOT OVER. Produced by Ron Stafford (who has also helmed projects by Blaine Gray, Steve Helms), the disc features three Kalyn originals: Gypsy Soule, Kiss It Goodbye and The Sculptor. "Writing allows me to say what I want to," Kristi states. "You can't always find exactly what you're feeling in other people's songs ... sometimes you just have to write 'em yourself. I like exploring that - a lot." One track that she didn't write does tug at Kalyn's heartstrings, and that's My Heart Has Swingin' Doors. "It was pretty much my life story for a long time," she says of the fiddle-laced shuffle. "And it's a song that resonates with most of my audiences."

Another disc highlight is the bound-to-be-a-hit remake of the Roger Murrah / Keith Stegall-written, 1981 Al Jarreau smash, We're In This Love Together. Kalyn's vocal is mesmerizing, and she brings a smooth, modern country spin to the pop classic. The track is the first single release from the CD, and features the guest vocal of Texas recording artist Steve Helms.

IT'S NOT OVER is filled with notable ballads, including Love Me Like The Whiskey, Every Time I Think It's Over, I Can't Help Myself and Before The Bed Gets Cold. "Anyone can tell I love a good ballad," laughs the throaty-voiced singer. "I can really sink my teeth into them vocally, and there's always someone who can relate to the stories they tell."

Country radio loves mid and up-tempo songs though, and Kalyn gives programmers plenty to smile about here. Cowboys Love Texas is a two-step filled with sass, while the Texas shuffle, When I Said I Do, gives every man a playbook on the "do's" and "don'ts" of matrimonial bliss.

"A lot of the music on this record is very traditional," Kalyn admits with a huge grin. "It may not be 'Red Dirt' music, but it's my music," she states. She comes by her love of country honestly: Her father was in two very popular local bands (Kountry Kings and Taste of Texas), and Kristi grew up listening to rehearsals at home. Kalyn first performed as a two-year old when she grabbed onto her dad's leg, leaned into the mike and belted out Roly Poly live on KJIM - AM Radio (Fort Worth). "My dad and a friend were the on-air guests," Kalyn recalls. "I don't really remember it, but it's a story I heard all my life."

Kristi's next public appearance was at age 13, and once she overcame a "terrible" case of stage fright, she felt right at home. "I think I sort of knew then that I wanted to sing for my supper." A popular high-school cheerleader, Kalyn kept her love of country music a "secret" for years. "It was so not cool to like country and I wanted to fit in," she recalls. "To this day there are kids I graduated with who had no idea I wanted to be a country singer!"

Once her teenage years were behind her, Kalyn joined the international troupe and then spent two years on the road with Eddy Raven. "He's one of the best performers in country music," she states of her longtime friend. "He taught me so much about how to work a crowd. I owe him a lot." While on the road with Raven, Kristi shared the stage with Martina McBride, Patty Loveless, Jerry Jeff Walker, The Dixie Chicks, Joe Stampley and Moe Bandy, and many other notables. "They're all great performers, and you can tell they live for the stage," Kristi says.

Another "country legend" Kristi performed with was Hank Thompson, a man she calls a "brilliant entertainer." "He lived to sing," Kalyn recalls. "I do, too. And nothing is better than the connection an entertainer feels with their audience."

Kristi hopes IT'S NOT OVER will help her re-connect with audiences on a bigger scale. Like Kalyn herself, the disc is inherently diverse and filled with songs brimming with life experience. Deeply-felt emotions engage the listener on one level, while the more light-hearted tunes offer vibrancy and contrast. But for Kristi Kalyn, it's the whole that matters, in life and in song, and with IT'S NOT OVER, she proves she can deliver on both counts.

RADIO PROMOTION BY


Contact Nancy Tunick - 615-403-6121
nancy@grassrootspromotion.com
or Teresa Johnston - 615-370-1068
teresa@grassrootspromotion.com

 

You can also find Kristi on Facebook.

For Booking Information: Click here to contact Kristi Kalyn.

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