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Chalee Tennison

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iTunes Review

For those who like their country heavy on the heartache, Chalee Tennison’s self-titled 1999 debut album is required listening. This talented Texan draws upon her own struggles as a working single mother to deliver unvarnished stories of loveless marriages and romantic martyrdom. The music here invites comparisons with the tormented torch songs and honky-tonk arias of Tammy Wynette and Reba McEntire. With both a twang and a throb in her voice, Chalee lets the pathos of “Just Because She Lives There,” “I Can Feel You Drifting” and “I Let Him Get Away With It” speak eloquently. Hard moral choices and inner conflict infuse tracks like “There’s a War In Me” and “I’d Rather Miss You” with an almost exquisite sense of suffering. “Leave It At That” allows Chalee to display steely composure in the face of a break-up. Mournful pedal steel guitars and glistening string backdrops give this album a clean, expressive neo-countrypolitan sound. Filled with emotion and rendered with integrity, Chalee Tennison is a tear-stained classic of its kind.


Born: April 11, 1969 in Texas

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Before arriving in Nashville, contemporary country singer Chalee Tennison worked as a prison guard with the Gatesville Unit and Mountainview Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice; among her wards was death row inmate Karla Faye Tucker. Concurrently cutting her teeth performing with a series of bands throughout the central Texas region, Tennison eventually relocated to Music City, singing on a series of demos which caught the attention of producer Jerry Taylor and ultimately resulted in...
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Chalee Tennison, Chalee Tennison
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