When multiple GRAMMY-nominee Kelsea Ballerini wrote and recorded Rolling Up The Welcome Mat with her friend and long-time collaborator Alysa Vanderheym, it was more to sort out the complicated emotions around a marriage ending than a project intended for commercial release.
But as one of the most transparent writers/artists of her generation, when she’d finished the in-the-moment Welcome Mat, Ballerini realized this song cycle offered a vulnerability that gave other people room to sort out their own misgivings and disappointments.
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“I thought when Alysa and I were making Rolling Up The Welcome Mat, it was something I would release and never revisit,” says Ballerini, who’s been profiled by both The New York Times and ABC’s Nightline over the last few months. “I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, and that wasn’t the point of the music. Now, in hindsight and with a full heart, I want all those people who came alongside me and supported this album to know that I will never be able to fully express my gratitude, but (For Good) is my best attempt.”
Said Ballerini, “And I also want them to know: we move on. The best part of Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (For Good) is knowing I don’t need to talk about this stuff anymore. My whole life is ahead of me, so this expanded version is to let people know there’s real freedom in breaking down, in facing the emotions because it gets you to where your life can really shine.”
With a live version of “Penthouse (Healed Version)” capturing the energy transfer in her nightly headlining shows and also on Kenny Chesney’s tour, the full rest-of-the-story “Interlude,” an updated “Blindsided (Yeah, Sure, Okay)” to reflect the lyrics added during her Saturday Night Live performance and the brand-new, put it out there “How Do I Do This,” the East Tennessee songstress moves from surviving to thriving over the course of seven songs. Unselfconscious and thoroughly present in the moment, Ballerini’s (For Good) not only offers clarity to others going through tough circumstances, but it is the light to lead listeners to higher ground, brighter days and the happy ending we all deserve.
“Recording Rolling Up The Welcome Mat the way we did, was, in a lot of ways, catharsis,” says Ballerini. “But with the updated version, I am asking from my fans that they help this be ours and simply let the music be the music. I don’t want to dig back into experiences that it was written about nearly a year ago. As a songwriter, producer, and artist, I am very proud and protective of this record. And as a woman and human, I am also proud and protective of the new, happy season of life I’m in. I’m happier than I’ve ever been… and anyone listening can be too.”
With “IF YOU GO DOWN (I’M GOIN’ DOWN TOO)” climbing the upper reaches of Country radio, Ballerini’s making her presence felt anywhere people who love her straight-forward approach to sharing life, love and what happens next might seek it. With a Citi Concert Series on TODAY performance on the Plaza at Rockefeller Center slated for August 11, (For Good)’s official release date, there’s much to celebrate for the young woman emerging and taking her place among country music’s biggest stars.
Rolling Up The Welcome Mat (For Good) Track Listing:
“Mountain With A View”
“Penthouse (Healed Version)”
“Interlude (Full Length)”
“Blindsided (Yeah, Sure, Okay)”
“Leave Me Again”
“How Do I Do This”