Fayssoux Starling McLean

Fayssoux Starling McLean is an American country singer. Emmylou Harris says "I've always loved Fayssoux's voice. She's one of my favorite singers." Rodney Crowell says "Charm, elegance, whippoorwills and Magnolia dewdrops: these are the things that come to mind when I hear Fayssoux sing."[1]

Fayssoux Starling McLean
GenresCountry music, bluegrass music
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, percussion
Years active1975–present
LabelsRed Beet Records


Early historyEdit

Fayssoux grew up in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Early musical influences included her parents' eclectic record album collection, bluegrass and country music on the radio, and her grandmother Mary Jane, who sang and played piano. Fayssoux preferred to sing harmony, rather than melody.[2]

Emmylou HarrisEdit

While attending the University of Virginia, McLean met her soon-to-be husband John Starling.[3] They lived in the Washington, D.C. area, where she taught speech therapy in public schools and John became a founding member of the Seldom Scene.[4] One night, John visited a Georgetown club and brought Emmylou Harris home to meet Fayssoux.[2][5]

This was the first of a number of evening singing sessions, in which Fayssoux also met Rodney Crowell.[6][7] Fayssoux and Emmylou became friends, and while continuing to work as a speech therapist, Fayssoux added harmony vocals to Emmylou's early Warner Bros. albums, including Luxury Liner, Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town, Elite Hotel and Pieces of the Sky. She also sang duets with Harris on "Spanish is the Loving Tongue" and "Green Rolling Hills."[8]

Later careerEdit

In 1993, Fayssoux dropped out of the music scene altogether, and returned to Spartanburg with her second husband E. T. McLean and their daughter, where she continued work as a school speech therapist. In 1997, Peter Cooper called her for an interview for his book Hub City Music Makers, Fayssoux began singing harmony with Cooper at book signings, and eventually she began singing lead.[9]

Peter Cooper helped produce Fayssoux's first solo album, Early, featuring harmony vocals by Harris. Other guests on the album include David Ball, Ricky Skaggs, The Whites, and Lloyd Green.[8][10]

Cooper also produced Fayssoux's second album I Can't Wait which features Sierra Hull, Justin Moses, and Mark Fain. Both albums were released by Red Beet Records.[11][12]

Fayssoux sings and plays guitar in a duo with accompanist Brandon Turner and she also leads a band, the Bluegrass Messengers.[9]


Solo albumsEdit

With Emmylou HarrisEdit

Also appears onEdit


  1. ^ "fayssoux". Red Beet Records. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  2. ^ a b uncredited (January 9, 2009). "Fayssoux McLean – Friday, January 9, 2009, at 7:30 pm". Charlotte Folk Society. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  3. ^ uncredited (June 10, 2011). "SC singer feels right at home on stage". Blue Ridge Now. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  4. ^ Randy Barrett (October 20, 2013). "Seldom Scene Returns to the Red Fox Inn" (PDF). IBMA. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 1, 2018. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  5. ^ Walz, Maura (May 22, 2008). "Fayssoux: Early". PopMatters. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  6. ^ Armonaitis, Dan (January 12, 2017). "To Fayssoux, with love from Nashville". Go Upstate. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  7. ^ Ronstadt, Linda (September 17, 2013). Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir (1 ed.). Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Robinson, Jason (November 30, 2012). "The Southern Grace of Fayssoux Mclean". Outlaw Magazine. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Kopp, Bill (April 30, 2017). "Filling Her Own Shoes". Bold Life. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  10. ^ Oliver, Kevin (April 30, 2008). "Fayssoux – Early". No Depression. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  11. ^ Teplyske, Donald (October 30, 2014). ""I Can't Wait" by Fayssoux". The Lonesome Road Review. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  12. ^ Hermon Joyner. "Fayssoux: I Can't Wait: Red Beet Records, RBRCD018, (2014)". The Mandolin Player. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  13. ^ "fayssoux: early". Red Beet Records. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  14. ^ "Album Review: Fayssoux – 'I Can't Wait'". My Kind of Country. September 14, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2017.

External linksEdit