Past Live Shows
Melissa Ellis is an award winning singer-songwriter and a 2020 quarterfinalist of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN where she shared the stage with over 100 rising solo/duo blues acts from all over the world.
Beginning her professional career as a singer/actress/dancer in theater at the age of 16, she performed in regional tours before moving on to study classical and jazz music at Tennessee Technological University as a vocalist while pursuing a singing career in Nashville.
In 2009, Melissa released her debut album Melissa Benjamin, lending her seasoned talent to the world of bluegrass & gospel. Her original single, “Crossville,” was adopted by her hometown as the official city song. While touring, she found new inspiration and started writing more original songs. With new songs came a new sound that evolved into a more soulful genre.
Melissa’s sophomore album, Just Me, was released in 2011 and as a multi-instrumentalist, the album showcased her musicianship on guitar and piano, as well as more of her original material.
Melissa’s latest musical journey brings out the raw emotional sounds of blues & her training in jazz. Her repertoire includes her original songs mixed with re-imaginings of familiar classics that are presented in fresh new ways. Melissa has landed opportunities that have placed her on world renowned stages, on radio, on television, and at high profile festivals, including Nashville’s acclaimed CMAfest where her soulful style was showcased among the sea of rising country twang.
Kirstie Kraus is a feisty powerhouse that lays it all out each time she takes the stage. Her sound is a blend of modern country-pop with a mix of blues, a little funk and 80's rock tones. Some of Kirstie’s biggest influences are LeAnn Rimes, Elton John, Phil Collins, Amy Grant, Gloria Estefan, Shania Twain, and Faith Hill.
Kirstie moved to Nashville in October 2017 and jumped right into the creation of her first record after touring the Midwest with her previous rockin’ country band Thirsty Jones. Kirstie has teamed up with EMC2 Records (Nashville, TN) and Sound Kitchen (Franklin, TN) for a full length record release in 2020.
The anticipated 'Yes You Can' album which was partly funded by Kickstarter backers from her native state of Wisconsin is eleven tracks in length and enriched with some of Nashville's finest players including Rich Redmond (Drums, Jason Aldean), Ford Thurston (Guitar, Randy Houser), and Lee Turner (Organ, Darius Rucker). The record was mastered by Pete Lyman (Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban).
Kirstie’s two singles "Delusional" and "Gotta Do" have been featured on the Top Ten Tuesday playlist for Next Women of Country, selected to air on Times Up Radio, climbed to #1 on She Wolf Radio and was picked up on country radio in the US and UK.
When in Nashville one can find Kirstie showcasing at the local hot spots, in a writing room, demoing songs, or booking her next tour. When on the road you can spot Kraus driving a 2000 Dutchman RV.
The Midnight Madness Show can be heard live on WFMC Jams every Tuesday from 7-9pm central