Backstage Pass Radio

S3: E:13 - Kirstie Kraus - Flowers Bloom Where They Are Planted

October 19, 2022 Backstage Pass Radio Season 3 Episode 13
Backstage Pass Radio
S3: E:13 - Kirstie Kraus - Flowers Bloom Where They Are Planted
Show Notes Transcript

Date: October 19, 2022
Name of podcast: Backstage Pass Radio
Episode title and number:  S3: E13: Kirstie Kraus - Flowers Bloom Where They Are Planted

Artist Bio -

She’s thirsty for love and magic, for joy and sunshine. She’s thirsty for compassion and authenticity. And more than anything, she’s thirsty for anything that sets her soul on fire.

Kirstie Kraus carries her thirst in her songwriting, in her live shows, and in her everyday connection with other kindred spirits. Nowhere is her appetite more quenched than on a stage in front of her fans, appropriately named “Thirsties”. Her confidence naturally shines under the bright lights, taking concertgoers on a well-defined path of self-discovery and bliss. Her writing infuses her own transparent journey with others’ experiences to create sustainable lyrics and catchy melodies.

The result is a perfect blend of country, funk, blues, and rock because, with Kirstie, there are no boundaries. There’s only the process of “letting go” and letting the song tell you what it wants to be. 

​It will also tell you WHERE it wants to be and for an intuitive deep thinker like Kirstie, that place is Nashville. Three years ago, the Wisconsin native made the move to Music City and having heavily toured the summer before with her Midwest band, Thirsty Jones, Kirstie made the decision to really focus on honing her craft in town. She immediately began demoing out songs for her upcoming full-length record and playing established Nashville venues, like the Listening Room Café and the Bluebird. She also leaned into the production side of her album, gaining great insight from her then producer about arrangements, vocal styling, and mixing. Her first Nashville based single, “Delusional” (2018) fancies a sassy 80s funk groove while 2019’s “Gotta Do” pulls in early 2000s Shania vibes. “Silver”, her July 2020 release, possesses the licks of Joan Jett and attitude of Avril Lavigne, proving that she’s not a one lane roadmap.

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Randy Hulsey 


Kirstie Kraus Mixdown Master

Sun, Oct 16, 2022 3:55PM • 57:57


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Randy Hulsey, Kirstie Kraus, Adam Gordon


Randy Hulsey  00:00

She is Florida born and now calls Music City home. Today I'm going to introduce you to an up and coming Nashville artist. What's going on music lovers. It's Randy Hulsey here with backstage pass radio. My guest this evening is a songwriter that has Award nominations. She has a podcast co hosts, and is on tour supporting a brand new record. Don't go anywhere. We will talk to the talented Kirsty Krause when we come back.


Adam Gordon  00:26

This is backstage pass radio, the podcast that's designed for the music junkie with a thirst for musical knowledge. Hi, this is Adam Gordon. And I want to thank you all for joining us today. Make sure you like subscribe and turn the alerts on for this and all upcoming podcasts. And now here's your host of backstage pass radio, Randy Halsey.


Randy Hulsey  00:56

Hey, friend, welcome to the show.


Kirstie Kraus  00:58

Hello. Thank you. We thank you for having me. I'm glad we're doing this.


Randy Hulsey  01:02

Yeah. Finally, it's like been planned for what? Almost a year now? It seems it seems like almost a year, but I don't think it's been quite that long. But it's been a while. Welcome.


Kirstie Kraus  01:13

Thank you. My voice is gonna sound a little lower today than normal only because I used it all weekend. So it's in in more the manly range tonight.


Randy Hulsey  01:23

You got that nice baritone thing going right.


Kirstie Kraus  01:26

You definitely can hit all the low notes. Well, I


Randy Hulsey  01:28

have to ask, Was it from the shows? Or was it actually from jamming in the car on the way back from Wisconsin? Like were you singing in the car? Maybe a little.


Kirstie Kraus  01:38

today? We were we were definitely not singing. today. We were resting our voices. But I'm jamming and talking to people. The guitar coming out later in the evening. You know all of it like? Yeah.


Randy Hulsey  01:52

So how was life in Nashville?


Kirstie Kraus  01:55

I adore it. I've always wanted to live in Nashville. It's been almost five years, four and a half years, I guess. I guess my anniversary is coming up October 3 will be five years. So I love it on any given given Tuesday night. I mean, right before I left for Wisconsin this weekend, I got to go to the American Music Awards. I mean, stuff like that. See, the Indigo Girls and brandy Carlisle on stage it just doesn't happen anywhere else but Nashville. So moments like that. I'm I'm like, This is so cool. I'm in the Mother Church Sarandon right now at the Americana music awards. And Morgan way to sitting right in front of me. Oh, cool. Cool. Yeah. Sounds good to me. Yeah. I just just a random Wednesday.


Randy Hulsey  02:41

I just got her vinyl. And I love Morgan. And it's it's interesting that you mentioned the Indigo Girls because I don't know how many people know who the Indigo Girls are like, I've listened to them from back in these write a great acoustic kind of, you know, female duo. And they're amazing singer songwriters in there.


Kirstie Kraus  03:00

Everybody did. And then I was on the phone with my mom. And I felt like I kind of had to sing her some songs. And I was with a friend. And I was like, this one. Like, this is the one I'm singing and she's like, I guess that sounds familiar. And


Randy Hulsey  03:12

then you're and then you're disappointed. I know. And then you're disappointed like, Wait, you don't know closer to find really? You don't know that?


Kirstie Kraus  03:19

So maybe we should just you know like this right away. We talked about the Indigo Girls all the time.


Randy Hulsey  03:23

Well, maybe amazing. Maybe you and I can start another Indigo Girls fan club. I don't know you can be the president and I'll be the vice president. I don't know.


Kirstie Kraus  03:33

Next to brandy Carlisle. It sounds like we would have to take a backseat. Absolutely, because she's so close to them. And he's such like, they inspired her tremendously from everything I'd gathered at the award show but it was it was really special.


Randy Hulsey  03:47

I thought that was a cool experience. And I've had my share of Nashvillians on on my show. I had Jen Bostick a while back and Karen Karen and Jimmy fortune from the Statler brothers. I think Jimmy and I talked for almost two and a half hours on the interview. Yeah. And then I had Sarah faith on and and then upcoming later on. I have stone Senate and the woods, who I've fallen in love with the woods. They're the three piece Two Guys and a girl. And they have an awesome sound. So I'm really looking forward to those. But yeah, a lot of great a lot of great Tennessee artists that I'm having on the show, so and you included so it's nice to you know, turn your music on to maybe a section of people that may have never heard your stuff before. And that was kind of the whole the whole premise behind the show. When I started it as a musician like you I'm like how can I give back to kind of my peers like how do I help promote them and this was kind of my way of doing that. So if we get one more listener for you, Kirsty we're way ahead of the game. aim, right?


Kirstie Kraus  05:01

Yeah. And now I mean, now you have checked up with music. So I'm just appreciative of that. And in your intro, you say, a thirst, a thirst for and it's just, it made me smile, because that word has just always been around. I've put it in Easter Eggs in songs I've written it in and, and my bio is all about that, you know, just thirst for authenticity. Yes. And it's really, really cool that you incorporated that you're in charge do


Randy Hulsey  05:31

well, it was, you know, my deal was I was the kid. And I probably told the story at nauseam, but I'll give you the Cliff Notes. I was the kid that when I bought a record, I didn't put the record on and play it. I pulled the liner notes out and read the liner notes. I wanted to know who the artists were, I wanted to know where they recorded. I wanted to know who played the bass guitar who play. I was kind of geeky like that. And I have this, I guess the Savant mind, remembering meaningless music trivia over the years, things that most people would not care about. But I said, What a cooler way to find out more about people like you the songs that you hear that you fall in love with. And it's like, Man, I would love to hear what inspired her to write that song or learn more about you. Right? And I have to think that people, music lovers are of that same mindset. So


Kirstie Kraus  06:29

Oh, my goodness. I mean, I have the liner note in here that says, I encourage you to listen on all kinds of speakers, as you will hear something new on each player. Yes, no, on your phone is different in the car. It's different. And speakers via your computer. It's all different. And so I had to put that in there for the music nerds like us,


Randy Hulsey  06:52

good for you. Because I think so many people listen to music the wrong way. And when I say that, I always challenge the listeners when I post something out of an artist. I'm like, put some headphones on listen to it and high fidelity stopped listening through that cheesy. Asked speaker in your iPhone or your Droid, right? It does the music. I mean, these artists put in so much work. And there's so many fabulous musicians and you listen through the cheesiest speaker known to mankind you're given that music no justice whatsoever.


Kirstie Kraus  07:27

You're only hearing like 40% Absolutely, or maybe less. But yeah. I'm a huge like, I was just in the car for nine hours. We were just talking about that. And like, every single song that comes on, and that's a lot of songs. I am changing the bass. Treble like I am a crazy yeah, like, freak like that. Like, that's good. And even if I listen to an artist, like I'll pull up on YouTube, and I'll be listening to like 20 today from the UK I was listening to heard of live and I will change the just the balance of everything all the time. The whole time.


Randy Hulsey  08:05

I have to I mean it's an experience to listen to music right and I think it needs to be and not everybody has the same mindset that you and I do some just hear it at face value and it's just good enough but I get inside the songs I want to hear every detail of the song every every string that rings I want to hear all of that so we talked in the introduction Florida born Wisconsin raised and you took the Nashville plunge what going on five years now. Right so you so you've been in Nashville for five years? How's the experience been there for you thus far?


Kirstie Kraus  08:44

Good. When I first got to Nashville, I was like holy smokes, like here's the bar I need to you know, good brings up to the bar guy need to kind of get tough on himself and, and really focus on what I'm doing with my instruments. And then it got so it was it was crazy daunting at first I remember missing my family like crazy because from the Midwest, and I think we're just like, close farm families, you know, and it was hard. It was tough to not like be at my mom's you know, Mother's Day or my cousin's baby shower. I just couldn't be there for that kind of stuff. So that was difficult. But then I just I started going out and I was so inspired and all of these writers routes. And I have always said I'm going to come into Nashville and my goal is to to take over this town and to just get engrossed in it and to live in it and then when I finally you know, move there, it was kind of crazy. I had to learn to live in Nashville and not haven't just been my business town because I would come in for 10 days, 14 days at a time and at work cost The meeting, yeah, all day long, long days, and I would get myself sick, like, and I would go back home and I'd like, so and but when I moved here, I was like, I need to look at the parts, I need to find the coffee shops, I need to like, appreciate this town on a different level to know, you know?


Randy Hulsey  10:17

Absolutely. And I think that's so many. And I could be wrong, like you look at social media and it's just for some artists is just post after post playing the guitar sing and doing this musically. And it's like, there's never a deviation from that. And it's like you have to, you have to learn to have a work life balance. Because if you don't you burn out and you get tired of something, right? I find that sometimes I'll I'll work Work, Work work work at the podcast. And I'll get to that point where, okay, I'm tired of doing that. And I don't ever want to feel like that. So you know, you got you have to recharge the batteries, you have to want to go in with a clear mind. And if you don't step away from that, it's just you're not living at that point in time, much like you said, you have to learn to live in the city, there's a lot to do there, cool place, and you have to get out and do those things. It doesn't have to be guitar strings all the time.


Kirstie Kraus  11:18

Right? I live right by like, go hiking and all that stuff. But um, you do have to protect your passion. I've always said this, it's important for me to be here for the long run to have a career like Sheryl Crow and Dolly like just till they want to stop and not have to and so I'm always protecting the passion and choosing stuff that makes me feel good.


Randy Hulsey  11:44

Yeah. What was it that really pushed you to make the move to Nashville was was it really music driven? Like that was the only reason to move to Nashville for you.


Kirstie Kraus  11:55

The first time I came to Nashville as a lovin actually was crazy, I got to sit down with like Montgomery Gentry, his manager and meet Sarah Evans, and through connections, you know, kind of got to get crazy big taste of the town and a feel for that. But um, at the time, I just, we looked at Magnet Middle schools, we were thinking about the whole family moving down, we ended up not and it just kind of kept coming up. And I was like, no later. So it was always it wasn't a matter of if I'm gonna move to Nashville, it was a matter of when Yeah. And I was always told by my first mentor and Nashville, I met him when I was 15. To just like, work my home state and like get the base, get my fundamentals, good. Learn how to operate a band, and, you know, stuff, stuff like that, and just grow your fan base up there and then then come down when you feel ready. Yeah. So I followed that advice.


Randy Hulsey  12:56

You have to have the street team and the street team. When I say that it's you know, it's where you're where you are rooted, you know, they, they feel like they're a part of you. Yeah, absolutely. And you have to, you have to treat them like that. And it's kind of the same with my podcast, it's now heard in 49 different countries. And I'm so proud of that. But it's the people here that, you know, the people that started out with me just sharing and liking and talking about it is kind of what kicked it all off. And you can't ever forget that. So speaking of Nashville, you recently released an 11th I think it was on 11 song is that right? 11 song LP called Yes, you can. And I think that was May, right before the summer of this year, right?


Kirstie Kraus  13:42

It was I got to release this digitally awesome and may 27. And the physical copies have two bonus tracks. Got to do and delusional and got to do was one of the songs that inspired the title. Yes, you can. I think the whole album is very, it's uplifting, and hope it gets people groovin and move in. That's like the goal just for people to feel good. Yeah, go after their dreams and just enjoy music on a really positive happy level. Well, congrats


Randy Hulsey  14:15

on the release. I know that's excited being your first full length record. So yeah, so you're a veteran now you've you've you're not you're not the music. Yeah, exactly. I'm sure that being in Nashville, it makes sense to align yourself with some of the best in the business. And I know you had some key players on the new release. Talk to the listeners a little bit about some of the contributions that were made by different musicians on your debut.


Kirstie Kraus  14:49

Yeah, record. Yeah. So these some of these people are and I got to thank them for that just there. Every single person that came into the session, put It's just felt like they were so present and they put 100%. And they took time to really follow the parts that we were wanting or find the sound. And I know a lot of people don't get the opportunity to have that and do that and be a part of every single decision on this album. So I feel lucky, just for that, but I'd be able to take so much time to make it sure people are so patient, but um, Ford Thurston really champion all the lead guitars and he has been on the road with Randy Houser. Right now he's out with Chris Cagle. I mean, in the guitar community of Nashville, he is a celebrity. Like everybody knows Ford. And the fact that he's a good friend of mine, just through networking is is amazing. And then rich Redmond, everybody knows rich. He's the drummer for JSON LD. And since the Tootsie stays like since day one, Adam box, the drummer for the drummer for brothers, Osbourne helped create some drum parts for us as well. And yeah, then Pete Lyman has done mastering for Keith O'Brien, Thomas, Rhett, you name it, Luke combs. So there's just been a lot of like key players that helped put their talents towards this project. And I feel lucky to be been saying that I know that much less have been working on a project with me. So that's really, really cool.


Randy Hulsey  16:31

I'm sure you at some point in time, you had to be working in the studio and kind of pinch yourself like I've been here for five years. I've never released a record and look at some of these people that are playing on my effort. Right? That has to be really cool.


Kirstie Kraus  16:46

Yeah, I didn't, but like, I really got a sense that they really did get in the vibe and like, digging what they were doing, which is why they put extra energy into it. And that was like a huge compliment. You know, it wasn't just like, a couple passes. Like it was like, let's dig it. Let's do this, right. And watching rich Redmond talk to the producer. And I'm sitting there, I'm just trying to film some of this stuff. And he's like, dude, got to catch him. And he's talking and drum. And I was like, what is happening right now? This is so cool. And he's making sure he gets his part. Right. And it's it was, it was awesome knees like, you know what, we need to add a little bit of this kind of shake around. I mean, they're like getting into the decision making kind of stuff. And yeah, that's a big compliment. They don't they don't have to do that. You know, sound at all is awesome. Well, I


Randy Hulsey  17:37

had a guest on my show who is part of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and was a 30 year songwriter in Nashville and has written hit like number one hit songs for for George Strait, and Keith Whitley and Reba and kind of the list goes on and on. But it was interesting, because for a long time, he was a studio musician in Bogalusa, Louisiana, in a place called studio in the country, which is a place where so many greats have recorded and it was interesting because I was watching this documentary about studio in the country. And I'm a musician like you. And the way the studio guys talk, they talk in a in a language like you don't even understand like, what, what are they? What did he just say? Like I've been around music all my life. And it's unbelievable. How well they communicate with one another and how efficient they are at doing things in the studio. It's amazing. It really isn't


Kirstie Kraus  18:36

free to be like, oh country and right here. Uh, you know, absolutely. You need to do a diamond there are like we should have, we should have can't and I'm not thinking about the theory words, but they're just things another one. But yeah, it's crazy.


Randy Hulsey  18:51

It is. It is. It's it's um, it's an art for sure. So, Kirstie standby, I need to drop a sponsor ad and I'll be right back to chat. Awesome. Have you been thinking that you may need a little exercise in your daily routine while having a little fun doing it? I may have the solution. Hey, it's Randy Hulsey here with backstage pass radio. And about six months ago, I purchased an electric bike from eco trick and just thought about using it as a way to kind of get the blood flow a few days a week. And to my surprise, I find myself on the bike just about every day. Not only am I getting a little exercise each day, but I'm also having a fun time seeing the neighborhood and maybe some areas that I probably would never have seen before I got the bike. Today. My family owns four of these eco trip bikes and we're looking to add a few more soon. Make sure to check out the link in the description below for more details. We're back talking to the talented Kirsty Kraus. I wanted to share a clip of a song off the new record. This is a song called Bird. Let's Take a listen to the song and then we'll come back and chat about it fair enough


Kirstie Kraus  20:03

yes bread this macabre spin down the path of daily living how I'm dragging my head between the rays every breath is Macquarie's splendid on the past day learning humdrum.


Randy Hulsey  21:14

That was a song called Bird off the 2022 release. Yes, you can that was sounding really nice in these headphones right here just so you know, we talked about that, like, you know, I had the nice bass going on in here and whatnot. So it sounded really nice congrats on the record. And a great sounding song was this song a co write for you was this 100% written by you talk to the listeners about the writing portion of that particular song.


Kirstie Kraus  21:44

Yeah, this song suck on the album, it was one of those we kind of wrote in, we're like, wait a second, we need to add this to the record. So the record just kept extending the more songs but um, I wrote this with Mark Addison Chandler, and my producer, our clue. And we sat down around this kitchen table, the dining room table, and I had thought the song was going to be called Grit your teeth. Like, I'm gonna smile at you and be nice. Instead of being angry, I'm just gonna smell through it kind of like a bless your heart kind of song. But my version of that. So um, you know, I do a lot of this, this song in particular, the top line is always more country and then, and then it's got this rock like bluesy kind of bed to it with a little bit of funk. So this song has kind of like a stadium, we were really going for, like this stadium field where people could like, sing along with and kind of groove to it. So that's kind of how it started. I mean, I was just telling the story about meeting, that my initial meeting with another human and how it went, it was really weird and off putting, and I was like, You know what, I just clicked my teeth and buried it and just got through that exchange, and went home and wrote about it. So that's kind of that's what happened. And I remember when we landed on having bird be the hook, I was like, Oh, that's funny. Like, we definitely like, you don't need Serbia. Like it, we just jam and waited, and the guitar was flowing. And it was more like, we were jamming singing and like putting stuff in, you know, read between the Porter and ring. And so they're really fun, right? And it kind of just fell out really quickly.


Randy Hulsey  23:36

It was a cool jam. It sounds great. And what percentage of the songs on the record are 100% written by you? And then what percentage are co written songs.


Kirstie Kraus  23:51

So on this record, nothing is 100% written by me. I have like 450 Some songs in my catalogue. On a lot of the songs that are written by me, you can hear if you come to a random writer's round, like I'll be like, this is you know, but I, I just liked the song, tell me what it wants to be sure. So I can write stuff on any given day, that's like maybe more foci or maybe more pop, but I write for other artists I've been writing since I was 812 12 with a mentor, and then 15 Coming to Nashville. So it's really, it was really just a matter of I wanted the networking thing. I wanted to be able to take pieces of a bunch of different writers that I wrote with and have this compilation of my story and songs that I felt like fit together and we're about a bunch of different subjects like kind of showing the range of what I can write about, you know, But yeah, I love people. I'm a very outgoing person. So collaboration to me is so much fun. So I think that's why I naturally gravitated towards looking at those songs.


Randy Hulsey  25:14

Do you find yourself to be a structure songwriter in the sense that you wake up and your routine driven? At two o'clock I sit down and I write songs or? Or does writing just happen for you organically whenever you feel the need to write?


Kirstie Kraus  25:34

Yeah, that's more just organic. I obviously have appointments with people, if I'm in the shower, and like an idea happens if I'm in the car, and I've been spent trying to sleep an idea, so I just kind of have my phone either by me or a piece of paper, like all of them, and I have voice memos where I'm like sleeping, right, but I need to get it down. Yeah. And so then the next day, I have to like rerecord the melody. But yeah, I mean, having, but the structure comes in where I have, I have to have appointments. Like if I have an appointment, then I'm writing Yeah, like I'm sitting down and writing. Otherwise, I do the whole, like, just black, and then have it. And then it's like, it's a song. And it's pretty much, let's call it you know, 95%. Yeah, done.


Randy Hulsey  26:28

So you're just basically, yeah, you just basically vomit all that out in no particular order. And then you come back later and make sense of it. Correct?


Kirstie Kraus  26:38

Yeah, I mean, I think a lot of times, it just it comes out in some form. I can hear the melody and the lyrics. And I'm like, it's like, they're, they're being given to me. And then I just kind of


Randy Hulsey  26:49

write it all out. Well, you're one of the fortunate ones, because songwriting doesn't come easy to a lot of people. Right. And it sounds like it comes fairly naturally to you. I'm sure there's writer's block from time to time, right. But largely, it sounds like it's pretty easy for you to pin a song.


Kirstie Kraus  27:07

Yeah, I mean, if I, if I'm not feeling writing, like, I guess I've been on a break for two weeks. That's a long time. I think I added zoom. Like two weeks ago, I was writing I write with people from the UK and stuff. But when I write for artists, like I will listen to all their music, it's kind of crazy. And then I will try to think about a subject we might relate on. And then it's like almost I subconsciously spit out like, gibberish, but sometimes words and this melody that's kind of like in their bio, but pushing it forward a little bit. Sure, and gibberish about the subject that I think we can write about. And most of the time, they're like, Wait, that's awesome. We should do that today. Like, forget my ideas. So I'm like, Okay, let's do it. It's kind of fun. Yeah.


Randy Hulsey  27:56

Well, the song bird was dominated by the tRNA. As Song of the Year, correct? Yes,


Kirstie Kraus  28:03

I am so pumped.


Randy Hulsey  28:05

So the for the listeners that are not familiar that tr m a, is the trop Rock Music Association. And it's basically for the tropical rock genre, correct? Yes. Yes. Talk about that nomination.


Kirstie Kraus  28:21

Yeah, this is this will be as I got to meet everybody. Going into a meeting of the minds was just the trap rock music Association's Super Bowl, like that's their big party down in Key West. And they have their award show. And I got to meet everyone in the last year. So now fast forward to this year being nominated twice for two songs that are on this record is, is awesome. I've been having so much fun, performing a lot in Florida, and going to Key West. So this this November will be my fifth time in Key West in since May of 2021. So just it's been really fun. But the community started with Jimmy Buffett and the parrot heads. And then this whole I mean, Jimmy Buffett just spearheaded this genre, and it became a culture it became a thing and became a whole thing. So the pair ads are just really happy. Present people that like to enjoy music, and have fun, and just enjoy their lives. And so and B be by the beach. So and I'm all about that.


Randy Hulsey  29:34

That whole parent head thing, you know, took a life of its own it kind of like the being a dead head from the grateful you know, the Grateful Dead. You know, it's like this just this cult thing, almost, you know, and people just fall in love with that kind of music and I play some of it in my shows. I'm a big Jimmy Buffett fan. You can't go wrong playing Jimmy Jimmy Buffett songs right. So there is another song that I would like to Grace for the listeners with and it's a song called something new. I'd like to take a listen to that and then we'll come back and chat about that one as well. Fair enough awesome it's been going with wonderfully crafted, I love that song. Yeah, listening. Yeah, I was gonna say it's like totally to me. It's like totally different sound than bird. You know, it's a different song and has a good vibe to it. I love it. Yeah, great job.


Kirstie Kraus  31:54

Yeah, thank you. All of the songs on the record. I feel they have like sister and cousin songs. Okay, yeah, they're kind of they're balanced. And that for me, for something new. It's like what love does is pretty close to in the same vein, but we definitely have fun.


Randy Hulsey  32:11

Where does Yeah, and where did where did inspiration get pulled from for that particular song.


Kirstie Kraus  32:20

This is what I hear is very, so I was on my way out, I was gonna go to this CO write with one of my favorites. Now we've written 20 Some songs together. Like we've known each other since I was 15. And I have my guitar and I'm leaving, and z, but the time we were living together, he was like, Hey, what are you guys gonna do today? Are you going to finish something up? Are you going to start something new? Typical question. But for some reason, that day, it hit me. I looked at him and I was like, we're gonna start something new. Like we're gonna start, you know, something new, like isn't a new song. But then I was like driving there. And I was like something new there. I need to write this song today. Like, I think my signature song about moving to Nashville needs to be titled something new. And I'm just like, in the space, and I'm letting it all kind of just like, be being the space around me while I'm driving. And I'm like, something new. Like, I was like, it needs to be kind of fun. And even though it's scary things song needs to be a little have this thing about like, nobody's asking me to move. I'm making this choice. I have to do it. And yeah, so that was really fun to write. We actually wrote it in two sessions. And the second time we got together it was in a library. And in the work tape, you can hear the librarian, say like on the mic. The library is closing in five minutes, but like, we're trying to lay this song down. It was really fun.


Randy Hulsey  33:56

While you were saying that I was looking at the I got distracted and I was looking at the flower in your hair. And it made me think of go into California, the song from Led Zeppelin if you're not familiar with it, you need to listen to it. If and you'll you'll know why I said that after you listen to it, if you're not familiar with the song, but I wanted to also ask you what it's like seeing your friends and Waylon performance songs that you guys have have co written together.


Kirstie Kraus  34:23

It's it's way cool because one I've known Wayland and they who now reside in Nashville for 10 years. I mean, I met them when I was still doing corporate jobs and they were touring and they kept coming to their from Michigan and they kept coming to Wisconsin, so see them and now they're up on stage and they are crushing a song that we got together and wrote like a couple months ago. I mean not that long ago right before summer really kicked off. And that's like such a proud, songwriter moment when any artists feels that the song is worthy enough to go on stage. Absolutely, absolutely. So I just like, I just been pretty much the whole time and make sure I get a video.


Randy Hulsey  35:07

That's also man, it's I think things have changed over time. But it's always been amazing to me. How, and I get it. It's a business too. And I try to keep this in mind when I'm fixing to say what I'm going to say. But when artists cover other artists songs, and the original artist has a problem with it, and they try to sue them and do this and that it's like, I don't get that, but from the business aspect I do because they feel like they're getting cheated out of royalties a little bit. But, I mean, what better form of flattery than to have, you know, me perform like cover your song bird? Like, like, I could never pull that off in one of my shows? Right? But if I did, you would have to probably think how cool that he would even try to do that song by me. You would be flattered by that. I would think, yeah.


Kirstie Kraus  36:04

Macro. Oh, yeah. My friend, Thomas from the UK. We were on a live stream. And he, he was kind of just like, after I finished the song because we're going back and forth. He started playing like my map. And he started like doing his own version of it. But it was close. And it was so cool. Like, I was like, what you have to do that next time. We're on a live stream. Every time you need to do that. And I just I just thought it was really fun. But yeah, like you said, the highest form of flattery. Yeah.


Randy Hulsey  36:32

So we spoke a little earlier about the the tRNA awards. And I also wanted to mention that you are nominated for awards that will be coming up in October at the Josie awards. Talk to the listeners about those nominations. Like how do you keep up with all these Award nominations? Anyway, go ahead. Just Well, you tell me


Kirstie Kraus  36:54

Josie music words I've been there. There's like the largest Independent Music Awards, and this year, the awards is being held at the Opry. So that's it's just gonna be insane. But we're talking 1000s of people come to this, they get over 50,000 submissions. And then I don't know what the status is, like one point something percent get nominated. And so to be nominated, I was like, what, and then they asked me to perform at their festival the day before and they they're, they're doing their first festival of writing in the heart of Nashville. So I'm gonna do a 20 minute set, but I'm just really honored that it's not it's just something that you it's not like people can vote for it if people that are members of the board that look at the nominees and and, and decide so that was quite a surprise but the Josie in Music Awards is being held right at the operate this year national on October 23.


Randy Hulsey  38:01

An amazing place in and of itself. Like even if you were not performing or not nominated to go and be part of anything if the opry or the Ryman for that matter, right? I mean, that's a treat in and of itself. And what were you nominated for?


Kirstie Kraus  38:16

So women come straight, and female and then the fashion Trailblazer.


Randy Hulsey  38:26

Now he's because of the flower the flower thing has something to do with that right?


Kirstie Kraus  38:32

But now I'm gonna have to make sure I pick out something spectacular.


Randy Hulsey  38:36

You Trailblazer you're such a trailblazer.


Kirstie Kraus  38:38

I was like what Okay, cool. My sister gives me a lots of clothes.


Randy Hulsey  38:45

Well, that's awesome. I'm assuming that you've got your speech all written out and it's prepared right? No. Oh, what are you waiting on? I kind of don't wait too long you'll get caught with your shorts down and you don't want to do that now you got to be prepared that


Kirstie Kraus  39:00

has happened I time and taking things in chunks at a time like right now I'm getting ready for I'm back in Nashville. I've 10 days in town which is suited me. I haven't had that many days of downtime forever. And the next thing to tackle is the Huntsville Alabama, Jim Parker songwriters series. They're having me up as a guest. There's gonna be like 300 people there and I need to nail the songs that I've been able to write with Billy Dros and Jake Parker. That's kind of my next September 30. Get to that nail it then focus.


Randy Hulsey  39:39

Well, you get you better get busy. It sounds like you've got a lot of stuff coming up and we'll talk a little bit more about some of the things coming up in a minute. But I wanted to plug another podcast out there that has almost the same name as this one. And it's a show called the backstage pass with Brandon Morel talking to the listeners about out the show and about your involvement with Brandon.


Kirstie Kraus  40:04

Yeah, so the show does 30 minutes shows and they interview all kinds of artists from national, Texas from over in the UK. And we just really asked, celebrate releases, it's a lot of the interviews around are celebrating releases are celebrating what they're excited about and asking them some fun questions at the end. So it's been an amazing opportunity for me, I kind of hopped on board as a co host. Shortly after the pandemic started, and we just got busy with interviews, I was able to do lots of interviews and meet artists that maybe I've never met or heard their music. So it's really fun. And sometimes I get to interview people like Chris Cagle and Dylan Scott and Caitlin Smith. And that's, that's fun, too. Yeah. Love it.


Randy Hulsey  41:01

And so how did how did you get roped into that? Is there some kind of radio background that you have? Or were you just friends with Brandon? How did how did all of that come about?


Kirstie Kraus  41:11

I was an interview II. I mean, the opposite. I was like the artists that was being interviewed. And he had a question that he used often. And that was like, if you didn't do music, obviously you do music. That's it. But if you didn't, and couldn't sing, or whatever, what would you be doing? And I was like, honestly, probably show the language you're doing something with talking with people. And I, as far as the background, like I've been in place, I've been on stations, I was to us jumping up on picnic tables, but also this little recorder with a microphone attached. And I would push record on the cassette tapes that go, Hello, folks, I couldn't even read at the time. I was like four and five. And I would interview my aunt at like, family functions and asked her about the food, whatever it was, you know, but I was kind of doing that. And so it's always been something that maybe it was way in the back of my mind. But when that happened, I think I got his wheels spinning. And then he asked me to be a co host. And I was like, Wait, that sounds really fun. I would I should do that. Because I haven't been in that space yet. And so I was just thankful for the opportunity.


Randy Hulsey  42:26

That's a cool space, isn't it? Yeah,


Kirstie Kraus  42:28

it's fun. Yeah. Well,


Randy Hulsey  42:31

I asked the listeners to support you guys. If you want to plug the show, tell the listeners where they can find the backstage pass. I think that there's this misconception that, oh, why would you go on your show and talk about somebody else's podcast that does kind of the same thing that you do. And by God you almost have the same name. There's there's plenty of artists out there for everybody to talk to at the end of the day. And I think I think Brandon is a native Texan if I'm not mistaken. Isn't he here in Texas do so. So I'll support my brother here in Texas that does the same thing that I do. So if you want to plug the show, tell the listeners where they can find it.


Kirstie Kraus  43:09

Facebook is awesome. It's it the everything's posted up on Facebook, but it's called the Backstage Pass powered by the sports guys podcast. And I appreciate you do not because I am that human like that's how I feel about music. There's so many artists out there. Every artist has its own thumbprint. Its own sound. There's plenty of places to play, there's plenty of podcast to be on. You know what I mean? Like, it's an always feel like that. Like when I'm performing on stage with people that I I feel so lucky to be able to perform and tour with some of the artists that have been and, you know, my friend crystal king does an amazing rendition of Bobby the key. So I'm not gonna say Bobby, Ricky with via ever on stage. Yep. That's how I feel about music.


Randy Hulsey  44:00

And I think that's yeah, that's the way you should feel about it. I think without a doubt. Well, I'll assume that you're completely back to work full time since COVID. Is this a fair assumption? Or do you still feel some restrictions along the way?


Kirstie Kraus  44:17

I don't feel like there's any restrictions anymore. I feel like festivals are back in the full swing, especially my home state just had their summer season and they were able to have all of their festivals. So that made me so happy to be able to go up so many times this year that some people even asked my tour mates if I was living in Wisconsin, you know, I'm traveling back and forth but it's been definitely really busy and some corporate events coming up some private parties that just gonna be so fun. So I'm excited for the Fall Winter.


Randy Hulsey  44:56

Super cool. How many shows would you say your involved in during the course of a calendar year. If you were to guess,


Kirstie Kraus  45:04

I know I have a spreadsheet of this. And my mom's gonna probably like you should know that any given week is at least two to four shows and including writers had some times. So I don't even know


Randy Hulsey  45:19

probably somewhere in between 100 Yeah, sure. Yeah, that's great.


Kirstie Kraus  45:25

And I think the demo a rights rehearsal Sure. Or show, like, I always need to be protecting you using this instrument?


Randy Hulsey  45:34

Yeah. And I think you also have, if my memory serves me correctly, you're returning back to Florida and 23 for the Strawberry Festival again,


Kirstie Kraus  45:44

correct? Yes. I'm so pumped about that. That's the 83rd. This year, I believe. And I had no idea how big the strawberry vessel was. But ever since I started touring in Florida, I can't tell you how many times people were like, You need to play the Strawberry Festival. You need to play that. I just kept hearing it. And so I was like, Okay, I'm gonna make sure. Damn it. I'm gonna make that Strawberry Festival. And we got the team on it. And we made it made a habit. Then they asked me right when I jumped off stage, they asked to have me back. That's awesome. Yep,


Randy Hulsey  46:19

that's a great music. Yeah. I mean, how can you go wrong? Right. Right. Well, you mentioned something about playing back at home in Wisconsin, a festival there. That has to be really cool to kind of go back to your old stomping grounds. And I don't know if your headline and or not in, it doesn't even matter. But just to be on stage. And to carry a little name behind. Yeah, it had to have been a cool experience, talk to the listeners a little bit about going back and kind of play in for your, your home state.


Kirstie Kraus  46:51

Might again, like slightly teary eyed but being at the taste of medicine, just a Labor Day weekend, and seeing, seeing my friends from college that I worked on the Campus Activities Board with and seeing her with her husband and her baby, and having her by my record and being like, Hey, I hope you're okay with this. But like, Can you sign it, you know what I mean? Like, it's, I can't even describe the feeling to, to have that and to have somebody that I cared about, it has been in a different chapter of my life, like be so happy to come out and support. And you only get that when you go and play your home state. So, so cool to see all the OGS out there, seeing, they're seeing the words, and I'm jamming out with bands. I had a local Wisconsin band this summer. So that was really fun, to be able to just vibe with them and do music with them. And yeah, to see the OGS, the OG thirsties was what we call them, to see them out there and singing along and then to meet so many new fans, too. It'd be like you're from here, and I'm Yeah. Sconnie. So that was really fun.


Randy Hulsey  48:04

Yeah. What is coming up on the horizon for you? We're kind of entering the last quarter of the year. And a big things to note from tour perspective. I know you're supporting the record right now, you have a brand new record. So there's probably not much by way of brand new music going to be coming out. But is there anything that you'd like to share with the listeners regarding current events? For Kirsty? Yeah,


Kirstie Kraus  48:30

you know, I've been loving this track our community so much, I have decided on a song to get into the studio and record so I'm very pumped about that. There's also some communications about a duet maybe in the future. That's pretty much all I can say about about that. And I'm, I'm working with a new producer in Nashville. And I am just tickled like pinchy kind of thing. He does a lot of Dolby Atmos stuff. And he has a space at BMG. And so I just like what this person who is so talented, wants to work on my future music and just kind of take me under their wing, and see where we can go with that. So I'm really excited.


Randy Hulsey  49:21

That's awesome. Well, it's talent, and it's the flower, right? I mean,


Kirstie Kraus  49:26

this is my new like, I feel like my signature thing. I used to wear hats. Now I wear this flower. I'm just always trying to get to Florida,


Randy Hulsey  49:36

though. So has the flower taken the place of the hats or do you still do the hat thing? Really? No hats. Flower. Was that just a phase? I mean, it seems like a lot of people are doing the hat thing these days.


Kirstie Kraus  49:48

I have a hat wall right over there.


Randy Hulsey  49:51

Once for every occasion, right?


Kirstie Kraus  49:54

Yes, but I do have just just some local town and Advice to just like, let the look the face and the hair be out, not not under a shadow. I get it. I'm like, okay, you know, I really, it doesn't make or break who I am sure. So it's been maybe an I did go through the half and the guy went through the half is so hard that like going into a new era might be nice to like, not have the hat. So I don't have to wear the hat all the time. You know?


Randy Hulsey  50:31

Well, I approve of the new look, if if it matters to you. You have my stamp of approval, you can live your life now that Randy has blessed.


Kirstie Kraus  50:41

You wouldn't even believe like I had messages of people being like, where's your head? Right? It's just not here anymore. is kind of interesting.


Randy Hulsey  50:51

But so you can bring them back. You know, when everybody stops wearing them, you bring him back. It's retrospect and everybody thinks you're the trendsetter, right, kind of like yeah, you know, we talked about different places Florida and Wisconsin, of course, Nashville, all these different places that you play. If you were able to just go anywhere and perform that maybe you haven't spent a lot of time and really try to stamp your name on that area. Where do you think it would be and why


Kirstie Kraus  51:28

I want to do more things that are closer to Nashville. That's kind of my next move. So like will be a mile and Tennessee and Kentucky like start capitalizing on festivals there. I also have Arizona in my sights because I have not been there as a state and I know at least five families there said that would really make me feel welcome and kind of get everything kick started in that state. So I'm excited about that. I definitely am just looking forward to continuing to have music taping new places


Randy Hulsey  52:11

like totally teed up that question for you to talk about the UK right.


Kirstie Kraus  52:19

That's like literally on the goal sheet. These are things these are like the next things I want to tackle. So I now have a full on spreadsheet of every single festival venues. I am on WhatsApp all the time chatting with people over in the UK it's my best friends are over there so it's it's just a matter of time and I can't wait to take this music from the yes you can album and and the new stuff and go over there for a couple months. Like that's that needs to happen. I think I'm a huge fan of cam just see am country and she really just for thing over in the UK. And I feel like we have similar spirit in our music. And I just I just think they already are appreciating music from afar, but the live shows there would be amazing.


Randy Hulsey  53:16

Didn't she do the song burning house? Isn't that her song? That's a great song.


Kirstie Kraus  53:21

until there's nothing left is a good song.


Randy Hulsey  53:23

I'll have to listen to that when I'm not that familiar with it. I heard you mention and I don't remember if it was then who knows where I heard it. Like I listened to so many things. But you had mentioned something and and I had a guest on my show early on who was a is a musician out of Galveston, Texas, and somehow found found his way over to France some years back and just became a smash over there. The French people fell in love with Zack. They treat him like a rock star. And I'm only bringing that up because when you say I want to go to the UK, you also mentioned at some point in time that the Europeans they listen to music differently. The attention span is different than it is here. And when I heard you say that, it's like I've been saying that forever. And I think my interview with Zach kind of solidifies that. And I've seen videos of him playing over there and these little pubs and people are sitting right in front of him just like they're glued, they're glued. And here it's it's so different. Even him playing and and France, whether he solo or maybe has somebody sit down with him. These people are so attentive to what he is doing. And then just listen differently. I don't know if you have any comments or feedback or your points of view on that like but I found that really interesting. They just listened a different way there.


Kirstie Kraus  54:58

Yeah, they If they just hold music to higher level, it's amazing. They are the kind of people that that read everything on the album and they want to buy the album. So I mean, I've shipped this record to so many countries, which is amazing. But the UK has been really supportive and, and I've just heard from one of my friends from Nashville that have gone over there. You can be in a small pop in there, they just are taken in every single movement. And in what you say and they it's an experience for them.


Randy Hulsey  55:33

Absolutely. Where can the listeners find Kirsty on social media?


Kirstie Kraus  55:42

Oh, well, the past couple of weeks I've been doing this Tik Tok thing that's been really fun. But my favorite is Instagram. So that's the best place to message me and reach out. But I'm on all the social media platforms. So I'm on Twitter every day talking to the UK people. I'm on Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok now and I'm posting on LinkedIn, I mean, this gets kind of but this is my job it's my job to to be fair and connected and share what's what's happening because otherwise people wouldn't know what I do on weekly basis so so yeah, I'm just feel free to connect and message me let me know if you listen to the record and what you like. I'd love to hear from you.


Randy Hulsey  56:30

Kersey I want to thank you for taking the time to chat. It's been a wonderful time for me. It's kind of been a long time in the work so I'm glad that we were finally able to connect.


Kirstie Kraus  56:42

Ah, Randy, thank you so much. i This is this has been great. Yeah,


Randy Hulsey  56:46

it's my pleasure. As always, I asked the listeners to like, share and subscribe to the podcast. Also make sure to follow Kirsty on all of her social media outlets, even Tik Tok. Again, you guys can follow the show on Facebook at backstage pass radio podcast on Instagram at backstage pass radio, Twitter at backstage pass PC, and on the website at backstage pass. Kirsti thanks again for joining me and I asked the listener to take care of yourselves and each other and we'll see you right back here on backstage pass radio.


Adam Gordon  57:21

Thanks so much for joining us. We hope you enjoyed today's episode of backstage pass radio. Make sure to follow Randy on Facebook and Instagram at Randy Hulsey music and on Twitter at our Halsey music. Also make sure to like, subscribe and turn on alerts for upcoming podcasts. If you enjoyed the podcast, make sure to share the link with a friend and tell them backstage pass radio is the best show on the web for everything music. We'll see you next time right here on backstage pass radio