• Cory Kundert

The Road to Nashville - Kirstie Kraus - Country Music Singer/Songwriter - Episode 5

Updated: Feb 5


Four years ago, Wisconsin Kirstie Kraus took a leap of faith. For years, she had traveled back and forth from Wisconsin to Nashville to write songs with other artists and perform. But, this was different. She decided it was time to pursue her dream full-time. She left the corporate world in Madison, WI and hit the road to Nashville. This time, she brought more than a guitar; she brought everything she owned.


At six years old, Kirstie first documented her dream in an assignment for school. That dream was to become a singer/songwriter. From that time on, every move she made was leading her toward that dream. The Janesville, WI native was very active as a child. She was involved in everything she could be. At thirteen years old, her world changed. Her father got a new job and they had to move. So. the family packed everything up and moved north to the Green Bay suburb of De Pere, WI for her high school years. Leaving your friends at thirteen had to be hard, but I'm sure that experience helped her in her move to Nashville.


After high school, Kirstie headed to Madison, WI to attend Edgewood College. Edgewood College is a small, private school near the heart of Madison. It is uniquely situated in Madison near Lake Wingra, just up the road from Camp Randall Stadium, and close to the UW-Madison

campus. Kirstie made the most of her time at Edgewood. The Business Marketing major was involved in the Campus Activities Board and made many connections with professors, students, and communities members. Some of her closest friends are from her time at Edgewood College. Deciding to major in marketing was a strategic move. One that has certainly paid off. Again, every moved Kirstie makes is helping her achieve her dream of becoming a singer/songwriter. She learned the foundation of marketing from Edgewood College and has gained valuable insight since she graduated college. If you check out her social media accounts and website, you will know. They are top notch.

Upon graduation, Kirstie spent a few years in the corporate world. She was also still songwriting and playing in local bands around the Madison area. She eventually created her own band called Thirsty Jones. Kirstie was still laser focused on her dream of moving to Nashville. Quickly, Kirstie built a loyal fanbase here in Wisconsin. She felt it was important to build her brand here in Wisconsin before heading off to Nashville full-time. Once she built that fanbase, in part to her Kirstie's Thirsties fangroup, she decided to take that road to Nashville.


The up and coming country music singer has made an impact on the Nashville country music community. She has played legendary venues in Nashville like The Bluebird Cafe, The Listening Room, and Tootsie's Orchid Lounge. Her two most recent singles, Bird and Thirsty, are being recognized for Women of Country Music Awards.

  • Bird is up for Song of the Year

  • Against country artists like Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Carly Pearce, Cam, and more.

  • Thirsty is up for Video of the Year

  • Against country artists like Carrie Underwood, Kasey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini and more.

Go to Women of Country Music to vote daily for Kirstie!


Kirstie is in this for life. She's getting more performing and songwriting opportunities and is making the most of them. She's been invited to the St. Augustine Songwriter's Festival, has people coming to Nashville just to write with her, and getting more and more on-stage opportunities. The sky is the limit for Kirstie. With her work ethic, strategic thinking, and talent, I have no doubt that we will see her on CMT, at Country Music Awards, and stepping into the circle at The Grand Ole Opry someday!


Thank you, Kirstie, for coming on Wisco Legacy to talk about your Wisconsin roots and your road to Nashville. Your story is inspiring! From six years old on, you've known what you've wanted to do in life and you are pursuing it with your whole heart. Most people don't have the guts to take that leap of faith. Keep working hard and being authentically you, Kirstie. I know you'll continue to climb!


Episode five of Wisco Legacy drops on Tuesday, October 19th at 5:00 a.m. The video version will be available on YouTube and the audio version will be on all of the podcast platforms. Please see link below to tune in.

Kirstie routinely comes back to Wisconsin. Let's show our support and see her when she comes back. Check out the Tour page on her website to see upcoming events.





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