Rock the Joint Magazine talks to Country Music’s Kirstie Kraus, and this is a great little interview! Nashville based Kirstie is one of country music’s most revered acts. Hers is a name driving a new vanguard of performance country with her album ‘Yes You Can,’ and singles such as: ‘Something New,’ and ‘Tide Down,’ pushing the sonic boundaries of modern country and allow her to experiment with music styles and deliver a sound that is uniquely her own.

With new music arriving in March; ‘Beaches Be Crazy,’ and ‘Dab A Dolly,’ she will make her way across the pond for a string of live shows in March and April marking her first official tour of the UK. Her “Thirsties” are sure to be ecstatic with the news as Kraus made a splash when she played C2C Festival last year and this new run of dates will allow her to further grow her British fanbase and showcase her energetic on-stage presence. 

She is of course no stranger to the UK scene with her songs being supported by the likes of BBC Introducing, CountryLine Radio, and Absolute Country Radio and her upcoming gigs on British soil are sure to be some of the most talked about of the Spring. Her upcoming UK tour will further cement her status as a growing superstar and give her the opportunity to connect with an exciting new fanbase fostering her relationship between the US and UK. Full tour dates and ticket information are at the end of this article.

We began the interview with the tour. Kirstie is on her way over the pond, so we wondered if she had been over here before and what she was looking forward to.

Kirstie: The countdown is on! I have been in the UK before, I went in 2023 and I was there for a quick three days for the C2C festival, way too short. I had to then fly back to a festival in Nashville, so I was doing back-to-back festivals. I have just been busy building up relationships so I can be one of the artists that gets to go on tour. This is my first long form tour and I’m very excited. I’m excited to be playing shows with my friends and I am playing with Lisa T, for example (Castle Hotel, Manchester, tickets here) and Thomas Kavanagh. That will be so much fun, as that is what I do in the States, play shows with other artists. I am excited to have that format in the UK.

And will Kirstie be too busy to play the tourist, or are there a few things she wants to see?

Kirstie: I do have over 22 shows, but I do have some days off and I do want to get to Liverpool and drool on all The Beatles sites. I want to get to Stonehenge and there are a couple of other things. I want to do some yoga with Lisa T! I did the bus tour thing in London last time, the tourist sightseeing, and I want to experience British life a bit as we don’t think the same over here. I am excited about all this. I do like to experience the world when I travel. But these are tour events and I’m working, so I experience the world through doing shows and music. I wanted to get to all those honky-tonks and rodeos and see all these places and meet new people. I feel more in my comfort zone then.

We do have a great shared musical heritage of course between the US and UK, having the common language probably helps. And our country performers all want to head to Nashville!

Kirstie: I’ve been in Nashville over six years so we don’t have all the building history that you have over there. My city is a little suburb and built around the 1930’s, so I am excited to see that older historic architecture.

Kirstie put her debut album out in 2022, “Yes You Can.” But pre-2022 she was working hard in the business for a while! We asked if she was that girl singing in school, was she in a band and so on.

Kirstie: I was 2 years old taking requests and standing up on picnic tables and singing for my family. From there, I started when I was six in plays, then piano, dance and voice. I picked up the guitar at fifteen, then I started co-writing at about 12. I put together an album then, but it didn’t have songs that I wrote myself, they were covers. So the 2022 album was my first original album as an artist. But I have been in this my whole life, I feel it is what I have been called to do and that is how I identify with myself. It’s been wonderful. And I haven’t changed my name! I have been doing this for so long I just kept using my birth name, I never had a moment to make a change.

We like Kirstie Kraus, we don’t want you to be Kirstie Country or something like that! Stay as you are, and be who you are. On our team, Lorraine thought that Kirstie may have done some musical theatre at some point, as her voice seemed perfect for some of that. We thought she would be wonderful for the Catherine Howard song from ‘Six” – “All You Wanna Do…”

Kirstie- I did. I was at a dinner theatre from the time I was eight years old to about thirteen. I was in a professional theatre at that time, the shows would run for three months and we would learn the show in about two weeks. I, as a kid, would have maybe five shows a week to do so school was difficult. But I enjoyed it.

One of the great things about country music is the storytelling element in the lyrics, a similarity to musical theatre perhaps. Is Kirstie the lyricist?

Kirstie: Yes. I have been writing for so long, since I was eight, and I got into short stories at school, and I was always into art, putting the art alongside the short story. So I always loved storytelling and got into LeAnn Rimes for the first time, when I was young and I just gravitated toward her. Next thing, Jo Dee Messina and these women I was drawn to. But writing is such a focus for me as well, I write for other artists all the time. I can dip into different genres and put my brain on what they would want from a song. I am the writer of about 50 to 60 songs a year, and that is balanced around my tour schedule. But when I am in town I might do two or three writes a week and I really enjoy the creation of the songs. I also just really wanted to be an artist that was accepted in the country genre, but also wherever they want to accept me. I always wanted to be an artist where people were excited to go to the platform and see what I was releasing next. In March I have a fun beach song, a spring break song, and then a celebration song called “Dab a Dolly.” They are two very different songs this month but they both sound like me. I feel a good artist can put their flair on anything.

We always feel that in these difficult times life is hard enough, and we look toward music as a release. One of the things we love about Kirstie is that her music sends you away with a smile on your face every time. You feel better for listening to Kirstie.

Kirstie: Well that makes me happy! That is why I feel I am an artist, I want people to feel good and I want to encourage them to feel empowered and uplifted. If you want to dance to the groove, or whatever, I want you to feel good. I am definitely an artist that wants people to come in and enter a positive space. 

Of course, as Shirley King notes, we are in the music business and people like her dad BB were entertainers, we are here to entertain you! The desire is to make people feel better when they walk out than when they walk in. 

Kirstie: I 100% agree. It’s funny, because I played the writers round a few months ago and someone came up to me and said my music was like Joss Stone meets Shenia Twain, meets some BB King! It was based on a few songs I played that night and none are released. But I would certainly take that. I do wonder sometimes exactly what my music fits into, as people find it hard to articulate it and feel I have my own sound.

We feel Kirstie lies on the rocky side of the country, she’s not straight down the line standing by her man, she is in a rock country groove with a bit of musical theatre mixed in there. The song “Gotta Do” would fit under the rock country umbrella for sure as it is a song with a bit of angst. The video starting point reminded us a bit of Queen’s notorious (in the US) video for “I want to break Free.” That video, of course, was a classic example of the US absolutely not getting the British sense of humour! 

Kirstie: I may remember it, I think I heard about it. But Queen, ABBA and Phil Collins, Elton John; these were memories of my late childhood. I think that may have an influence, and Disney movies too! Gloria Estefan was a very early artist for me to get into and Amy Grant with her 1992 album; I was obsessed with that. I found that music very uplifting, plenty of fun and full of melodies. That set the tone for what I like to listen to. Listening wise today, I listen to a lot of female singers. I was a huge Avril Lavigne fan and I like covering her old stuff. I also have a passion for Miley Cirus, anything she does I will watch. I will check out her live performances and the way she performs, I love it. 

One song we would like to touch on is “Silver” – it was hugely enjoyable. Great melodies and video.

Kirstie: We were writing in the writing room and it was my co-writers story. She was telling me how this guy she had been dating for a few years wants her to move to Georgia and settle down and be a wife. But she is saying that she is a musician, this is what he signed up for, and he knew what he was signing up for. It was ‘you see diamonds, I see red.’ I was then wanting the story and the next thing was we had this song! Her boyfriend that she was breaking up with, but he wanted to be with her, he shows up at the door! And we still had the bridge to write, so that was all a bit awkward and we told him to come back later. It was fun to write and it’s upbeat. It was my first single leading up to the record, it is a good bridge between my older sound and my new sound. I was very excited about getting that song out and we did a video alongside it. I rented a BMW for that, but I couldn’t drive it, so the videographer was holding the camera and shifting the drive for me too. I had no idea! But the video was a 13 hour day over four different locations and it was lots of fun. Justin Hammond did that video. 

And what artist that Kirstie has never seen live would she most like to have seen, and at what stage in their career?

Kirstie: Early Elvis would have been insane! JUst even watching the movie it made me cry. It is very tragic how early he passed. Even though he never wrote music he embodied the song and that is something Miley Cirus does too, she embodies the song in her voice and performance. Everyone who moves people. So I would see Elvis then, Miley now. All this rock, Joan Jett style of music she is doing now, I love it. Another would be Janis Joplin, if I could have seen her on stage in her prime, sweating on stage with her hair, the sweat, in the moment! She was incredible. 

And what else would Kirstie like to share with us for 2024?

Kirstie: I want to tell you that March is going to be a great month. March 1 sees “Beaches Be Crazy” come out. I also have two festivals coming up and I will be celebrating the new single. I have two days in Nashville then there is the UK up and coming and the duet single, March 29. That dollop of a daisy song! “Dab a Dolly!” It is a really fun, chickin pickin, nine-to-five Dolly Parton feel.

That will be one to watch out for sure, and we are hoping to catch one of the UK dates here for a review and really wish Kirstie every success with the new singles. 

And we hope you liked the feature, dear reader! If you did, please check out the other pages of the magazine; we have many great features, merchandise pages, shops, editorials and even a poetry page. Content is free here, but we work hard for you and to support the magazine. Please show your appreciation on the support button below, on every page. A £3 donation towards what we do helps us improve what we offer all the time.

Artist website

By Mark C. Chambers


Lorraine Foley

UK Tour 2024 

“Get out from under my rock” 

F 8/3 – Sun 10/3 C2C hosting with CountryLine (Greenwich / SE London)

F 8/3 Country2Country Festival 2024, Observatory Stage w/ Thomas Kavanagh 3:30pm

S 9/3 Country2Country Festival 2024, Observatory Stage w/ Thomas Kavanagh 4:30pm

Sun 10/3 Country2Country Festival 2024, Observatory Stage w/ Thomas Kavanagh 1:30pm

M 11/3 The Half Moon (Putney / SW London) 7:30pm, Doors 7pm Tickets 

T 12/3 The Cobblestones with Thomas Kavanagh (Exeter)

W 13/3 50.7 with Thomas Kavanagh (Exeter) 9pm

F 15/3 Buck N Bull Full Band (London) Tickets

Sun 17/3 The Globe Inn with Thomas Kavangh (Devon)

W 20/3 The Bedford (Balham / SW London) 8pm, Doors 7pm Tickets

F 22/3 The Brunswick (Brighton) with Matt Hodges 7:30pm Tickets

T 26/3 Karma Sanctum (London) 7:45pm, Doors 7pm Tickets

W 27/3 Piano Smithfield (London) 8pm Tickets

F 29/3 Rodeos BBQ (Wolverhampton) 7pm, Doors 6:30  Tickets

S 30/3 Holmfirth Tavern (Huddersfield) 8:30pm 

Sun 31/3 Holmfirth Tavern Writers Round (Huddersfield) 2pm

T 2/4 The Castle Hotel with Lisa T,  Emily Lockett, Chloe Jones 8pm     (Manchester) Tickets

W 3/4 Retro with Matt Hodges (Manchester) 7:30pm  Tickets

Th 4/4 Holding (Wakefield) 

Su 7/4 The Bedford Live in the Living Room Gives Back – Hosting & Playing (Balham / SW London)  Music 12-8pm Tickets

T 11/4 The Dukes Head, Highgate, London, 8pm

S 13/4 Country on the Coast – solo show (Portsmouth) 2:45pm Tickets

Su 14/4 Country on the Coast – band show (Portsmouth) 4:35pm Tickets

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