Nash Street
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Nash Street

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Band Country Acoustic

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"Nash Street: Between Hope and Heartache"

Nash Street

BETWEEN HOPE & HEARTACHE

Self released
****1/2

Be sure to remember this name for Nash Street is a band many will be talking about and celebrating in the not too distant future

Winners of the 2008 Colgate Country Showdown at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, this third album shows why Nash Street won that respected accolade. It was there that they were also awarded the title Best New Act in Country Music. The band consists of sisters Hannah and Caroline Melby, Clay Lezon, Ben Mathis and Daniel Hare and between them they play a whole host of instruments such as fiddle, mandolin, guitar and bass. Their music is a very home grown and organic sound which harks back to the days of Nickel Creek with the vocals reminiscent of our very own, the Haley Sisters.

The album consists of ten songs, and what accomplishments they are. Mississippi Queen has an extremely powerful beginning to it, and the lead vocals provided by the siblings are sublime to say the least with the instruments, such as Hannah’s fiddling, doing an extremely fine job of trying to keep up with hers and Caroline’s duel efforts. Without You is executed that sensitively it seems the slightest touch may cause a tear in it. The harmonies demonstrate that you do not have to pile a song high with instruments to make it a great one which helps towards this song’s very seductive sound.

Originally from Starkville in Mississippi, they are due to relocate to Music City this summer. They have already proven to be a big hit there already, and whether or not they’ll build on this popularity is anybody’s guess but when they create music like this, the likelihood of this success is pretty much a certainty. RH

www.nashstreet.com

Laura Bethell
Maverick AAG Publishing Limited
Company Registration:04350455
24 Bray Gardens, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 9TR
www.maverick-country.com
- Maverick Magazine


"Nash Street"

As a child Hannah Melby listened to the stories told by her mother and grandmother about her fiddle playing great-granddaddy, and was captivated, “He used to play the fiddle in one of those family string bands back in Mississippi,” the now 23 year old explains, “One of those where you would take the furniture out of the house and have a square dance. I never met him, but the stories sparked an interest. I’d never really seen anything like that.”

Hannah grew up in a musical household, “My dad plays the harmonica. My mom is a music teacher; she plays the piano and sings. My sister Caroline, (future band mate) Daniel and I all had her for a music teacher in the 4th and 5th grade - that was kind of funny.”

By the time Hannah was ten years old, the makings of what is now the band Nash Street had begun, “My mom got me started taking fiddle lessons. My teacher was Norman Mellin who was from Pennsylvania; he came down to really research the old time fiddlers. He didn’t want that information to die so he got us together as a real string band, bluegrass.” Daniel Hare was also a student of Mr. Mellin’s, “He was just starting to teach us instruments, and kind of put us together as a band,” says Hannah. “We were playing square dances for just $25.00 a show.. I was in fourth grade and I was thinking $25.00 is so awesome. From there it has just evolved.”

With Hannah on fiddle and vocals, and Daniel, 21, playing the upright bass, they were soon joined by Caroline, 19, on the mandolin. Three years ago, Jason Graham, 24, came on board playing the guitar. The newest member Clay Lezon, 24, joined Nash Street bringing the sound of another guitar into the mix.

“Everyone brings something different, from a little bit of blues, to a little bit of bluegrass and country, a little bit of rock and jazz and it blends to make what we call grassroots country.” Hannah says.

In 2004 Nash Street was brought to the attention of Tim McGraw’s manager, Robert Allen. Nash Street was one of only two unknown bands invited to open for him and his wife Faith Hill at Tim’s concert called Swampstock, an annual benefit for his hometown of Rayville, Louisiana. They were invited to open the show two years in a row. “It’s a cool, cool thing. You are standing up there and there are 30,000 people out there and you’re like, ‘Man, this is what it’s all about!’ To see that many people listening to our music was unreal.”

In 2008, Nash Street won the title of Best New Act in Country Music when they won the prestigious Colgate Country Showdown. “It was just the most amazing experience we’ve had in our lives. We met so many great people. We got there and people were asking us, ‘Are you excited about possibly winning?’ We were saying, ‘We’re just excited to be here!’ To be able to step onto the Ryman Auditorium stage was just a win itself, in our eyes.”

Nash Street is a breath of fresh air, blending their youthful exuberance with their respectful appreciation of a by-gone era, making them a welcome force in today’s musical landscape. - Music's Rising Stars Magazine


"Between Hope and Heartache CD Review"

With the release of Between Hope & Heartache, the talented quintet Nash Street has successfully fused
contemporary country music with tradition rich bluegrass instrumentation and soulful southern harmonies for a
sound that’s definitely unique. The album’s first track “Dirty Laundry” is an up-tempo instrumental with a hard
driving bluegrass sound that showcases each member’s talented musicianship. The vocal collaborations from
this Mississippi quintet stand out with the male vocal led “Beautiful Surprises” and female vocal led “Honeysuckle
Kiss”. The group’s diversity is not only impressive, it’s very entertaining. Be sure to listen to the powerful vocal
performance on the sad, slow ballad “Without You”. The song was co-written by NMG founder Dan Wunsch. - Nashville Music Guide


"Nash Street Takes Showdown Crown"

LeAnn Rimes hosted the finals competition and sang two songs from her latest album, Family, during the show. Nash Street, which performed two original tunes, was judged the winner over the other four regional finalists—Carrie Joy, Eldon Johnson, Christy Suggett and Trevor Panczak—and took home the $100,000 grand prize. The show was taped before a live audience at the Ryman and will be telecast at a later date. - Country Weekly


"NASH STREET: Where bluegrass meets country"

STARKVILLE – There’s bluegrass, there’s country, and then there’s grassroots country.

That’s what Nash Street calls its brand of music, a blend of equal parts country and bluegrass. The band, which hails from Starkville, has perfected its sound over the years through lots of performing and practicing.

“Originally, Nash Street was created more as a bluegrass string band,” said fiddle player Hannah Melby. “Over the years, as the band members changed, each person had a different style of their own, so that’s the reason we call it grassroots country. It really is a mix.”

Hannah and her sister, Caroline, are joined in the band by Daniel Hare, Ben Mathis and Clay Lezon, and Mathis said the group walks a fine line between country and bluegrass.

“We all love bluegrass, and we’re all moving in a more country direction, but we don’t want to let go of that bluegrass and that history,” Mathis said. “It’s exciting. It’s upbeat, and a lot of people can really relate to it.”

2010 and beyond

The last several years have been good to Nash Street.

The band won the top prize at the Country Colgate Showdown in 2008, taking home the title “Best New Act in Country Music.”

The band has thrived on that momentum, keeping a steady roster of gigs and working to gain more fans.

Right now, the band is focused on recording a new album. Nash Street has received many songs from Nashville songwriters, and they’re going through them now, hand-picking the ones that have that unique Nash Street feel.

“When you listen to a song, you can hear something different every single time – that’s the kind of music every musician wants to play,” Mathis said. “When we’re listening to these songs, we’re asking ourselves if people can relate to them and speak to someone and touch them.”

While the songs and studio are still being decided, the band has set a release date: March 20.

After the album’s released, Nash Street will take grassroots country on the road again.

“When we get up on stage, we really put everything in our show,” Melby said.

Mathis agreed.

“We definitely pride ourselves on being able to play songs that all audiences can listen to and enjoy,” he said. “It’s live and upbeat and a lot of fun.”


Read more: NEMS360.com - NASH STREET Where bluegrass meets country - North Mississippi Daily Journal


"Nash Street Wins Colgate Country Showdown"

Friday, January 25, 2008 – Mississippi-based band Nash Street won the 26th Annual Colgate Country Showdown Thursday.
LeAnn Rimes returned to host the televised event, held at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Nash Street was presented with a $100,000 check and the title, "Best New Act in Country Music."

Nash Street (Southeast winner) - named for the place they practiced - consists of Daniel Hare (bass), Hannah Melby (fiddle), Caroline Melby (mandolin) and Jason Graham (guitar). The band has performed at the Legends of Bluegrass and Country Music Festival, Tim McGraw's "Swampstock" and at the Ozark Folk Center. They recorded their second CD at Ricky Skaggs's studio in Nashville. They will be representing WOKK Meridian, Miss.

The five contestants were judged on the following criteria: Vocal/Instrumental Ability, Originality of Performance, Stage Presence/Charisma and Talent. Optional bonus points could also be awarded to acts for with original music in a Songwriting category. The finalists performed in front of a panel of industry veterans - Rod Essig (Creative Artist Agency), Autumn House (Senior Director of A&R Capitol Records), Beverly Keel (The Tennessean), Brian Mansfield (USA Today Nashville Correspondent), Carole Ann Mobley (Sr. Director of A&R SonyBMG Nashville) and Patti Page (Artist).

Many of today's top country artists have competed in the past local, state, regional and National competitions - including Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Billy Ray Cyrus, Sara Evans and Miranda Lambert.

Each year the competition begins in the spring with more than 450 country radio stations producing live shows to find the best new talent in their market. These winners advance to state and then regional competitions throughout the summer and fall before competing at the finals. - Country Standard Times


Discography

Between Hope and Heartache (2010)
Carry On (2007)

Photos

Bio

Today’s musicians increasingly find themselves at a crossroad. They find that they must choose between originality and building and maintaining an active fan-base. Typically, success depends on their ability to provide the industry and their listeners with music that is truly unique. To combat this dilemma, Nash Street strives to artfully bridge the gap between country music and traditional bluegrass. Nash Street utilizes the inspiration of influences, such as Allison Krauss and Union Station, Little Big Town, Punch Brothers, Nickel Creek, The Eagles, Stevie Wonder, and many others, as a pleasant compliment to the soulful melody and the leisurely rhythm of southern life.
The band formed in Starkville, Mississippi where three of the members lived and where two were attending college. “We consider ourselves blessed to all be from Mississippi because of the rich musical traditions that we were introduced to there,” fiddle player Hannah Melby explains. With individual musical pedigrees that range from traditional old-time fiddle tunes and classical piano training, to delta blues and acoustic fusion guitar, the members of Nash Street undoubtedly have a lot to offer to any musical undertaking. The band’s formative years were spent at square dances and local community events where they played and honed their skills in traditional bluegrass music. As the band grew, so too did their sound. In so doing, the quintet now provides a hybrid genre of music, which is being termed “grassroots country”. “I think that ‘grassroots country’ best describes our sound because it incorporates both our love for country, blues, rock, and roots music, and our bluegrass beginnings”, stated bassist, Daniel Hare.
The band’s latest album, “Between Hope and Heartache”, which was released earlier this year, offers the best examples of what their unique, grassroots country twist sounds like. “Most of these songs are original”, said guitarist Clay Lezon “That’s why this project was so much fun to work on. Its very rewarding when you are able to see something you’ve created come to life, so to speak.” In conjunction with their new CD, Nash Street has also released their first music video. The band chose their single “Mississippi Queen” as the song for the video, and the entire process took place on the Delta Queen steamboat in Chattanooga, TN. Caroline Melby, mandolin player shared, “The song was written by Shelly Fairchild, who is a native of Mississippi. And it paints this beautiful metaphor of new beginnings and complete self-fulfillment.” The video can be viewed on the band’s website.
Now the band spends their time touring and working on new music. “We never want to settle”, declared vocalist Ben Mathis, “We are always trying to improve, whether that be in our stage show, our song-writing, or our musicianship.” Nash Street prides themselves on their live performances. All of the members agreed that they feel that ‘live’ music carries a certain visceral quality that cannot be matched by any other form of expressionism. After catching a performance, Dan Berry, New York Times reporter, stated, “…I was transported. What a lovely sound, and what great and engaging performers.” Nash Street’s distinct sound, stage presence, and ability to connect with varying audiences insures that they will become an attractive addition to the national music scene.