Mississippi Writers and Musicians
MISSISSIPPI MUSICIANS: NASH STREET


Nash Street

Photo: Clay Lezier, Jason Graham, Caroline Melby, Hannah Melby, and Daniel Hare. Photo Courtesy of Cindy Melby

Major Works

  • Carry On
  • Widowmaker
  • Caroline's Song
  • Katrina

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Nash Street: A Biography

Nash Street is a popular young singing group from Starkville, Mississippi, which has just won (January, 2008) the Twenty-sixth Annual Colgate Country Showdown with a $100,000 prize and the title “Best New Act in Country Music." They represented radio station WOKK Meridian. The televised event, held in Nashville, Tennessee, was hosted by Mississippian and country music star LeAnn Rimes.

Photo below: Nash Street plays at in the library for Starkville Reads opening event of the NEA Big Read in 2007. Photo by Nancy Jacobs.

Nash Street playing at the Oktibbeha County Public LibraryThe group Nash Street was originally organized as “The Goat Ropers” in 1996 by Norman Mellin,the strings instructor for Starkville Public Schools. The original members were Norman Mellin (director), Hannah Melby, Chris Elam, Stacey Phillips, and Kira Martin. Their ages ranged from seven to thirteen. In 2001, the name was changed to Nash Street, the place in Starkville where the Melbys live and practice.

Today Nash Street consists of Daniel Hare (vocals/bass), Hannah Melby (fiddle/vocals), Caroline Melby (vocals/mandolin) and Jason Graham (guitar). All are under the age of 23. In fact, Caroline Melby is still in high school. The others are Mississippi State students. Clay Lezon, guitarist, also occasionally plays with the group. The talented musicians produce their own version of old time, bluegrass, folk, country, and blues music, playing for church gatherings, live radio broadcasts, traditional bluegrass festivals, Mississippi State events, concerts, a Starkville Reads Big Read, and private Nash Street CDparties. They have performed on the Mornin' Show with Kay Bain, the Legends of Bluegrass Festival, the Pickin' and Ginnin' Festival in Rayville, Louisiana, the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas, and Tim McGraw's charity concert called Swampstock, in Louisiana. Nash Street's first CD was entitled Nash Street. The group also won the talent award at the Mississippi State Fair.

Nash Street recorded its second CD last summer at Ricky Skaggs' studio in Nashville. That CD is called Carry On, which is also the title of a single on the album written by Jason Graham. The album also includes another original song by Graham entitled Widowmaker. The ending song Katrina on the album is dedicated to the Katrina survivors and was composed from a poem written by Pete Melby, the father of Caroline and Hannah Melby.

To win the Colgate competition in Nashville, five criteria were used: marketability in country music, vocal/instrumental ability, originality of performance, stage presence/charisma, and talent. The winning performances of Starkville's Nash Street on January 24, 2008, event was taped for a televised one-hour special that will be syndicated nationwide in March.

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Timeline

1996-1997 Group founded by Norman Mellin as the Goat Ropers.

2001: Goat Ropers becomes Nash Street

2003: First place at Mississippi State Fair Talent Contest

2004: 0pening act for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill at Swampstock Rayville, La.Nashville winners of Colgate, 2008

2008: Nash Street wins the Twenty-sixth Annual Colgate Country Showdown and a $100,000 prize as Best New Act in Country Music.

Photo at right: Caroline Melby, Hannah Melby, LeAnn Rimes, Jason Graham, and Daniel Hare.

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Related Websites

Nash Street's updated home page.

Detailed information about Nash Street, slide show, and songs on their MySpace page.

Hear songs from Nash Street's second CD Carry On here.

Clarion-Ledger announces Nash Street's win at Colgate Country Showdown. Nash Street playing at the Oktibbeha County Public Library

 

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Sisters Caroline Melby and Hannah Melby play for Starkville Reads. Photo by Nancy Jacobs

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