Photo: Clay Lezier, Jason Graham,
Caroline Melby, Hannah Melby, and Daniel Hare. Photo Courtesy
of Cindy Melby
- Carry On
- Caroline's Song
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
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.
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 parties.
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.
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
2008: Nash Street wins the Twenty-sixth Annual Colgate
Country Showdown and a $100,000 prize as Best New Act in
Photo at right: Caroline Melby,
Hannah Melby, LeAnn Rimes, Jason Graham, and Daniel Hare.
Nash Street's updated home
information about Nash Street, slide show, and songs on their
Hear songs from Nash
Street's second CD Carry On here.
announces Nash Street's win at Colgate Country Showdown.
Sisters Caroline Melby and Hannah
Melby play for Starkville Reads. Photo by Nancy Jacobs