One of our favorite Nashville based artists, Marielle Kraft, took to The High Watt stage for her first headlining show in town Thursday, November 4, alongside Emily Rowed and Caroline Culver. The songwriter has already seen great success since her transition to music city, with a growing community and heavy touring schedule as venues began to open again in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Back in July we sat down with Kraft to chat about her songwriting, creative process, and inspirations behind her artistry. It was a beautiful, full circle moment to sit backstage at the High Watt and hear about the culmination of the past years hard work, and then in the audience full of friends and family as she performed with a full band for the first time in Nashville.
“Technically, it’s my homecoming because I live here, but I’ve never played here, so it’s a debut and homecoming all at once,” Kraft noted. “It’s really cool to be headlining my first Nashville show pretty much exactly a year after I moved here.”
Kraft explained how encouraging it is to see the time, effort and investment she’s put into both her artistic growth and support of others come together at the show, singing now to a room of familiar faces, rather than strangers.
The full fall tour included dates where Kraft separately supported Jordy Searcy, John McLaughlin and Emily Rowed. Each show, Kraft explained, took on a different atmosphere because of the other artist’s audience. But the thrilling part about the live performance experience is the level of personal interaction and connection that is possible.
“I want everyone to feel a part of something while they’re here,” Kraft said. “I just want it all to feel like a conversation. I don’t want it to feel like me talking to a room, I want it to feel like we’re talking to each other. I think especially because we’ve been so distant in the last year and a half, to have physical people in a room is so special.”
Kraft’s writing takes her personal experiences and delivers them in a way that draws listeners in and brings out memories and emotions that aren’t always at the forefront of our minds. Hearing such descriptive songs like “We Were Never Friends,” and “Second Coffee,” took the audience right into the heart of each moment.
Kraft’s band arrangement at the High Watt added interesting textures and audience participation components. Bringing a true Nashville attitude, Kraft called multiple friends on stage to perform co-written songs with her, which she said was not an option in other cities.
These moments made the room feel like a big family reunion, with high energy and a supportive atmosphere.
“I just hope that [attendees] learned a lot more about me before they leave,” Kraft said. “I don’t want them feeling like they could have listened to my whole set on Spotify. I want them to feel like they got a unique experience by being here.”
Kraft just announced her next leg of touring, alongside folk artist Skout, getting back on the road February 2022. She’ll be returning to Nashville and it’s an experience you don’t want to miss. Tickets and more information on these shows can be found mariellekraft.com/tour.
Image credits: Mia Ferrari