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My Countrytown: Kirstie Kraus – Madison, Wisconsin

9 August 2022 | 12:03 pm | Mallory Arbour

To get to know Kirstie Kraus a little better, we’ve asked what she loves about Madison, Wisconsin.

Kirstie Kraus

Kirstie Kraus (Image: Supplied)

Regional towns are in our blood here at CountryTown! From Kurri Kurri to Broome, Ballarat to Noojee, we love the amazing country musicians our regional centres produce – but we mustn’t forget the quality artists who come from distant shores too, like Kirstie Kraus!

Born in Madison, the Wisconsin-native made the move to Nashville four years ago. She immediately began demoing out songs for her upcoming full-length record and playing established Nashville venues, like the Listening Room Café and the Bluebird.

Her first Nashville based single, Delusional (2018) fancies a sassy 80s funk groove while 2019’s Gotta Do pulls in early 2000s Shania Twain vibes. Silver, her July 2020 release, possesses the licks of Joan Jett and attitude of Avril Lavigne, proving that she’s not a one lane roadmap. Singles Silver, Bird, Thirsty and Something New followed, which all feature on her May 27 released album, Yes You Can. 

To get to know Kirstie Kraus a little better, we’ve asked what she loves about Madison.

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1. Location

Madison is located in the central/southern part of Wisconsin. The city is unique because there are two large lakes forming an isthmus downtown where the capital is located. There is definitely an east side of town and west side of town, with both being very different in their population. The west side of Madison is where the large medical teaching hospital is and new population growth. The east side is the original Madison where there is more of a hippy vibe.

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2. UW Madison

Madison is home to a top 20 college in all of the US in many categories. UW Madison is also known for their research and athletic programs. There are about 33,500 undergraduate students as well as over 14,000 graduate/special/professional students for a total enrolment of 47,500 students. The main campus alone is 938 acres. The mascot is Bucky the Badger. In 2018 there were 85 life size Bucky Badger throughout the county and people would drive to find them!

3. Music Scene/Festivals

There are three main festivals right in Madison that help define the beginning and end of summer. World’s Largest Bratfest is Memorial Weekend and starts the summer season. This year the festival sold 109,206 brats alone! There are 3 stages of music, and they cross all genres. In the middle of summer there is AtwoodFest which has 4 stages, and this year is their 40th anniversary! The last festival also celebrating 40 years is called Taste of Madison. This festival is unique in that it is all around the capital on the road with food tents as well as 3 stages of music. 

4. State Capital

The state Capital is also located right here in the heart of the state. The 4th and current capital building was built in 1906. There are many Badgers located throughout as statues, in murals and even on door handles. There is a city ordinance that prevents any construction from being taller than the capital! Another interesting fact is there are 43 different types of stone from 6 different countries and 8 states. Also, it is only 3 feet shorter than the National Capital in Washington, DC.

5. Culture

The Ho-Chunk Tribe were the first settlers in this area. There are thousands of effigies were built along the 2 large lakes. Yankees from the eastern states were the next settlers. Now, Madison is the most diversified city in all of Wisconsin due to employees and students from all over the world along with the government. Rodney Dangerfield’s movie “Back to School” was filmed right on the UW campus and featured landmarks such as Bascam Hill, the Capital, State Street (which runs from the campus to the capital) and the Red Gym.

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Keep up to date with Kirstie Kraus on her Facebook page here.