Rider Essentials: Kelsey Hickman

13 April 2023 | 1:21 pm | Mallory Arbour

We caught up with Kelsey Hickman to find out the things they she takes on the road with her for this week’s Rider Essentials.

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As a singer-songwriter from Illinois, Kelsey Hickman wows audiences from all over the world, relentlessly playing residencies at several Music City venues, including the infamous Tootsies Orchid Lounge. A sweet singer with a smart ass kinda soul, Kelsey’s passion and all-in approach to life spills over into her vocals and stage performance, allowing her to bring the party to any stage. 

Kelsey wrote her first song around the age of 12. As a 16-year-old, she became the lead singer of a Midwest band called Still Kickn’ after a garage audition. Along with performances at notable venues, fairs, and festivals throughout the Midwest, the band was invited to open for Chris Young, Montgomery Gentry, Easton Corbin, and Tracy Lawrence.

In 2013, the band decided to part ways, and it led Kelsey to make the decision to embark on a solo career. Working with producer Kent Wells, Kelsey released her debut single, Gone and album Gypsy in 2016Her latest single, Novocaine depicts an addictive love that alters one's mind about battling impulses and escaping something only that person can recognise when running away from it.

We caught up with Kelsey Hickman to find out the things they she takes on the road with her for this week’s Rider Essentials.


1. Loungewear

When I am on the road, I always have a big, comfy sweatshirt, sweatpants, and slippers to wear. While traveling from show to show on the road, I’m all about being comfortable whenever I’m not on stage! When I’m on stage, I love to dress up in my country and rock ‘n’ roll. I am a sweet singer with a smart-ass kind of soul. My passion and all-in approach to life spill over into my vocals and stage performance, which allows me to bring the party to any stage, and that is seen through my on-stage wear as well.

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2. Snacks

I’m a huge snack girl. I love to enjoy a good snack in between shows, festivals and traveling. On my rider, something essential and important to me to have on the road is something salty. I especially like to bring some salt and vinegar chips to have on hand at each show. It’s my go-to snack and something that is easy to munch on throughout the day.

3. Liquid Courage

The third thing I always take on the road with me is Jack Daniels. I also include ginger ale, limes, and straws to go with it. I've got to have my drink on the road! I’m definitely a believer in some liquid courage and don’t mind having a little fun on stage, especially with my fans when we're rockin’ out. 

4. Combat Boots

Another item I bring with me on the road is my combat boots. Yes, I am a country girl at heart from Illinois, but sometimes you gotta kick the shit out of something, and cowboy boots just won’t do. The combat boots bring out my inner country-rock style, which I love to showcase on stage. So, combat boots it is!

5. Bandanas

Lastly, I got to have my bandanas on the road with me and on stage at all times. I will always have one when I’m up there singing with me because my face is very sweaty and gets nasty, but I also keep them near and dear to my heart. Bandanas remind me of my papa and he’s my biggest fan which means the world to me. 


Keep up to date with Kelsey Hickman on her Facebook page here