“Her special brand of alt-country and Americana is not just catchy, but downright addictive” - Joerg Droll
— La Crosse Tribune
Somber, understated, and at times darkly humorous, Wisconsin native Melissa Kay McCarthy (not to be confused with Melissa McCarthy, the actress) is a folk/country singer-songwriter known for her detailed lyrical ability. Influenced by the works of Reba McEntire and Lori McKenna, McCarthy weaves her stories over sparse, unassuming instrumentation, often accompanied by a lone acoustic guitar.
For 22 years, McCarthy has been writing and performing, releasing two independent albums along the way. Her first official release, “When I’m Gone”, arrived in 2007, featuring a collection of original, home-recorded material. Her follow-up album “Live at Corner Coffee” came out a year later, taped during a performance at Corner Coffee in Minneapolis, MN.
Following a period of writer’s block where she stopped booking gigs, McCarthy’s passion for songwriting was renewed after the death of two cousins to accidental overdoses in 2018 and 2019. She began drawing on her music to help navigate through loss and grief.
After a 12-year hiatus, Melissa Kay McCarthy plans on recording a new studio album in 2020, made up of songs she has written since moving back to her hometown. Drawing inspiration from Mary Gauthier’s charity work with Songwriting with Soldiers, McCarthy hopes her music can someday be used to help addiction and mental health patients in the same way.
Previous Events & Venues
The Acoustic Cafe (Winona, MN)
The Acoustic Cafe (Eau Claire, WI)
Corner Coffee (Minneapolis, MN)
KVIK Radio (Decorah, IA)
Bloombox House Concerts (Bloomington, IL)
Malarkey's (Wausau, WI)
The Trempealeau Hotel (Trempealeau, WI)
Limericks (Wausau, WI)
Caffeine Cafe (Nashville, TN)
Caribou Coffee (Minneapolis, MN)
Wausau Festival of Arts (Wausau, WI)
Canadian Honker (Rochester, MN)
New Moon Cafe (Oshkosh, WI)
Widespot (Stockholm, WI)
Starbucks (La Crosse, WI)
Suicide Prevention Summit Awareness Event (La Crosse, WI)
Popcorn Tavern (La Crosse, WI)
Mugshots (WSU - Winona, MN)
Mill Pond Market (Eleva, WI)
Blue Heron (Winona, MN)
Midwest Music Festival (Winona, MN)
Post Town Winery (Rochester, MN)
2nd Moon Coffee Cafe (Minneapolis, MN)
Four Sisters Wine Bar & Tapas Restaurant (La Crosse, WI)