Kalie’s Shorr’s life has been a series of stages. From her rock cover band in middle school, to the famous stage on Nashville’s lower Broadway just after she moved to Music City and the stage she’s found with Song Suffragettes and #LetTheGirlsPlay most Monday nights. Her work with the Suffragettes launched her career and caught the attention of so many in the industry. But the Taste of Country RISER understands that her earlier stages were just as critical.
The Portland, Maine native spent most of her childhood without her father in her life and recalls her mother singing at church as a pivotal early musical memory. Mom would make up songs throughout the day to get her to tie her shoes or clean her room. Once they sang the National Anthem together and halfway through, the girl nervously handed the microphone to her mother and stepped away.
Less timid by eighth grade, Kalie fronted a cover band as wonderfully awful as it sounds. “There's only a couple pictures from the Nirvana cover band days,” she says. “I was (running track and field) at the same time and I used to lie and say I was going to track practice and skip it and go to band practice instead. But I'd be wearing track clothes, so I'd have on Nike shorts and a big T-shirt and no makeup, running sneakers and just angrily fronting this band.”
With her eyes set on Nashville, she finished high school early and saved enough money for first month’s rent and some groceries. Immediately she needed a J-O-B, but she was already used to working two at a time. The world famous Tequila Cowboy honky-tonk called her name — actually, it was the hot dog stand tucked just inside whose call she answered.
“My mom was not excited about it,” Kalie says with a smile. “It was just as ridiculous as you'd think it would be, I sold hot dogs and cigarettes to really, really drunk people downtown … So many human beings and so, so drunk. I had read somewhere that Faith Hill had worked at McDonald's and every day I'd go into work at the hot dog stand and think, 'If Faith Hill can work at McDonald's, you can work at this stupid hot dog stand.'”
One punch from an intoxicated female customer dampened her enthusiasm, to say the least. But Shorr pushed onward, eventually learning about the all-female singer-songwriter group called Song Suffragettes. As the face of the #LetTheGirlsPlay movement. Shorr has been pivotal in helping women overcome industry obstacles. Her song “Fight Like a Girl” is their anthem in many ways, but most important is the offstage camaraderie and teamwork. It’s a group that’s truly supportive.
“The biggest misconception about Song Suffragettes and Let The Girls Play is that we hate men, [when really] it's about unity and positivity,” she says. “I'm proud to be outspoken about it, and I'm proud to be someone people point to when they're talking about women who are trying to break down doors.”
Kalie Shorr On Set at the 2017 RISERS Shoot