Melanie Sue Mausser was born in rural Northeast Iowa on March 6, 1978. She spent her earliest childhood days roaming the hills around her home in an unknown, but beautiful little place called Kidder Valley. Here, the oak trees, streams and wildflowers sparked her imagination and creative forces. Following in her big sister's footsteps, Melanie Sue began taking piano lessons at age four. It was around this same time that her mother, Betty, took her to her first concert -- a Willie Nelson Family Band show at Cattle Congress in Waterloo, Iowa. "We managed to get to the front of the stage," Melanie recalls, "and saw Willie's sister Bobbie playing the piano. Mom told me some day I'd play like that. I still don't think she expected me to be a country singer, but I remember that Willie winked at me at that concert and I'm sure that somehow sealed the deal." Throughout her schooldays, Melanie Sue participated in musical activities, including band, choir and drama. In 1996 she enrolled at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, where she decided on programs in English Literature, Creative Writing and Music. After graduation, Melanie Sue worked several odd jobs, including a stint as a journalist and a barista at a coffeeshop. In 2001, she bought her first guitar and started learning how to play it. Following a rather upsetting breakup in Florida in 2003, Melanie Sue starting penning her first official songs. "Being so far from home and dealing with so much sadness made me miss the country music I had grown up with," she says, "I think I always had written songs -- little lines and phrases that ran through my head -- but the process really started solidifying for me in Florida." She played her first open mic. Night about nine months after writing her first song. "It took a while for me to get my confidence up, but once I got up to play, I knew it was what I was supposed to do with my life." In fact, Melanie Sue still likes to recall how after her first performance people were asking her for CDs. "I didn't expect that! I just wanted to get through it. I told myself if I was awful, I'd just never play again." Her music is most often described as a blend of country and folk and she draws on inspiration from many different sources, including her family history and boys who break her heart. "I think audiences like that I have a diversity in my subject matter and it's fun for me to sing about everything from my great-great grandfather winning a ticket to America to a song about being a woman who drinks too much and locks her man out of the house!" Melanie Sue says the most gratifying part about singing her original is songs is knowing that people can relate to the songs because they have been through some of the same things she has been through. In 2004, Melanie Sue moved to Arizona where she continued to develop her performing and songwrtiting skills. One of her greatest accomplishments in Arizona was being hired as a weekly performer at Rancho de Los Caballeros and Kay El Bar Guest Ranch in Wickenburg, Arizona. In order to best pursue her calling, Melanie returned to the Midwest in the summer of 2006 in order to make a living as a full-time musician.
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