The Music Behind the Singer/Songwriter Daughters of Kris Kristofferson

When Casey Kristofferson was seven weeks old she went on her first tour. On the road with father Kris Kristofferson and mother Rita Coolidge, the first tour wasn’t her last. Born in 1974, and the only daughter of Kristofferson and Coolidge, Casey continued sharing the stage with her parents for years and with other artists, including Willie Nelson‘s daughter Amy Nelson, before releasing her self-titled solo debut in 2016 and forming her namesake band.

“After being raised on the road, I have always avoided the spotlight,” shared Kristofferson on why she waited to form her band. “I gravitated more towards the punk rock scene, classical ballet, and music—almost anything to not be recognized just for my name. ” 

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The Casey Kristofferson Band

Joined by guitarist Muddy Welles, bassist Zack Page, drummer Herschel VanDyke, and Jim Aaron on harmonica, the band was the first to spotlight Casey as a vocalist and songwriter, according to her bio on her official website, along with collaborator and guitarist Andy Buckner, who appeared on season nine of The Voice.

At Echo Mountain Recording in Asheville, North Carolina is where the band recorded their 2019 debut Dirty Feet, featuring nine songs predominantly written by Kristofferson and Buckner, along with contributions from eight co-writers, including Graham Sharp (Steep Canyon Rangers), and Charles Humphrey III (Songs From The Road Band), Charlie Chamberlain, Fred Foster, Kevin Smith, Thomas Barker, and Amy Nelson (Folk Uke).

On the album, Casey wrote and co-wrote a majority of the nine tracks, and also covers her father’s 1971 song—and Janis Joplin‘s classic hit—”Me and Bobby McGee” and a track she penned solo, “Drown.”

Kristofferson studied ballet as a child and then returned to it years later while raising three daughters. She performed with the Asheville Ballet and established the dance school at Black Mountain Center for the Arts in North Carolina.

“When the kids were little and I was dancing I didn’t have a lot of time to do music,” said Kristofferson in 2019. “One of my daughters has now graduated from college and my other two are 14 and 11, so I have a little more wiggle room.

In April of 2023, the Casey Kristofferson Band revealed that new music was on the way. “We recorded a few songs right before [the pandemic] happened and have been sitting on them, tweaking them, and thinking about releasing them,” said the band. “These are some of the best songs we have done to date, and we definitely had some time to think about them and cannot wait to share them with you.”

Kelly Marie Kristofferson

As one of the youngest of Kristofferson’s eight children, and daughter with third wife Lisa Meyers, Kelly Marie Kristofferson was born in 1990 and absorbed plenty of her father’s musical DNA and acting chops. A musician and actress, her credits include the films Traded (2016), Pimp My Life (2017), an episode of the series Heartbreak and Other Sharp Things, and the 2026 film Little Lamb.

In addition to her acting career, Kelly Marie is also a singer and appears on the 2013 tribute album A Rockin’ Tribute To Kris Kristofferson on Kristofferson’s 1995 song “Between Heaven And Here.” Throughout the years, Kelly Marie has joined her father on stage, including his 2012 tour for duets on “Between Heaven And Here,” ‘The Hero,” “The Prisoner,” “Why Me,” “The Pilgrim, Chapter 33,” and more, along with their performance of “The Wonder” at the Magnolia Fest in Live Oak, Florida in 2013.

In 2021, Kelly Marie married visual artist Aydin Hamami and performed Old Crow Medicine Show‘s 2004 No. 1 Country hit “Wagon Wheel”—co-written by Bob Dylan and Old Crow’s Ketch Secor—in the Faroe Islands in 2022.

[RELATED: 5 Songs You Didn’t Know Kris Kristofferson Wrote for Other Artists, First]

Main Photo: Casey Kristofferson / Courtesy of The Casey Kristofferson Band

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