Nancy Rost has been called "the love child of Tom Lehrer and Tom Waits" (KnowYourMusic.com). Her distinctive songs combine a jazz-influenced piano style with lyrics that are quirky, witty and heartfelt, often all at once. This former toy-piano-playing street musician has garnered songwriting awards in multiple genres, including pop/rock, folk, jazz and comedy. Nancy is known internationally for her participation in songwriting marathons and her versatility as a collaborator. Nancy is also known for her adventurous performances: "The laughter in the crowd is contagious, as everyone's thoughts are mixed in a tart, though refreshing, concoction of high witticisms and ardent applause." - The Capital Times


As writer/performer:

Violet Cusp, Eric Agner and Nancy Rost - February 2020. Twelve years and 852 miles in the making, singer-songwriters Nancy Rost and Eric Agner have released their first record, Violet Cusp. Rost, a singer-pianist based in Madison, WI and Agner, a singer and bassist in Washington, D.C. have been co-writing long distance since 2008. Their songs, expansive and energetic, span the genre gamut. Supported by a talented cast of D.C. and Madison musicians, Violet Cusp brings the writers' songs to life in beautiful detail.

Likely Stories, Likely Stories March 2009 - This is the debut album of chamber-folk trio Likely Stories (Nancy Rost, Tracy Jane Comer, Dave Schindele.)

Auto-Pseudo-Mondo July 2008 - Lyrics by Nancy Rost, Chords by Tim Wille and Paul Turrell; interpretations by 18 different artists internationally.

14 Songs in 28 Days, Vol. 4, FAWM.ORG February 2009 - Compilation of songs written for February Album Writing Month; featuring three "Auto-Pseudo-Mondo" bonus tracks with Nancy's lyrics.

14 Songs in 28 Days, Vol. 3, FAWM.ORG February 2008 - Compilation of songs written by various artists for February Album Writing Month; featuring Nancy's song "Golden Gate".

Made at Home, Vol. 2, Madison Songwriters Group December 2005 - Compilation featuring Nancy's song "Welcome to Boscobel".

As co-writer:

Now That's What I Call Wordsmith! Stephen Wordsmith, October 2019 - Nancy is composer and performer on "There's Nothing Quite As Comfortable", with words by New Zealand lyricist Stephen Wordsmith. Available on Bandcamp.

You're fine, how am I? Mike Skliar, March 2015 - Nancy is co-writer, pianist and backing vocalist on the song "Journey from the head to the heart". Mike Skliar is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter based in New York. Available on Bandcamp. 

Summer of Ice, Mike Skliar, October 2014 - Nancy is co-writer on the song "Waking Up". Available on Bandcamp.

September, Helen Robertson, September 2014 - Nancy is co-writer and singer on the song "Lose My Place". Available on Bandcamp.

Singing about the obvious to the oblivious, Mike Skliar, April 2014 - Bandcamp album includes two songs Nancy co-wrote with Mike: "How Cold Was It?" and "We Are The Instrument". Nancy also contributes backing vocals on the latter.

Mantichorean, Stephen Wordsmith September 2013 - CD by Wellington, NZ songwriter Stephen Wordsmith, includes Stephen and Nancy's co-written song "Trying On An Alphabet", performed by Nancy.

Four Februarys, Phil Norman January 2011 - CD by Roanoke, Va. performing songwriter Phil Norman, includes Phil and Nancy's co-written song "Changed My Name".

The Hard Way, Eric Agner January 2010 - CD by Baltimore Americana artist Eric Agner, includes Eric and Nancy's co-written song "Where I Am".

Ship of State, Mike Skliar May 2009 CD by New York songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mike Skliar; features Mike and Nancy's song "Helen" and backing vocals by Nancy.

Binary for Babies, Errol Elumir & Friends December 2009 - CD of kids' songs by Toronto songwriter Errol Elumir; includes Errol and Nancy's co-written duet "Sing Together".

The Discovery, LJ Montgomery 2009 - CD by Annapolis composer; includes LJ and Nancy's co-write "Footnote".

As backing musician:

Artificial Flowers, Jim Barnard, June 2013 - Nancy on piano, supporting blues guitarist/singer-songwriter Jim Barnard.

Divide The Storm, Das Binky March 2012 - Nancy contributes piano, accordion and backing vocals on three tracks by this Madison artist.

Free Range Sofas, Stephen Lee Rich, 2012 - Nancy contributes piano on "Can't Go Home".

Fifty Miles Away, Michael Gutierrez-May June 2011 - CD by Boston folk artist Michael Gutierrez-May; features Nancy on piano.

Speedwritten, Helen Robertson June 2009 - Download album by English performing songwriter Helen Robertson; features Nancy on banjo, harmonica, and backing vocals on several songs.

Because We Can, Andina & Rich September 2005 - CD by Midwestern variety duo Andina & Rich features backing vocals by Nancy.