Nora Jane Struthers - Classic Americana
Nora Jane Struthers Crafts "Classic Americana"
Nashville-Based Singer-Songwriter's Solo Debut Sees Release June 22
Nora Jane Struthers calls her music "Classic Americana." The singer-songwriter's self-titled solo bow, to be issued June 22 on her own label, will be a revelation to roots music fans: overflowing with affecting, literate original compositions and featuring a complement of top Nashville players, it announces the debut of a major new talent.
Produced by Brent Truitt (Dolly Parton, Alison Krauss, Dixie Chicks) at his East Nashville studio, Nora Jane Struthers features eleven elegantly crafted songs penned by Struthers, plus a rendition of the traditional "Say Darlin' Say." The numbers run the gamut from the stunning "Willie" (a reconsideration of the murder ballad, sung from the victim's point of view) and the novelistic "Evelyn" and "Greenbrier County" to "Cowgirl Yodel #3," a romping melding of Jimmie Rodgers and Western swing, and the timely "One Notch Tighter."
Struthers performs her material with a voice as pretty and homespun as the vintage dresses she favors on stage. Her accompanists on the album include acclaimed singer/multi-instrumentalist Tim O'Brien, all-star fiddler Stuart Duncan, award-winning dobro player Rob Ickes, top bluegrass guitarist Bryan Sutton, banjo ace Scott Vestal, veteran bassist Dennis Crouch, and, on backing vocals, do-anything performer Shawn Lane. Truitt contributes mandolin and octave mandolin.
The 26-year-old vocalist a full-time teacher of high school English before making a professional leap into music with a move to Nashville in 2008 has formulated a unique fusion of traditional styles.
"It's not really bluegrass, it's not really old time, it's not folk it's all of these things," Struthers says. "In my last year of teaching, we were reading Jane Austen, Shakespeare, classic English literature. The themes in those works and in the music I was listening to Doc Watson, the Louvin Brothers, Tim O'Brien came together for me. The universal themes that have been pervasive in storytelling started to develop in my writing. I turned to story-songs."
The cream of Nashville's pickers were assembled for the recording of Nora Jane Struthers, which eschews a straight-ahead sound to assert a seamless blend of roots styles.
"I didn't want it to sound like a hard-driving bluegrass record," Struthers says. "I used to think the songs I was writing were bluegrass songs, and I realized on the drive to Nashville that they're really not bluegrass songs they're just influenced by bluegrass music. I love the sound of bluegrass instruments mandolin, banjo, guitar, acoustic bass and I wanted to use them in the record. I was definitely influenced by Tim O'Brien's studio albums, and I think Brent's mandolin playing did a lot to shape the sound of the record. Another important thing was having Stuart Duncan on the fiddle. To me, it's like another harmony voice on the record it's such an important part of the sound."
In live performance, Struthers has already received recognition as one of the top up-and-coming voices on the Americana scene. She won the neo-traditional band competition at West Virginia's Appalachian String Band Festival, and her song "Greenbrier County" placed as a finalist in Colorado's Telluride Troubadour competition.
Writing in The Tennessean, esteemed critic Peter Cooper recently said, "Nora Jane Struthers has been creating quite a buzz." Listen to her new record, and you'll discover why.
Comfy Couch Concerts / Newport Furnishings
52504 Grand River Ave.
Wixom, MI 48393
Comfy Couch Concerts/ Newport Furnishings
52504 Grand River Ave.
Wixom, MI 48393
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