Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line: All Abuzz from Current Carnival
All the buzz! Red-hot! Break-through artist! Not hyperbole, but truthful descriptions of Nora Jane Struthers, who is currently touring in support of her sophomore release Carnival. The album is full of progressive roots rock exuberance, and was masterfully produced by Brent Truitt (who has worked with Alison Krauss and Dixie Chicks). This foot-stompin’ album features the standout tracks “Carnival” and “Bike Ride.” It’s unique in that it cleverly weaves in several genres including, indie folk, roots-rock, and Americana.
Sophomore albums often make or break and artist, and Carnival has elevated Nora Jane even further into the spotlight. Truitt has helped Struthers produce a multi-faceted album with songs that can please any audience. At times, Nora Jane accomplishes a radio-friendly pop sound that makes it easy to liken her to Dixie Chicks. The indie-folk side is covered by several well-crafted storytelling songs that are reminiscent of Dar Williams. Still, there’s a more traditional bluegrass thread that brings to mind Alison Krauss & Union Station.
What seems to be the best buzz-generator for Nora Jane Struthers & the Party Line (her touring band) are their highly energized performances. Having just rocked the house at Merlefest (a four-day festival with roughly 76,000 in attendance), Nora Jane Struthers & the Party Line have been cited as one of the most memorable performers of the festival. The excitement elicited by the dynamism of their performance at MerleFest brings to mind Nora Jane’s first place honors from 2010’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
Originally from Virginia, Struthers went to college in NYC and became an English teacher. Since then, the success that’s she’s found has afforded her the ability to focus full-time on her music career. Carnival was released through Struthers’ own independent record label and she’s currently crowdsourcing to record a new album this July.
If Nora Jane is coming through your area, plan on attending this firecracker’s performance! I know I’ll be seeing her when she swings through Pittsburgh and plays Club Cafe. Click here for most up-to-date tour stops.
Adam Kukic is the host of The Coffeehouse on 91.3-FM, Pittsburgh … listen live at www.wyep.org
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