Nora Jane Struthers has been deemed by press as the spiritual daughter of Alison Krauss and been compared to the Dixie Chicks and Dolly Parton. Lofty, yes, but undeserved? Hardly.

Nora Jane Struthers has been deemed by press as the spiritual daughter of Alison Krauss and been compared to the Dixie Chicks and Dolly Parton. Lofty, yes, but undeserved? Hardly.

I donít say this because she has a song about bike rides (Iím a sucker for bike rides). The song, actually, is more about the open-ended possibilities of the future, about losing yourself, but not realizing it in the moment, about nostalgia for the past. Itís a fairly simple bluegrass-inflected, harmony-laced ditty, but its simplicity obscures Noraís talents for injecting freshness into Americana, for spinning the same turn-of-phrase into disparate sentiments, like melancholy and hope, and for fairly straight-forward, honest-to-goodness quality songwriting.

Itís the simple things, really, and unfortunately, in todayís musical landscape, gimmicks, good looks and twerks are rewarded with fame and fortune more often than genuine songwriting talent and performing ability. Speaking of the latter, youíll definitely want to hit up Natalieís Coal-Fired Pizza for Noraís Sunday performance. Itís bound to be simply exhilarating.

Photo by Scott Simontacchi