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 don’t say this because she has a song about bike rides (I’m 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. It’s a fairly simple bluegrass-inflected, harmony-laced ditty, but its simplicity obscures Nora’s 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.
It’s the simple things, really, and unfortunately, in today’s 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, you’ll definitely want to hit up Natalie’s Coal-Fired Pizza for Nora’s Sunday performance. It’s bound to be simply exhilarating.
Photo by Scott Simontacchi