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Nora Jane Struthers

4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 21, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Nora Jane Struthers calls her music "Classic Americana". The 26-year-old vocalist - an NYU grad and a full-time teacher of high school English in Brooklyn, 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," Stuthers 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, Time O'Brien - came together for me. The universal themes that have been pervasive in storytelling started to develop in my writing. I turned to strory-songs." Struthers performs her material with a voice as pretty and home-spun 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 Denis Crouch, and, on backing vocals, do-anything performer Shawn Lane. Producer Brent Truitt contributes mandolin and octave mandolin.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 21, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: June 22, 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Pig Music
  • Run Time: 45 minutes
  • ASIN: B003KT3O1K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,468 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I take some pride in the diversity of my 1500+ CD collection and it has been some time sine I've felt compelled to review a disc. However, I think this disc is the debut of an exceptionally talented songwriter. As a singer Nora Jane Struthers sometimes evokes Nancy Griffith in her tone and phrasing. As a writer, she is unique. There isn't a weak song on this recording. I'd pay special attention to Thistle, Greebrier County, The Blight, Build You A House and ONe Notch Tighter. Brava, Nora Jane.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This album is filled with Struthers' clear, beautiful voice. The songs tell strong stories. I don't like it quite as well as Carnival, because so many of the songs are sad and the album has a tone of melancholia about it, whereas Carnival is a little more triumphant.
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Format: Audio CD
Nora Jane is talented, beautiful, and has the the best (and best looking) young blue grass musicians in the country.
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Format: Audio CD
There are a lot of different styles mixed in this CD but they all qualify as fantastic americana. I am going back to review this album after just buying Carnival. I love them both soooooo much. They are both on my short list of favorite albums of all time. Just buy it and you can thank me later.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Who is Nora Jane Struthers? Her name turned up on the lineup for the 2011 Telluride Bluegrass Festival. I had to think for a second who she was, and then I remembered: she won the Band Contest at Telluride in 2010, and I vaguely recalled being impressed with her.

Her debut album has since been released, and is conveniently part of Amazon's 1000 $5 mp3 albums promotion for January. Contained herein are eleven or ten well-thought-out bluegrass/folk/country songs, and maybe one or two more I could do without. She adheres faithfully to the strict usage of acoustic instruments, and it works rather well. More impressively, she wrote all but the last track herself.

In a way, she is the anti-female country singer. She didn't ride her pretty blond locks to early stardom--she has blond hair, but she happens to be 26 and a career teacher. She doesn't have a team of songwriters using a mathematical algorithm to generate the next big pop country hit--she writes her own music. I am not usually a fan of this type of music--in fact, I have historically listened to more metal than anything else--but talent is talent, and this is what the Taylor Swifts of the world should strive to become.

Take advantage of the $5 special while it's available. This is solid; it's probably 5 stars by typical Amazon reviewer standards, but I consider 4 stars very respectable, and like to keep open the possibility of rating her future albums even higher should she further progress as a musician.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great cd. After seeing Nora Jane perform at a bluegrass festival in Minneapolis, I had to buy her cd. I got one for my bluegrass loving friend also.
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