Nora Jane Struthers, Lorain
Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 9pm
- $10 advance / $12 day of show
Nora Jane Struthers has written "some of the most quietly powerful narratives within the new wave of Americana artists," says Ann Powers of NPR Music. The songs that last decades and weave themselves into the fabric of listeners' lives are usually the ones in which an artist lays her soul bare for the world to hear. Struthers' new album Champion, due out October 13 on Blue Pig Records, is built on these kinds of songs.
The 13-song collection is the follow-up to 2015's Wake, which earned Struthers acclaim from major outlets like NPR Music, Rolling Stone Country, and "Fresh Air." Struthers wrote and recorded the album with her longtime road band the Party Line, and the chemistry between her and the other players is palpable.
There’s an honesty and energy to Nora Jane’s stage presence; a vulnerability that is part and parcel of great artistry. In one moment, she joyfully leads the audience in a dance party... in the next, she lays her soul bare for the world to hear. A performance by Nora Jane and her band is full to the brim with stellar musicianship, unexpected arrangements that blur the lines between folk, roots, and rock, and an audible sense that everyone in the room is having a damn good time.
Lorain (formerly Grand Lake Islands) is a recording, performing, and head-clearing project of songwriter Erik Emanuelson and instrumentalists Bob Reynolds, Joseph Anderson, and Robin Bacior.
They play woozy American music. Emanuelson's expressive tenor, recalling ghosts of Nashville Skyline era Dylan and the late Jason Molina, floats over lush textures and the band's understated groove.
Having played and toured for years—in New York City, Portland, and throughout the west coast—under the name Grand Lake Islands, Emanuelson, along with current collaborators, Reynolds and Anderson decided to step away and reassess. The band had cultivated a creative chemistry and sound that had drifted significantly from Grand Lake Islands' ramshackle-folk beginnings. With the addition of Portland musician, Robin Bacior, the change was imminent.
Lorain was conceived around a batch of new songs and the desire to build a project, collectively, from the ground up. These new songs emphasize restraint, relying more on subtlety, texture, and structure than crescendo to hit their mark. Despite this, Emanuelson's ability to emote has remains intact, if not refined.
Lorain's first round of demos were recorded live at Destination: Universe! studios in Portland, OR. The session was captured by videographer The Sound and Light Syndicate.
Expect their first full length in 2017.