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Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line
October 10, 2015 @ 7:30 pm$10
When Nora Jane Struthers and The Party Line last came to the Opera House, they had just released their critically acclaimed album Carnival. Now with the release of Wake earlier this year, they are riding a wave of good reviews from Rolling Stone, as well as NPR’s The Record and Fresh Air.
Nora Jane Struthers is guided by fire. Coming up within the tradition-minded bluegrass world, she spent her youth in a family band with her father, a good daughter learning tradition. But since she’s been leading her own band, the Party Line, Struthers has poured more and more emotion into her songwriting, coming up with some of the most quietly powerful narratives within the new wave of Americana artists.
She challenged the legacy of the murder ballad by giving voice to one of its silenced female victims on “Willie,” the most memorable track from her 2010 debut album; her song “Two Women,” from last year’s Carnival, considered the cruelty of slavery from the point of view of both a female slave and the wife of the slave owner who abused her.
Struthers can also write a summery tune or get down with her band on an instrumental jam (they’ve busked their way across the nation.) She’s a serious woman with a light heart; a collector of vintage dresses who’s also a bookworm, and a former English teacher. On her new album, which is called Wake and will be release on Feb. 24, Struthers also reveals herself as a rocker. The sound of the Party Line has progressed to include propulsive electric guitar and drums, and Struthers’ sweet voice is shows an edge, the better to meet the challenge.