by Eric Walters
Nora Jane Struthers
This Friday, Nora Jane Struthers will bring her band, the Party Line, and her captivating rootsy sound to an unexpected venue, the Detroit Institute of Arts. While most of Struthers’ tour stops are in bars, music halls or festivals, the DIA is a quirky venue to put her talent on display. Although it makes a certain sense: The DIA is a house of history, and Struthers’ sound is historic. Most Americana music is — its down-on-the-porch sensibility caters to an older crowd, or those who consider themselves “old souls.” But the artists that rise to the top of the genre are able to harness the sound made famous by Hank Williams and Doc Watson and modernize it, making it their own.
On their latest record, Nora Jane Struthers & the Party Line find a perfect balance. Carnival is akin to mid-20th century folk and bluegrass, while also being very much a record for a 2013 world. It’s one of the best Americana records of the year, driven by Struthers’ voice, lyrics and her equally talented band, which fleshes out each song with fiddle, mandolin, banjo and percussion.
It’s been a star-studded year for Americana fans, new records from Jason Isbell, Patty Griffin, Pokey LaFarge and more, but Struthers was too good to get lost in the shuffle. And she’s too good to miss live.
For a taste of what you could hear Friday, check out the videos below.
“Jack of Diamonds” live on WNRN
Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line perform at the DIA on Friday, July 26. All information about the show can be found here.