In the wake of Nora Jane Struthers’ third album, Wake, she and her band, the Party Line, hit the stage at NYC’s Joe’s Pub. “Wow! I like it,” Struthers cried out. “This is our third time playing here, and each time the crowd grows bigger and bigger and bigger.” With good reason too! Since she and her then band, the Bootleggers, won the Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s band contest in June 2010, Nora Jane Struthers has released three albums. In addition, she had a brief stint with the Americana bluegrass quintet, Bearfoot. In 2011, Bearfoot released American Story, on which Struthers either wrote or co-wrote six of the ten tracks.
As the songwriting of each album has progressed, so has her live performance. Struthers has an amazing stage presence with her infectious smile and seemingly endless energy. She gains confidence and communication with her band that truly comes across to her audience.
Since Wake was released just two weeks prior to the show, this was more of an album release party. The set list relied heavily on the recent album, with the exception of two songs, “Carnival” and “Bike Ride” from her previous release, Carnival. Struthers also gave center stage to Joe Overton (vocals, guitar, banjo and fiddle) for a rollicking, rave-up version of “Introvert Boogie” from his solo release, Clear Blue Sky. The Party Line also rolls on with Drew Lawhorn on drums, Brian Duncan Miller on bass and Josh Vana on lead guitar.
With their Americana and bluegrass roots and several songs (dare I say) worthy of top 40 country airplay, my prediction is that this may be the breakout band of 2015. If Nora Jane Struthers & the Party Line is coming to your town, I suggest you catch them, because the party has indeed started.