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Ann Powers, for NPR Music, includes Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line in a small group of musicians, spanning several genres, who she identifies as successfully borrowing sound to create something original.  Here’s what she writes about NJS & TPL:

Nora Jane Struthers makes bluegrass music that reminds us of how contemporary that strain of country music was when it emerged in the mid-twentieth century. The Nashville-based Struthers and her band, The Party Line, display an easy camaraderie that leaves room for virtuoso turns without ever letting their songs be consumed by showoff picking. What really makes Struthers special, however, is her songwriting. On her third album , released in March, Struthers — who grew up in New Jersey and has a from NYU — employs the high lonesome bluegrass sound to tell stories of adventure with a subtle feminist twist. Along with Sara Watkins, Aoife O’Donovan and Abigail Washburn, Struthers is an upstart spiritual daughter of Alison Krauss, creating a space within the competitive fraternity of bluegrass for women’s stories and women’s virtuosity.Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 10.57.45 AM

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It is always a fun challenge to be the only non-traditional bluegrass band at a Festival.  We had a lot of fun rising up to this challenge at the Gettysburg Bluergass Festival last week!  According to Ted Lehmann, Nora Jane and The Party Line, “was well-received with a particularly lively second set eliciting crowd support and a rousing encore.”  We rocked out on Mountain Child and the crowd totally came along with us for the ride, breaking into applause in the middle of Aaron’s epic fiddle solo at the end.  Wooooo!  Thanks to Rich and all the folks at this great festival for taking a chance on us!

I also made some new friends including this little lady, who loves our song Carnival.  Lily:

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American Songwriter asked me a few questions about my hope, dreams, turn-ons…in truth, it felt a bit like a dating service questionnaire…anyone want to go on a date?


ARTIST: Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line

SONG: “Carnival”

BIRTHDATE: 11/11 – my lucky number


AMBITIONS: As a writer, I endeavor to inspire empathy, which is why I write primarily story songs.  As a human, I’d like to be more skilled at making things with my own hands, homesteader-style.

TURN-OFFS: judgement, arrogance, overly manicured eyebrows.

TURN-ONS: bravery… and beards.

DREAM GIG: Red Rocks – opening for Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

TV ADDICTIONS: Winter is coming.

CELEBRITY CRUSH: Maggie Smith and/or Eddie Vedder



5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Tom Petty, Michelle Obama, Bob Dylan, Gillian Welch, my 3-year-old niece Ava Jane.

I NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT: tea tree toothpicks and a positive attitude.

WE WROTE THIS SONG: from the perspective of a young girl who longs to see the world beyond her own small-town experience.  We all grow up in a small world; some folks stay in it their whole lives, while others break out and see they way other people live.  It seems to me, that it’s easier to be empathetic and kinder when you get to know lots of kinds of people.

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