Nora Jane and The Party Line are honored to have been selected to announce the 2014 lineup for MerleFest!  Throughout their Fall Tour, Nora Jane & TPL will be posting video clips announcing another artist who will be sharing the bill at this most wonderful festival!

Nora Jane had the honor of announcing Locus Honey String Band and Town Mountain here:


MerleFest’s Steve Johnson got things started with the Road to MerleFest by letting Nora Jane & TPL make the first announcement — that Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line were themselves selected to play MerleFest 2014:

If you aren’t familiar with MerleFest, you should be!  MerleFest is considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, serving as an annual homecoming for musicians and music fans on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the late Eddy Merle Watson, son of American music legend Doc Watson, who passed away May 29, 2012.  MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts over 90 artists, performing on 14 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.

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Have you listened carefully to Nora Jane’s original song Travelin’ On?  Or seen a live performance of Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line?  Who is that guy clapping throughout?

It’s Party Line drummer Drew Lawhorn — a Salem, Virginia-born drummer who started performing professionally at age 13!  Drew started out playing snare drum in the high school marching band, and at age 16, he became a drum instructor and taught private lessons to students.  At 17, after high school, Drew was hired on by several high schools as a drumline instructor where he wrote, arranged and taught percussion.

He has played with Robert Randolph, John Popper and Tim O’Brien; and his style draws from main influences such as Carter Beauford, Kenny Malone and Buddy Rich.  Drew now lives in Nashville, TN and tours full time with Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line.  Have a question for Drew?  Want to know where The Party Line will be playing next?  Follow The Party Line at!

Nora Jane, Drew & Joe at the Americana Music Festival -- September 22, 2013
Nora Jane Struthers, Drew Lawhorn & Joe Overton at the Americana Music Festival — September 22, 2013

Photograph courtesy of Ana Gilbert —

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Friday September 20 was a special evening.  Nora Jane & The Party Line were Showcase Performers at the  Americana Music Festival & Conference — opening the evening’s performances at Nashville’s extraordinary 3rd & Lindsley venue.  3rd & Lindsley has recently been gorgeously redone, and was fully packed with excited fans of Americana music.  The evening was memorable — the wonderful duo of Darrell Scott & Tim O’Brien followed Nora Jane on the bill, as did Lisa Marie Presley and Hank Williams’ granddaughter Holly Williams.  It was a night to remember!1231682_10151732344344807_446808918_n

Photo courtesy of Nate Dow.

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The  new music video for Bike Ride was premiered on the All Songs Considered Blog – NPR  !

Our amazing director Dycee Wildman spliced in 8mm footage that her grandmother shot in the 50’s and 60’s which is so beautifully appropriate given the theme of this record.  Huge thanks to Dycee for lending her incredible talents and vision in directing and editing this beautiful video.

I also want to thank Ms. Ann Powers for being my champion and helping mymusic reach a larger audience through her writing for NPR.  I’m honored to be included in the amazing group of artists that she supports.

This is my favorite track on the record; every time I perform it live I am able to be totally present.  Thanks to Robby Hecht for writing this song with me.  It truly brings me so much joy and peace.

Finally, thanks to East Side Cycles for kindly lending us the classy bicycles we enjoyed riding aroung our neighborhood.  You’re good fellas!


Share it with your friends too please.  

Here’s what Ms. Powers writes about the video: 

For those who haven’t yet discovered Nora Jane Struthers, the summery song “Bike Ride” is a great introduction to her beguiling, well-considered worldview. The first time Struthers sings the song’s most important line — “I can go anywhere” — the phrase rises up out of her throat, free, wide open. The second time, a phrase later, she clamps down on it with some grit. “‘Bike Ride’ is a song about a re-awakening,” the 29-year-old Nashville resident said in a recent email. “When you propel yourself forward through time and space on your own steam, you realize your own agency.”

Purposefulness is a major theme in Struthers’ updated brand of bluegrass, whether she’s sharing tales of female adventurers, taking on the murder ballad form, or writing of her own journey from Virginia to New York and back down South. “Bike Ride” is the new single from Carnival, Struthers’ first album with her current band, The Party Line. The tune is a lark, a bluegrass-flavored lope that turns into a singalong. But it contains some blue notes. “I think the wistfulness you’ve identified is, perhaps, the melancholy that sets in when you discover that you’ve lost yourself for a period of time, that you’ve lived feeling trapped or stagnant and didn’t even realize it,” Struthers wrote when I told her I though the song was a little bit sad.

The video for “Bike Ride,” directed by Struthers’ longtime collaborator Dycee Wildman, interweaves footage of the band cycling around the leafy streets of East Nashville with clips of vintage 8-millimeter film taken by Wildman’s late grandmother. The older material helps reveal another bigger story behind this ambulatory lark: that as we move forward, we do truly lose some of what we love. It shows Wildman’s family members on tricycles, yes, but also in wedding scenes and gatherings that feature growing families. “The song speaks to something lost and the search to find it and for me, for the video, what is lost is the past,” Wildman wrote from Nashville. “We all miss the times to which we can never return. I think that is a special side of nostalgia that is truly sad and Nora Jane understands this.”

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Dear Friends,

I bought this charming wrap-dress last week at an antique mall on Massachusetts Ave. in Lawrence, Kansas– which happens to be one of my all-time favorite vintage shopping towns! This dress is so soft. Seriously- it’s crazy soft. The top is red with small white polka dots and the skirt is a unique purple color featuring two roomy pockets each trimmed with the red and white polka dot material. The beauty of a wrap dress is that, if it fits at all, it always fits perfectly.

The mystery of this dress is, I cannot figure from what decade it hails! The fabric and the wrap style would point to the 1940’s but hemline may be too short for that era. The fit evokes sixties, but the buttons are reminiscent of the early 50’s. Can you help me solve the mystery?

Addition clues:
-ruffle around collar
-white buttons up the front bodice
-one white button fastening the top if the back
-the fabric is thin, made of natural fibers- cotton, I believe

Alright friends! Let me know your best guess!

Nora Jane



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