The other music festival

Does it seem to you as if all the cool kids are at SXSW in Austin?

If so, feel free to soak in the vibe for the next few nights here at …

nxmw1

Yeah, we spent hours on the logo.

Welcome to NXMW — North by Midwest — 2009.

We’ll celebrate music from our part of America here at NXMW 2009. Some old, some new. Might as well start in that indie spirit.

We’re long overdue in introducing you to Emily Hurd.

She e-mailed me last fall, saying a friend had pointed her my way. She hails from Rockford, Illinois, where we have a mutual friend in my old pal Meat.

Hurd is a songwriter who isn’t shy about billing herself as a soul singer. Among her influences: Hoagy Carmichael, Solomon Burke, Kris Kristofferson, Otis Redding, Janis Joplin, Ray Charles and Mavis Staples. She’s working on her sixth album, due out this year.

She sent along a video and a couple of mp3s. You’ll certainly hear those influences.

Video: “The Likes of You.”

Tunes: “Give It Time” and “Make A Bed,” all by Emily Hurd, from “A Cache in the Warehouse Floor,” 2008.

emilyhurdcachecd

This is what Hurd says about this record:

“Some of these songs sound like Aretha Franklin singing Tom Waits and others dip into the same well that fed Cooke, Redding, Charles, Witherspoon and Sykes. With the help of the organ and electric guitar, the sounds on this record are as huge as the lyrics.”

“Make A Bed” uses that organ and guitar to deliver a bit of a gospel sound. “Give It Time” works a little harder, with a nice horn chart that sounds like it came from Muscle Shoals.

I hope to hear more on Friday night, when she plays a gig at a coffee house not too far from us.

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2 Comments

Filed under March 2008, Sounds

2 responses to “The other music festival

  1. jb

    Sweet mama, that’s some fine music right there. Anybody who digs Grace Potter needs to check it out posthaste.

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