On Wednesday night, while wandering the halls at the late night showcases, I stumbled upon a band playing in a small room, to a small crowd, playing without any amplification at all. While some bands may have used this as an excuse to take a night off, this band was putting on quite a performance.
Nora Jane & the Bootleggers (Nora Jane Struthers – guitar and vocals, Dave Golderberg – mandolin, P.J. George – bass and Ward Stout – fiddle) reminded me of why I originally got into Bluegrass a long time ago. There was no pretense and no technology overload, just making music (very good music) and enjoying the moment. Several of the songs I heard were Nora Jane originals and they were very impressive, one leading into a rousing version of of the already classic Jolene. The backing from the Bootleggers was both tasteful and well executed.
I was fortunate to stumble on this band since this was their only performance scheduled for the IBMA, although they did perform at Roberts Western World as part of the Martin Showcase Wednesday evening. This Nashville-based band is definitely one to catch.
Nora Jane’s CD Nora Jane Struthers was released in 2010. You can get more information at www.norajanestruthers.com.