"She sits at the piano, lips to microphone, Frye boot to pedal, and speaks her mind — in song. I became an instant fan." --Val Haller, New York Times
Acclaimed country-soul singer Emily Hurd is a prolific songwriter, best known for her clear voice and intelligent rhymes. Her performance style is bold and honest. Paul Zollo of American Songwriter says that she writes "albums to fall into and swim in forever." Emily's songs have appeared on television's NCIS, 90210, and The Good Wife. She has currently produced 12 full-length albums; her latest release is Landmark.
Weighing in at 10 songs and just under 40 minutes, Landmark features an all-star cast of Chicago musicians, including John Abbey on bass, Gerald Dowd on drums, Brian Wilkie on pedal steel, Scott Stevenson on Hammond organ, Gregg Ostrom on guitar, and Ingrid Graudins on backing vocals. Two years in the making, Landmark is easily Emily's most orchestrated album; the string section combined with country instruments create a genre-bending sound that melds Americana with chamber pop. Written shortly after her father's sudden passing, the lyrics on Landmark naturally focus heavily on life and death and the love in between. It is apparent that Emily has written this album to send a message: her optimism is very much in tact.
Hurd first entered the music scene in 2005 when she and many of the staff members from Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music created her first original album. Since then, her songs have been finalists in three international songwriting competitions: NPR’s NewSong Music Contest, The John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and The Unisong International Songwriting Competition.
Originally from Rockford, Illinois, Hurd has been touring her native Midwest and both coasts of the U.S. for years. She has developed a no-excuses performance savvy; what you hear is what she is. She is the quintessential indie national act, performing for growing pockets of loyal followers who revel in her clever rhymes and honest showmanship. Her supporters in the Southeastern states have started an annual event called “Emilyfest,” providing Hurd and her band with an open barn down in a holler of rural North Carolina.
Backed by a band, Hurd blasts through her tunes with soul. She has shared the stage with Bettye Lavette, Sam Bush, and Irma Thomas, to name a few. On her own, she candidly roots her audience into her storytelling, and has opened as a solo act for the likes of Roger McGuinn, Pete Seeger, and Raul Midon.
As a child, Emily spent most of her upbringing immersed in music. She still counts Hoagie Carmichael, Kris Kristofferson, and Scott Joplin as her biggest musical influences. Through high school, culinary school, and later while getting her BA in Music Business from Columbia College in Chicago, Hurd developed a fondness for Lyle Lovett, John Prine, and Bonnie Raitt.
Her discography includes: "Landmark," 2015, "the best-loved," 2013, "Burn Like a Field" (Stone Blind Valentine, 2013) "Any Given Day, 2012," "Long Lost Ghosts, 2012," "Tins & Pins & Peppermints, 2010, "Daytime Fireflies," 2010, "A Cache In The Warehouse Floor," 2008, "Love In Flats," 2007, "Barefoot Session," 2006, "Potent One," 2006, and "Lines," 2005.