Emily Hurd is a prolific Chicago-based songwriter and pianist. She has a voice that both Rick Kogan of WGN and Richard Milne of WXRT have likened to musical icon Janis Joplin, and simultaneously, reviewers draw parallels to Joni Mitchell. Emily Hurd's style is the embodiment of gusto meets grace; she is known for her ability to embody several realms within the pop singing spectrum, from delicate country lilting to full fledged belting. Hurd’s music is best described as a mix of rock piano, soul singing, folk songwriting, and intelligent bluegrass rhyme schemes.
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. She has currently produced nine full-length studio albums and is touring her latest-Any Given Day. 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. Her song “Help Me To Understand” was featured in the 2011 season of CBS’s NCIS crime series.
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 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 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 latest album is Any Given Day. All the tunes on the record were written in the month of October, 2012, then performed on the vintage grand piano at Chicago’s King Size Sound Labs. The record features a line-up of Chicago musicians: John Abbey (Robbie Fulks, Amy Speace), Gerald Dowd (Justin Roberts), and Gregg Ostrom (Tom Cumerford, Covered in Honey).
Her past discography includes: "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.