New regional band blends folk and urban sounds

2013-01-25T00:00:00Z New regional band blends folk and urban soundsTom Lounges Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
January 25, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Stone Blind Valentine is the brand new acoustic project of longtime Chicago musicians Emily Hurd, Colby Maddox, and Gregg Ostrom. Hurd has been writing and recording as a popular Midwest solo artist for a few years and in late 2012 released a collection of Christmas songs embraced by National Public Radio.

Gritty lyrics and unruly guitar get a layer of polish from bright mandolin and sharp fiddle licks, as Stone Blind Valentine trends bluegrass while digging into rock and early American country. SBV have just wrapped up sessions for their debut CD, “Burn Like A Field,” with producer John Abbey at Chicago's King Size Sound Labs. The album’s cover art was done by nationally recognized Chicago artist Dolan Geiman, whose style is like SBV’s music, a blend of rural and urban imagery and flavors.

A release date of Feb. 17 is planned with a celebratory live performance of the album that evening at The Space in suburban Evanston. More on the live date and some of the band’s music can be found at: www.stoneblindvalentine.com.

SBV create “mountain music” with urban flavor, layering their tunes with strong three-part vocal harmonies and a lot of twang, but building it upon a foundation that has a deep-rooted Chicago sound. This is clearly evident in the bluesy guitar and industrial groove running under Hurd as she belts out -- "Honey, I can read you like the Sunday Morning Times/I can see you're lying by the headlines in your eyes." The songs here are penned by Hurd, the group’s lead singer, piano and banjo player.

A veteran Midwest singer/songwriter, Hurd’s music has been a favorite on National Public Radio stations and has been featured in episodes of the hit NBC-TV crime drama, “NCIS.” The union of Hurd and her powerful tunes with the musical support of Ostrom (guitar, vocals), Maddox (mandolin, fiddle, guitar, and vocals) and Abbey (upright bass) has proven to be a fine fit.

MUSIC NOTES:

Chicago’s power pop group Archie Powell & The Exports headline a concert tonight benefiting “The Sandy Hook Family Fund” (www.mysandyhookfamilyfund.com) at Goose Island (3535 North Clark) in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood. The local band’s pop-rock blend on songs like “Job Fair” and “Crazy Pills” has been compared to early Elvis Costello and can be heard at www.archiepowellandtheexports.com. Tonight’s 8:30 p.m. 21 and older show, produced and presented by Vicarious Venues , also features performances from Mutts, Brother George, and 500 Miles to Memphis. A minimum donation of $8 is requested.

Catch some good tunes tonight with Northwest Indiana power trio, 3 Peace, who perform a free 21 and older show from 9 p.m. to midnight  at Tequilia Restaurante (2970 East 181st Ave.) in Lowell. Their set list runs the gamut from Elvis Presley to AC/DC.  More: (219) 696-8226.

Chicagoland rock trio, The Locals, have replaced former beat-keeper Kirk Snedeker (who has relocated to the West Coast ) with drummer Tommy Oerding. During the transition, co-founders Christy Nunes (bass) and Yvonne Doll (guitar/vocals), kept busy in an all-girl PJ Harvey tribute band called RM: 509 with regional rockers Ripley Caine (vocals) and Joanna Vassilatos (drums). Although The Locals are back to firing on all cylinders (www.localsrock.com), Nunes and Doll plan to continue moonlighting with RK: 509.

The opinions expressed are solely the writer's. Reach him at beatboss@aol.com.

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