Emily Hurd is a prolific Chicago-based songwriter, singer, and pianist. 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 ten full-length studio albums and is touring her latest-BURN LIKE A FIELD-with her band Stone Blind Valentine. 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, 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 latest album was released with her band, Stone Blind Valentine. SBV is her acoustic project with longtime Chicago musicians and friend Colby Maddox, and Gregg Ostrom. The group treads on bluegrass while digging into rock and early American country. BURN LIKE A FIELD was recorded live at Chicago's King Size Sound Labs. Like all good mountain music, SBV builds their tunes with strong singing, nature imagery, and a lot of twang, but their Chicago roots are unmistakable in BURN LIKE A FIELD. SBV called on close friend John Abbey to produce and play upright bass on the album.
The BURN LIKE A FIELD recording sessions were filmed and photographed by the crew of Carla Englof Productions. The album cover was designed by Chicago artist Dolan Geiman. Dolan is a nationally recognized mixed media artist creating original paintings, collages, constructions, and limited-edition reproductions. Produced from salvaged wood, found objects, and other recycled materials, his eco-friendly artwork emerges from a folk art tradition infused with a contemporary, urban style.
Her past discography includes: "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.