Puremusic interview with Kris DelmhorstKris Delmhorst

Wonder of wonders, the manner in which Kris Delmhorst distinguishes herself amongst her contemporaries is her sheer musicality. She grew up a string player in Brooklyn, studying cello, and incorporating the violin (or fiddle, as she is quick to posit, never having studied it formally) along the way. Her way with words is as impressive as her grip on tone and melody, and she seems to hold her pen like a guitar pick or cello bow, loose enough to be expressive, and just tight enough to control it.

We were very impressed, apparently like the folk world at large, by our first contact with the artist (Five Stories, see our review) and perhaps even more so by her recent Songs for a Hurricane (Signature Sounds), which bares her essence a little further in its somewhat sparer treatments of the material. Her sonorous high alto is curiously cello-like, very full without being loud, and extremely expressive in its range of tones. Her singing and speaking voices are both very confident in a welcoming, inclusive and inspiring kind of way.

Drummer Billy Conway (of Morphine fame) makes unbelievably good records in this singer songwriter genre. (Do a lot of the people in your life also try to put a "d" in that word?) He is one of those rare drummers who asks for the words instead of a chart before running the tune down. We were very interested in Kris's description of this mentorish figure of the Boston scene, his studio layout and modus operandi, and his ways.

Kris moved up the ranks very quickly, and has toured extensively with the cream of the crop. She's on the road now with a folk concentrate called Redbird that includes Peter Mulvey and Jeffrey Foucalt, that's a show not to miss (if you live in the UK, that is--that's where they're headed in February, shows posted on the artist's website). They've made a CD with David Goodrich that we hope to cover in an upcoming issue.

Some interviews are uplifting, by the unmistakable quality of the artist actually engaging in the conversation, coming out to meet you in the middle. It really made me want to see Kris play live, and to go to Boston and see the club scene there. We must do a Boston issue, and we seek the suitable guide. But here I digress, because I started to say that we think Kris Delmhorst is really strong and good medicine, and we urge you to buy this and her previous two CDs, they're excellent examples of modern folk pop. Personally I was very taken with the artist, and know you will be too, in the good spirited conversation to follow.   continue