Claudia Nygaard performs at Emerson House April 21

Vocalist and songwriter Claudia Nygaard performs at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 21, at Emerson House.

Staff Report

Once classed as a “late bloomer,” vocalist and songwriter Claudia Nygaard is certainly in top form now. She’ll be performing at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 21, at Emerson House, 420 N. Main St., and Charlotte’s Web for the Performing Arts is proud to host her.

Nygaard is an entertainer known for her quick wit and an affable connection with her audience. She is an incredible storyteller, not just as a songwriter, but also in the charming tales she tells between songs. She started out performing in honky tonks and fairgrounds, learned from other artists, and developed her own unique style. But as strong as she is as an entertainer, it is Claudia’s love of writing that has kept her going.

After winning several songwriting competitions on the West Coast, Nygaard moved to Nashville, Tenn., where she landed a job as a staff songwriter on Music Row. Although she lost that job, Capitol Records developed an interest in her as an artist, and she stayed with them until they cut their roster.

With an up and downhill career, Nygaard has acquired some notable credits. She won the coveted Kerrville Folk Festival “New Folk” songwriting competition, and was chosen an “Emerging Artist” at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Her career has hit some rough spots along the way, but each time, her passion for writing made her choose to go on.

Now, with the release of her new album, Let The Storm Roll In, this “late bloomer:” has finally achieved that long-overdue respect from radio and press. A review from Maverick magazine, a well-known roots music monthly in the U.K., gave the CD five stars, saying, “What a find this is! There are 12 real stunners here … impossible to pick a favorite …”

Radio has embraced it just as warmly, and the eclectic CD has cross-platformed to land on three different radio charts. The opening track, “Big Country,” climbed to No. 8 on the Folk DJ chart, and Let The Storm Roll In stayed on the chart an unprecedented four months with every track getting airplay. The CD went to No. 26 on the Roots Music Americana chart, and then went to No. 1 on the Roots Music Country chart. It has been warmly received in Europe as well.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door. Advance tickets are available at: Rockford Area Arts Council, 713 E. State, (815) 963-6765; both Postal Shoppe locations: Edgebrook Center, (815) 397-7301 and 2205 S. Perryville, (815) 484-0940; and JustGoods, 201 Seventh St., (815) 965-8903; or by mail: send a check and SASE to 420 N. Main St., Rockford, IL 61103. Indicate artist or performance date on check. Credit card payment accepted only at via PayPal. A $2 ticket processing fee is included. Print your receipt. Info: Call (815) 964-2238 or visit

From the April 18-24, 2012, issue

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