Vince’s Notes: Emily Hurd: A voice unlike any other

Emily Hurd (Photo by Tony Bartman)

By Vince Chiarelli

While Rockford may seem like it’s full of rock bands, there are the select musicians who stand out from the rest. One of those musicians is Emily Hurd.

Emily Hurd is a singer, songwriter and pianist who was born and raised right here in Rockford. I have seen Emily perform quite a few times, and each time is a unique experience. She has the ability to pull the audience right into each of her songs. Emily is quite a wordsmith, and definitely knows how to write a haunting melody. However, the one thing that stands out most to me is her voice. I truly have no way of putting into words how her voice sounds. All I can say is her voice is not like anyone else’s and that is what makes her so intriguing.

Emily surely has a distinct, original style, and she knows how to mesh soulful singing and piano-playing with folk songwriting. It is no wonder she has recently received a great write-up in the New York Times, in addition to her song “Help Me To Understand” being featured on the NBC crime show NCIS. I truly recommend that you spend the time and look up Emily Hurd and her music. Please visit her website,, for all things Emily Hurd. But wait, there’s more!

In addition to Emily’s great solo career, in February she released an album called Burn Like A Field with her new band Stone Blind Valentine. The band is composed of Emily, along with fellow Chicago musicians Colby Maddox and Gregg Ostrom. Their sound is definite county/bluegrass, full of gritty lyrics and banjo playing. This shows Emily’s true musical talent and originality, as she goes from singing love songs on her piano, to playing country music on her banjo. Please check out Stone Blind Valentine at

If you would like to find out more about Emily and Stone Blind Valentine, tune in to my Rockford College Radio show, Rockford Originals, this Thursday, March 21, at 7 p.m. Emily is going to be my guest. I will be asking her questions about her music career and we will also be playing songs off the new album, Burn Like A Field. If you want to find out how Emily went from being a pastry chef to playing all over the county, and also hear her sing a song about cheese, then please visit to listen live Thursday at 7 p.m., or after the broadcast to listen to the podcast.

You are also in luck! Next Thursday, March 28, Emily will be performing with singer/songwriter Drew Gibson at JustGoods. JustGoods is one of my favorite venues for listening to music in Rockford. The room is called The Listening Room, and the audience does just that. Please attend this show because both of these musicians are pretty incredible. JustGoods is at 201 Seventh St. The show starts at 7 p.m., and be sure to arrive early because seating is limited!

Please contact Vince Chiarelli if you have any original Rockford music or radio suggestions. He can be reached at

From the March 20-26, 2013, issue

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