I have been a huge fan of Chris Pureka for years. Many years. So many years, in fact, that I remember listening to her tracks on MySpace back when MySpace was the place to be and there was no Facebook. Yeah, I KNOW.
Chris Pureka is aching, desperate longing wrapped in a soothing rasp. It is music that makes you turn inward, into your own history of love, loss, and the depths that make each of us undeniably human, until you begin to ache right along to the sound of the strumming guitar.
I was an avid listener of Chris Pureka’s introspective stories since the first album, “Driving North,” was released and I immediately latched onto the song “Burning Bridges.” The recorded version is phenomenal, but there is a certain kind of magic in hearing it performed live.
I remember exactly where I was, physically as well as metaphorically in my life, when I first heard this song. I distinctly remember listening to it on repeat more times than I could ever possibly count and singing it louder than (thankfully) anyone else will ever have to hear. It has been 10 years since “Driving North” was released, but when I pulled this song up to listen to just last night, I remembered every single word, every minute inflection, every emotion it made me feel that first time I heard it.
I had very much the same chain reaction to the song “31 and Falling” from the 2006 album, “Dryland.”
Pureka has released five albums in total on the independent label Sad Rabbit Records. Despite my boundless love for the two songs I have discussed at (too much?) length here, each album is an excellent example of an artist’s ability to put words to the messes so many of us know too well, mostly about love and things that can hurt.
Chris Pureka has shared the stage with other like-minded talent like Dar Williams, Ani Difranco, Melissa Ferrick, Alix Olson, Peter Mulvey, and Martin Sexton. Her music has been compared to artists including Bruce Springsteen, Gillian Welch, and Patty Griffin.