The Portland Playlist recently welcomed the zany crew that is Kris Deelane and The Hurt into the studio and do they know how to have fun! This is a 10 piece band of multi-talented musicians, many of whom have several other music projects going on, but it was a shared love for the Motown-Soul hits from the 60’s and 70’s that brought them together. Joining Kris in the studio were Mark Bowden (guitar), Steve Kerin (keys), and those fabulous “Lady Parts”, Jenny Thomas and Mara McLoughlin (vocals). It was two hours of good times that felt like 10 minutes, making us wish for more.
Kris Deelane is described as a “Wild Child Angst Rock Chanteuse” and many of her songs were written as a result of that angsty stuff. “She sings, she plays guitar, she writes songs. Lots of songs. From a deep place, a raw place. A truly fearless composer, she is willing to stare down her demons and reach within to get to the purest of emotions.” But she doesn’t only play guitar. In the early days of her music career, if someone didn’t make it to a show, she would just figure out how to play that instrument and now has the ability to play the drums, bass, guitar, and keys!
The first hour featured Kris and the band’s music influences starting with Mr. David Bowie’s, “Ashes to Ashes,” “Ruby Warbler” by Myshkin, and “The Whole of the Moon” by The Waterboys (Kris), The Pretenders’, “Mystery Achievement” (Mark), “Sweet Georgia Brown” by Anita O’Day (Mara), Dolly Parton’s, “Jolene” (Jenny), and Sly and the Family Stone’s, “I Wanna Take You Higher” (Steve). We asked what their first albums were which included, Neil Young (Kris), Captain & Tennille (Jenny), Van Halen(Mara), Led Zeppelin (Mark), and Def Leppard (Steve).
The second hour of the show focused on Kris’ original material which she is incorporating more of in KD & The Hurt’s set list, and as you’ll hear in the podcast below, the music is fantastic. We listened to a few of their recorded tracks and then the band played several live, including a brand new one. “Beautiful Thing” is one that addresses the darkness and the coming out of it into the light. Jenny and Mara’s harmonies match Kris’ tonality perfectly. Even though they were missing half the band, which includes a horn section, their sound was full, especially with Mark’s guitar shredding talents, and piano maestro, Steve, on keys. Steve performed one of his originals, the beautiful,”Joy,” written shortly after he and his wife moved to Portland. The live videos we took garnered many thumbs up and have since been viewed hundreds of times.
A Kris Deelane and The Hurt show is a must-see. They have a band of followers that can be seen at all their performances, especially when they play their monthly Happy Hour show at the Laurelthirst. The place is packed with people dancing and singing wherever there’s space. Because this music is so loved by everyone in the band, it seems to add an extra punch of enthusiasm to their performance that is palpable. There is much love given and received between them and the audience which always adds to the enjoyment of a show. KD & The Hurt is not Kris’ only project, however, she also performs as a duo with Mark Bowden, as well as her solo shows at Edgefield Winery. She and the band have many shows in the coming months which you can find by visiting their website. Check your calendar with theirs and make it a point to go, because a KD & The Hurt show is a pain that hurts so good.
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