Chris Pureka | Dryland

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United States - Mass. - Western

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Folk: Modern Folk Rock: Americana Moods: Type: Acoustic
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by Chris Pureka

Acoustic, indie-folk, americana.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Intro
1:47 $0.99
2. These Pages
5:00 $0.99
3. So It Goes
5:00 $0.99
4. Swann Song
5:08 $0.99
5. Come Back Home
5:03 $0.99
6. Momentary Thief
5:25 $0.99
7. Everything Is Free
4:55 $0.99
8. Compass Rose
5:36 $0.99
9. 31 and Falling
4:47 $0.99
10. Cruel and Clumsy
4:49 $0.99
11. Dryland
4:03 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Chris Pureka’s sophomore release, Dryland plays like the way she enters a room—with low, deliberate airs, quietly demanding respect. One stark, solo acoustic guitar builds into layered swan songs and raspy serenades that resonate with unassuming depth and candor.

Dryland is the highly-anticipated follow-up to Pureka’s 2004 debut, Driving North, for which the rising newcomer has landed praise from publications like Performing Songwriter, Time Out New York, Nashville City Paper and many others. Comparisons flow easily: some recognize the poetry and grit of a young Bruce Springsteen or a troubled Ryan Adams. Others see Nashville shining on the horizon for this indie-acoustic songstress whose simple, yet heartfelt and vulnerable delivery often resembles shades of female greats like Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch or Mary Gauthier. Whatever the reference point, one thing remains certain: on her newest release, Chris Pureka has taken the unfettered, heart-on-your-sleeve approach she is known for and has delved even deeper into her calling to deliver a newly promising and original collection of songs. The progression is natural, if not subtle; and the results are impressive.

Pureka proudly considers Dryland an older, wiser successor to her earlier recordings. She writes, “There are many songs on the record that follow up with the themes of love and relationships that were predominant on Driving North. For instance the song, ‘Come Back Home’ is about a long distance relationship and the issues of trust and fidelity that come with that and relationships in general. However, Dryland, while continuing on with these themes also branches out topically and I think has more perspective." Sentiments of growth and change are conveyed in the title and thematically throughout Dryland. As one line from the title track reveals: “I’m holding myself, waiting and waiting, in the belly of the boat, praying for dryland.” In Pureka’s words, “One of the big themes is this idea of moving through something difficult to get to something better – putting things to rest and moving on – trying to make the most of things and trying to be patient – or at least recognizing that virtue.” Taking her own advice to heart, Pureka creates the personal challenge of penning a narrative from the perspective of her grandmother (“Swann Song”) – and pulls it off with Patty Griffin-esque mastery. It’s something of a departure for Pureka, who admittedly writes from her own experiences most of the time. Another first is her decision to include a cover song on the album, Gillian Welch’s world-weary “Everything is Free.” The rendition starts off as a timid, after-the-storm follow-up to the preceding track, but quickly blossoms into a spirited personal anthem with added meaning infused by Pureka’s convincing vocals.

Dryland was produced by Pureka and recorded at Slaughterhouse Recording Studio in Westhampton, MA. Featured on the record are jazz/pop drummer Allison Miller, best known for her work with Natalie Merchant, who adds her unmistakable touch to “Momentary Thief” and “31 and Falling.” Renowned guitarist/producer David “Goody” Goodrich (Chris Smither, Peter Mulvey, Jeffrey Foucault) provides additional layers and ambience on several tracks. Lyndell Montgomery of the Ember Swift Band adds electric bass and fiddle. Additionally, several players from Driving North returned: Sebastian Renfield assists in production and adds banjo and guitar and Merrill Garbus adds harmony vocals and fiddle.

A native New Englander, the 27 year-old Pureka came to music at an early age, writing songs on her parents out of tune piano before the age of eight; but it wasn’t until she reached sixteen that she discovered the guitar and began playing in earnest. Following high school, Pureka attended Wesleyan University where she was a student of science and graduated to become an assistant in a biology lab at Smith College. All the while Pureka’s musical ambitions persevered. In 2001 she released a 7-song, self-titled EP and shortly thereafter landed a three-month national tour with folk poet Alix Olson. With the release of Driving North in 2004, Pureka left science behind and discovered her niche as a touring singer songwriter.

While hardship, longing and loss are all common themes of Pureka’s life and music, they’re also tempered by messages of hope, strength and perseverance. Following in that spirit, Dryland heralds the return of a smart, evolving artist who has already glimpsed sun through the clouds and knows how to keep moving forward with an eye for even brighter days ahead. If the new album is any indication, brighter days will be here in no time.



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Lovely guitar, lyrics and hauntingly beautiful voice... compelling lyrics, wonderful to listen to each word, or play over and over in life's background...


This is the best album I have heard in a long time. It's one of those albums that never loses its beauty and never gets tiring. A true treasure.


Greatest purchase I have ever made!
I found about the cd off of Andrea Gibson's website, where she mentions Chris. I found the website and listened to a couple of songs and was blown away! An amazing cd and definitly worth the buy!


Absolutely Fabulous !
A truly talented artist, Chris Pureka has once again managed to harness the radiant truth, beauty and honesty that emerges from within her and capture it all in song. A fantastic follow-up to Driving North, Dryland is a must have for anyone still singing Porch Songs and searching for an encore. Tracks such as "Compass Rose" and "Come Back Home" will have you craving for more. Dryland does not disappoint.


Absolutely Fabulous !
A truly talented artist, Chris Pureka has once again managed to harness the radiant truth, beauty and honesty that emerges from within her and capture it all in song. A fantastic follow-up to Driving North, Dryland is a must have for anyone still singing Porch Songs and searching for an encore. Tracks such as "Compass Rose" and "Come Back Home" will have you craving for more. Dryland does not disappoint.


Loved this cd as much as Driving North
I love this cd! It is just as great as Driving North!!

Tlcasp/Albuquerque, NM

I’m Speechless (well, actually…)
I think I could write a book about how I feel about this girl’s music, but I’ll try to keep it a bit shorter. Quite simply, Dryland is one of the most beautiful albums I’ve ever heard. Chris Pureka’s voice is indescribably compelling in a way that simultaneously breaks your heart and sets you on fire. Her mastery of the guitar is nothing less than astonishing, and her ability to express feeling through this instrument alone is quite amazing. Yes, her music makes you weep, but not always from sadness. Sometimes just the quiet message, the feeling, and the imagery evoked by words like “sweet air through the summer screen, tall grass and warm stones..” is enough to make your throat ache. Her style is pure, unaffected and straight from the heart, and her songwriting is so intimate and soulful that one can’t help but fall a little in love. Both Dryland and Driving North are essential albums. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Chris Pureka, but even if she never writes another song, I could live off these albums for a long time. Support this amazing independent artist. You won’t be disappointed, and you won’t be listening to anything else for weeks.

Dylan Fitzgerald

Stop reading. Start listening.
To start with, this isn't Chris' sophomore release -- that would be Driving North, which followed her self-titled album (also available here).

That said, Dryland follows in the same vein as Driving North, with a more refined, mature feel to it. Pureka has again created music that sounds poetic before you even listen to the lyrics. It's difficult for me to encapsulate in mere words how Pureka's music affects me, but I can say this: I listen to an enormous variety and amount of music, and be it punk or jazz or bluegrass or new-age, I'll usually listen to a given "favorite" album once every month or so. Driving North, on the other hand, sat in my CD player for a few weeks straight, and from listening through all of once, Dryland is destined to do the same -- perhaps for longer.

Having heard this album, I'm considering driving (appropriately north) some 500 miles to see her play live. This album is that good.

Linda Lee Kennedy

Chris has a tremendous second CD
Chris' guitar work is phenomenal and best show-cased on the sngs that deal with the harsh reality of relationships. I especially like the last three cuts. Compass Rose is very tender in places. I enjoy listening to this in my car CD player right after Driving North. It gives a nice perspective to her work.

Glued in my CD player
Chris Pureka is the ONLY artist that I can listen to for hours straight day after day without getting even a little bit sick of her. Her album Driving North has never been far from my player for over a year, and now has been bumped by Dryland, which is just as good, if not better. Her voice, lyrics, command of the guitar, and harmonies just pull you right into the songs and make you part of her world...or make you realize that she is already a part of yours in the way she can describe her experiences, and in doing so, also describe yours. Some of the songs on Dryland have a slightly more upbeat feel that those on Driving North, but all have the same heartfelt truthfulness.

GET THIS CD and support Chris!
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