Chris Pureka (Oregon)
“With a parched, wounded voice and a mean way with an acoustic guitar, Pureka makes romantic depression seem, somehow, invigorating.” – LA Daily News
Like pretty much no one else before her, Chris Pureka made the difficult transition from microbiologist to folk singer with a consummate, some might say organic, ease. There’s a story there, as you can imagine.
This acoustic singer-songwriter’s tale begins in Northampton, Massachusetts and ends up, for now, in the people’s republic of Portland. She began writing songs at eight as a way of journaling and started playing guitar at 16. She performed in coffee house and open mic nights while completing a degree in biology at Wesleyan University, then in microbiological research at Smith College. Then she left to make her music full-time. Good decision.
Her elegant emotionality as a vocalist, and her flair and immediacy as a lyricist have garnered her favorable comparisons to Gillian Welch, Ryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, and Patty Griffin. She’s earned accolades from distinguished reviewers, and shared the stage with such esteemed artists as Dar Williams, The Lumineers, Ani DiFranco and others. Along the way, Chris has remained fiercely independent, selling nearly 50,000 albums through her own label, Sad Rabbit Records.
She says, “My music is the outward expression of the work I’m doing internally. What I do comes from my experiences, and I strive to express these experiences authentically. Speaking my truth, and being myself, is the way that I connect with people.”
Chris recently released Back in the Ring, her first full album in roughly six years.