News Column

Sena Ehrhardt aims to Blast off at blues awards show

October 24, 2013


Oct. 24--Sena Ehrhardt will be all dressed up on Halloween, but not in a costume.

The local blues singer will be performing and, hopefully, taking home two awards at the Blues Blast Magazine awards show on Oct. 31 in Chicago. Ehrhardt is nominated for best song ("Dreamin' or Dyin'") and, for the second straight year, the Sean Costello Rising Star Award.

While she was nominated for two Blues Blast awards last year and has been playing the blues in southern Minnesota for years, Ehrhardt still considers herself a newcomer, especially on the national scene.

"'All In' is only my second album on a national label," said Ehrhardt, who signed with Blind Pig Records. "The folks in Minnesota, who have known me for years, when I was in my dad's band prior to starting my own band, may kind of think that is characterization that's not fitting, but I think it's fitting on the national scene."

Mud Morganfield won the Rising Star award last year, while Ehrhardt took home the trophy for best debut album release for "Leave the Light On."

"Dreamin' or Dyin" is the final track on Ehrhardt's second release. She says that she wrote the song in one night, while sitting at her piano.

Along with earning two nominations for a second straight year, Ehrhardt, likely in a brand-new dress, will also perform with her band at the ceremony, which takes place at Buddy Guy's Legends.

"I've played Legends, but not at the awards show," she said. "It's a great venue. Buddy Guy was influential in how the club was laid out. The place has great acoustics and anywhere you sit is a good seat."

Another perk of playing during the awards show is a chance to play new music in front of industry leaders.

"Looking around and seeing the musicians that I have admired and who have really influenced me throughout the years, seeing them all dressed up and looking great and performing and just being a part of that was equally as inspiring for me as being nominated."

Sena will be joined on stage as always by her father, Ed. Before putting together her own band, Sena was in the Ed Ehrhardt band. Guitarist Cole Allan, bass player Patrick Smith and drummer Paul Pederson are recent newcomers to the Sena Ehrhardt Band and will play the awards show.

Allan, who joined the band this summer, adds a second guitar and fifth member to the long-time four-member blues band.

"It's great to have two guitars play off of one another," Sena Ehrhardt said.

Allan and Sena Ehrhardt will also play a series of two-person acoustic shows this fall, including a concert on Nov. 6 at Torge's in Austin. Ehrhardt said playing in Austin and at Torge's is always special. Her parents live in Austin and she graduated from Austin High School.

"Torge's is a live venue in Austin that has been supportive of me and my music for years, dating back to when they had the Hambone Blues Festival in the parking lot. They have always been supportive of having me there, so that should be fun.


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