The Free Press, Mankato, MN


November 15, 2013

Opening for Robert Cray further expands Rochester performer's blues cachet

Opening for Robert Cray further expands Rochester performer's blues cachet


"It was her soulful voice and her riveting, energetic, magnetic act that made her presentation so compelling," wrote Jonnye Weber in reviewing Sena's performance at the 2012 Blues Music Awards ceremony in Memphis. "Yes, Sena Ehrhardt had cast a spell over that large crowd."

On her second album — which was produced under the guidance of Grammy-winning producer Jim Gaines — Sena demonstrates her evolution both as a songwriter and performer.

"Storm's Coming" is a slow-burning showcase for the sultry end of Sena's range while songs such as "Man Up" and the album's title track hints at the muscular power of her vocals. Complementing a slate of original songs with covers such as "Cry to Me" and "Cold, Cold Feeling," Sena said she wanted her second album to represent a fuller, more well-rounded sound.

To that end, she said she's most proud of the album's closing track, "Dreamin' or Dyin'," an emotive ballad that Gaines helped her develop from a tune she was simply "plunking on her piano."

As she continues to tour in support of her latest release, Sena said she takes her responsibility as a contemporary blues performer seriously and has no plans to step outside that tradition.

"The blues are something that is passed down in families through generations," said Sena, whose introduction to music came as a young girl listening to her father rehearse with his bandmates. "People assume that all musicians want to play big arenas and sell millions of records. I just want to play music that moves me and connects with the crowd."

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If You Go What Robert Cray Band, with opening performer Sena Ehrhardt When Doors open 6 p.m. Saturday Where Verizon Wireless Center SoundStage Tickets $39, all seats reserved. Purchase at the Verizon Wireless Center Ticket Office and all Ticketmaster locations. Charge by phone at 800-745-3000, or online at

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