A Brief View of the Hudson
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A Brief View of the Hudson

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Folk Americana


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"NXNE 2013: A Brief View of the Hudson"

The folk-rock duo A Brief View of the Hudson formed more than 10 years before the release of their debut album Querencia. The wait may have made their friends and fans impatient, but resulted in a record good enough to be, in some alternate universe, a greatest hits set.

The team of Ann Enzminger, a Texan, and Nick Nace, a Canadian, stopped by this year's NXNE festival in Toronto. We caught up with them before the show to talk about their long-in-the-works album and hear some stories behind their songs.

Where did you first meet?

ANN: We were both in drama school.

NICK: I enrolled right after high school.

ANN: It was the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

Sounds legit.

NICK: A million-dollar name for a not-quite million-dollar institution.

Were you acting, or involved in productions?

NICK: Ann was in the musical theatre program, and I was in the studio program. No singing for me.

Did it prepare you for a career on the stage of a different sort?

NICK: You'd think that it would've! It definitely helped make us more comfortable. But what really helped were open mics — that's where we got comfortable.

ANN: I've always been totally comfortable singing into a microphone, not so much talking into one. Those open mics ... we actually opened a lot of comedy shows in the past decade, and that helped a lot. We're your favourite comic's favourite indie folk band.

Nick, did you introduce Ann to any Canadian music?

NICK: Every Stompin' Tom CD [laughs]. I dunno, did I Ann?

ANN: I got to know the scene that Nick came from. I got a better perspective.

What took so long to get your debut album out?

NICK: Several false starts and empty wallets. Nothing came to pass until last year.

ANN: The songs represent the whole last 10 years.

NICK: Most from the last five, but kind of like a "Greatest Hits" — all the songs people liked over the years.

Was the future of the group ever in doubt?

NICK: Not to me, maybe to other people. I think we were just gettin' our chops.

ANN: A lot was happening — college, grad school. When that thinned out I asked, "Why don't we have a record yet?" The band wasn't in jeopardy, but people in our community wondered ...

NICK: There were murmurs behind our backs. But we showed them.

You beat your goal on Kickstarter to fund the album ...

NICK: We should have asked for more money! It was a really positive experience, paid for 90% of the record.

ANN: We hit our goal in a few days. It was great to see our friends and fans want to help us.

How soon into the band's history did you settle on the name?

ANN: We played a show in 2001 and we needed a name — Nick's suggestions were A Brief View of the Hudson and Ann Enzminger and the Enzmingers.

NICK: I think we missed out.

The album title Querencia is kind of an un-translatable word.

NICK: The definition I like is "Where one feels most at home, or finds their strength." It also refers to the centre of a bullfighting ring.

ANN: The place where the bull gathers his strength to make his last stand.

NICK: Fitting for a record that took 10 years to make.

Who is Tilly?

NICK: It's a song about my hometown. Tilly isn't really a person — my stepmother's uncle was an alcoholic, and he would call everyone Tilly. The opening verse of the song is based on a story he told once at Christmas. I thought, "Gold. Let's turn that into a song."
- Toro Magazine

"A Brief View of the Hudson at NXNE"

For Nick Nace and Ann Enzminger, their bio reads like a Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy screenplay. After random meetings in NYC, and years unaware of each other's existence, they eventually formed the band A Brief View of the Hudson, and with it, you feel the two were destined to be together, at least on stage. Their CD "Querenicia", a word roughly translated from Spanish to "where you are at your most authentic self."

From across the border, Nick and Ann provided Examiner.com an interview leading up to their June Toronto NXNE festival appearance.

Let's jump right into NXNE. The first usual question: Is this your first time playing? Excited?

A Brief View of the Hudson (Thursday June 13 / 10 p.m. / C'est What)


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For Nick Nace and Ann Enzminger, their bio reads like a Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy screenplay. After random meetings in NYC, and years unaware of each other's existence, they eventually formed the band A Brief View of the Hudson, and with it, you feel the two were destined to be together, at least on stage. Their CD "Querenicia", a word roughly translated from Spanish to "where you are at your most authentic self."

From across the border, Nick and Ann provided Examiner.com an interview leading up to their June Toronto NXNE festival appearance.

Let's jump right into NXNE. The first usual question: Is this your first time playing? Excited?

Yes and yes!

Yes and yes.
we think so alike


As you head into Canada for this, with at least one of you being Canadian as I understand it, are there any special cross-border plans?

My bro will be sitting in on bass and my folks will be at the show. Then cottage time on Saturday.

We might hit Niagra Falls on the way back

(The interview deviated slightly to the non-use of the Canadian penny for retailers, GAWKER, and Mayor Ford, and Twitter.)

What are your impressions of NXNE? Any other music you plan to check out?

It seems like the nice, laid back SXSW. Less jostling for money, headlines etc. more my speed.

We can't wait to see the bands in our showcase.

That's true.

But I'm most excited too wander around and discover stuff.

Ann's never been [to Toronto] except to the airport.

... and a Greek restaurant where I almost got my eyebrows singed off.

I always hit up Menalon when I'm in town.

Fried cheese, delicious...and dangerous.


Question for Ann: How essential are eyebrows to "A Brief View of the Hudson" show? And what are the essential elements to ABVotH show?


Well, my mom once told me that my left eyebrow is really sexy so as long as that one's intact we're ok.

eyebrows are optional!! but ABVOTH is basically me and Ann. those are the important elements. we can play anywhere amps or not!

Yeah, we enjoy being versitile

I'm guessing there hasn't been a rehearsal with the bassist for the show, how is that going to work out for the showcase, or will you get one in?

We have one scheduled for Wednesday night.

We will have one the night before with keys, drums and bass. They are all pretty talented and will make us sound great I imagine. I'm looking forward to fresh faces.

With NXNE being a fairly short showcase in terms of on stage time, how are you preparing
your set? Will rehearsal cover extra material and pare it down?

Not really. Just 10 tunes. Our songs arent super long anyhow so I know we can fit them all in short and sweet.

We'll throw in some simple duets if we find ourselves with extra time.


Looking at the lineup, there should be a lot of folks out to C'est What that night -- for all the ones who have never heard you before, how do you turn them into listeners?

We'll be as generous with the energy as possible. And maybe pass around some shwag.

I try not to think about it. But we have been doing this a long time and I think people can see that and see that we are having a blast and they respond to that I think. Also we have a catchy song or two.

For a full list of NXNE artists visit their website: www.nxne.com
For more Toronto Music Examiner articles visit:

- Examiner.com

"Edgy, Fun, Lyrically Driven Americana from A Brief View of the Hudson"

New York Americana rock band A Brief View of the Hudson are influenced by traditional sounds but not intimidated by them. They’re not afraid to be themselves, which is a very good thing. They have punk sarcasm and energy and purist chops: their jaunty ragtime song is a warning to stay the hell away, and their carefree nocturne, complete with Paul Duffy’s organ elegantly handing off to a soulful Stefan Zeniuk tenor sax solo, is the prettiest song about death you’ll ever hear. Their lyrics have wit and bite; the arrangements are smart, tasteful and intriguing. The songs on their new album Querencia – streaming at their Bandcamp page – are catchy and deceptively simple: there are all kinds of neat touches that pop out at you with repeated listening. They’re playing Bowery Electric this Thursday May 9 at around 11; if roots music is your thing, you should go see them.

Guitarists Nick Nace and Ann Enzminger join voices in some rich harmonies fronting the band. Nace’s vocals have a wry, sardonic edge; Enzminger alternates between a country soul wail and a clipped precision in the same vein as Sarah Guild of the New Collisions. The opening track, Where Are Songs sets the tone, Duffy’s swirly, lush organ blending with Sean Boyd’s banjo, Nace’s guitar back in the mix, oscillating through a flange. Wisconsin Window Smasher – a tribute to the legendary Mary Sweeney – has a Sticky Fingers-era Stones vibe, a sound they return to with a vengeance a little later on in the savage working person’s lament No Way Out. Likewise, the harmony-fueled Song About Rocks builds to a growling backbeat rock tune: “Don’t stones cry?” Enzminger ponders.

The banjo waltz My Love Is in Washington DC banjo waltz reminds of Curtis Eller at his most sureal and creepy, Enzminger adding disarmingly high harmonies, “Where angels are bullets and death is a clown.” The intensity peaks out with the angst-driven Somewhere Else, another case where the lyrics contrast with a comforting, familiar, catchy tune, in this case Creedence-flavored rock. Jonnie Miles’ tiptoeing drums give Tilly a suspenseful edge, while Until the Waters Go shuffles along with lively horns and piano. There are also a couple of straight-up gospel numbers, the organ-spiced Angels (a remake of the old standard Wish I Was in Heaven Sitting Down) and the stripped-down country blues-infused Lay Me Down.
- New York Music Daily

"Debut Album from NY Based Duo Provides Eclectic Brilliance"

As we all know, one of the real pleasures of listening to music is finding that real gem that gives the wow factor and makes you sit up and take note. This CD does just that, providing one of if not the best album of the admittedly still quite new year to date.
Let’s start with the background information. A View Of The Hudson is a duo comprising Canadian Nicholas Trace and Texan Ann Enzminger. The two met at a drama school in New York City, but soon realised that their passion lay in making what we term Americana music. All 14 songs on the CD were written by the duo. Their website refers to the tags or labels given to their music which include acoustic, alternative Americana, rock, alt-folk, country and many more and you can understand why as there are so many musical influences at work here.

The voices work so well together complimenting each other all the way, although it is the magnificent vocals of Ann Enzminger that really catch the ear. This lady has a really strong voice which is reminiscent in many ways of the great Natalie Merchant of 10,000 Maniacs. Indeed, “A Million Ways To Break My Heart” a touching love song with a haunting violin and “Song About Rocks” a short upbeat quirky pop number could easily have slipped into that groups late 1980’s masterpiece 'In My Tribe'. The brilliance of the work is that there are so many styles at play with excellent musicianship all of which knit so well together. “Maryreilly” is a swing number featuring a swift change of mood towards its climax, “Nighttime” has a fantastic sax solo and in “Angels” there is an almost evangelical feel with pumping organ as all sing “I wish I was in heaven sitting down”. We even have a fantastic rock song, “No Way Out” featuring Hendrix like fuzz guitar. There are no obvious stand out tracks, they are all great, although the album closer “Until The Waters Go” is sublime switching between New Orleans swing and hints of mariachi. 'Querencia' by the way is apparently an untranslatable Spanish word that roughly means the place where you are at your most authentic self. If these guys have reached that state they are in a great place.

Reviewers Score 9/10 - Americana-uk.com

"Singular Vocal Bliss @ CMJ"

A Brief View of the Hudson, a five-piece band centered on the vocals of Ann Enzminger and Nick Nace. Nace’s deep voice, which contained some rather Dylan-esque inflections, contrasted beautifully with Enzminger's gliding tones. The band itself had a very old-timey feel, like they should have been playing Al Swearengen’s saloon in Deadwood. Luckily, their style was much more charming than distracting. It helped that the band mostly yielded to the presence of the two singers, since Enzminger and Nace are the heart and soul of A Brief View of the Hudson. The best parts of the set were when the two singers would trade lines during the verses before combining their powers into singular vocal bliss. - The Deli Magazine

"Traveling act loses one Roanoke gig, gets another one!"

A Brief View of the Hudson was booked for Sunday at Kirk Avenue Music Hall. But Kirk Ave. canceled the show. That didn’t faze this traveling trio, which immediately set to finding a new spot to play.

Today, a gig came through. The band will play Awful Arthur’s, downtown Roanoke, on Sunday. It probably wouldn’t have mattered if it had scored that slot, because the band told me via its twitter account that it would play a street corner or a house. Busking fools! Glad they’ve got a warm joint in which to set up.

Check out the A Brief View of the Hudson’s album, “Querencia,” via bandcamp.com. Good acoustic stuff with strong vocals from Ann Enzminger, nice harmony, violin melodies, accordion chug and a bit of a country feel. Absolutely worthwhile 9 p.m. Sunday listening. Will update with cover charge. UPDATE 3:30 p.m. 2.14.13: Cover will be no more than $2 and might be free, according to the band.
- Roanoke Times

"A Brief View & Their City Folk"

When New York City indie folk rock band A Brief View of the Hudson toured in support of their new album, Querencia, they ran into some interesting situations, like being on a bill with metal bands, and a surprise slumber party with an exotic dancer, and that was just one night in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Singer Ann Enzminger remembers the evening, saying that for the show, "we were sandwiched between four heavy metal bands, like thrash metal bands, two on each side." The metal crowd, however, loved A Brief View of the Hudson. "We had a bunch of 16 to 21-year-olds that were really getting into it," she recalls. "They were really participatory." Bassist Joel Herzig felt it was the "best show of the tour."

The band, which also includes guitarist and singer Nick Nace, crashed on random people's couches for the entire tour, and that night they hung out with the roommate of the girl they were staying with, as well as another couch surfer. Things became interesting when the other resident of the apartment arrived home. Nace replays the evening, saying, "She rolled in about 3:30 AM, and it turned out she was an exotic dancer. She rolls in with the DJ from the dance club and some other guy. They wanted to hang out and get down all night long, and we're just sitting there, tired and burned out."

Herzig jokes that crashing with an exotic dancer led to A Brief View getting an "extended view."

This was not the first tour experience for A Brief View of the Hudson, whose name is derived from the part of the ride on the 1 train between 125th Street and 137th Street when the train goes above ground and passengers get a brief view of the Hudson River. This was, however, an especially important tour for the band, as Querencia is an album that had been ten years in the making.

"We had some false starts," Enzminger explains. "It wasn't from a lack of trying." Even as the years went by and the album continued to experience setbacks, Nace says, "There was never a time when it was not gonna happen."

Querencia finally saw the light of day this January. The title has a dual meaning as the word querencia can be loosely translated as the place where you're your most authentic self, and is also a bullfighting term for the place in the ring where the bull goes to regain its strength.

The album, as a whole, is steeped in honesty, because, according to Nace, it's that honesty that originally drew him to folk music. He describes the genre, saying, "It's from the heart, and it's down home, and it's just genuine. It's just genuine music, saying genuine things, and with usually very genuine people attached to it."

A Brief View of the Hudson's genuineness was rewarded at their album release party, for which they had a packed house at Lower East Side venue Bowery Electric.

The Lower East Side has long been a performance home for A Brief View of the Hudson. They opened for the Tell Your Friends! comedy show, which has taken place in the LES every Monday night for five years. Now, with some of the comedians from Tell Your Friends! hitting it big, including Reggie Watts, and Kristen Schaal, a movie on it has been made, and the band was involved in that project, as well, writing the theme song, doing the soundtrack, and appearing in the film. In addition to being a great experience, Nace says, "It paid for our plane tickets to go on a little mini tour of Europe."

This past week Nace, Enzminger, and Herzig returned home from their most recent tour -- that of the metal bands and exotic dancer -- and are looking to make sure it won't be another ten year wait before fans hear another album from them. According to Nace, "We're gonna take a couple weeks off, then go into the writing room, so to speak, and try to hash out another record, hopefully in the next year or so." He pauses for a moment, then adds "that's my fantasy, at least."

If all goes well, this time around there will only be a brief wait to hear more from A Brief View of the Hudson and then they can get back on the road. There's an exotic dancer in Raleigh that's probably still up for a good time and has plenty of couch space available.

- See more at: http://arena.com/article/a-brief-view-of-the-hudson-and-their-city-folk#sthash.tUIDShJ - Arena.com

"Honestly, it’s hard not to fall for Querencia from the start!"

A Brief View of the Hudson has spent the last decade or so charming local music lovers with their Americana-tinged, salt of the Earth folk-rock. Fronted by Ann Enzminger (vocals/acoustic guitar) and Nick Nace (vocals/guitar), they served up their rich mix of tunes for the long running comedy show, Tell Your Friends!, for a handful of years. As a five-piece, they had been keeping the Bowery Poetry Club crowd company as resident house band before its closure. And now, they finally bestow the flawless beauty that is their long awaited full-length, Querencia.

Honestly, it’s hard not to fall for Querencia from the start. These 14 songs are incredibly well crafted, laced with lilting country inflections and pristine guitar rock. Enzminger’s bright, powerful vocals are timeless and authentic as she croons through band classic “Wisconsin Window Smasher” and the gospel-flavored “Angels.” She and Nace make a dynamic pair throughout; the old-timey “Goldmine” and the spindly indie-folk of “Tilly” being two key highlights. And saxophonist Stefan Zeniuk and organist Paul Duffy’s burn through “Nighttime,” so brightly, so powerfully they’ll have you slow dancing in the dark for hours, no doubt.
So what’s the story behind the exotic-sounding name Querencia? Well, there are a few theories making the rounds, but as Enzminger recently explained, it’s an “untranslatable Spanish word that indicates the place where you feel most at home.” Well, that certainly says it all doesn’t it? Head on home with A Brief View of the Hudson.

For more on Querencia, which drops January 22, click here.

And catch A Brief View of the Hudson at their CD release party at The Bowery Electric on Wednesday, January 23. Show kicks off at 8pm with special guests Madison Cano, Sean T. Hanratty & The Mighty Mighty, and Mon-tag
- Bowery Boogie

"Arrestingly Powerful Vocals"

"A Brief View of the Hudson features Ann Enzminger's arrestingly powerful vocals, which are well tuned to the duo's graceful songs of indie-folk heartbreak."

"..With infectious house band A Brief View of the Hudson and A-list guests, you're certain to find something that pleases."

"North/South Records, the label run by graceful indie-folk duo A Brief View of the Hudson, presents this rootsy Valentine's celebration. Highlights are sure to include the curators themselves.."

- Time Out NY

"Stirring Set"

"The night began with a stirring set from Bowery Poetry Club regulars, country-folk duo A Brief View of the Hudson." - East Village.com

"They Have the Requisite Chops and Voices"

New York-based psych-folk duo A Brief View of the Hudson, known to their friends as Ann Enzminger and Nicholas Nace, offer six catchy songs here. "Rambler"'s rockabilly hootenanny captures the energy of the White Stripes from the outset, while mixing it with a dash of downtown snarly attitude. The jangly Byrds-like introduction and psychedelic ambience of "Movin' the Gold Around" make it the most retro-sounding of Go North to Find Me's songs, although "Goddamn Days", with its swamp rock vibe, is in the running as well. Still, nods to sixties pop symbolism don't negate either song's catchiness.

"Down South", on the other hand, is far more atmospheric, mixing alt-country with a vocal duet in the chorus that wouldn't be out of place in a slowcore context. Enzmingers voice soars on"Perfect Love" against an arrangement that could have been lifted from an early rock 'n roll track, complete with a repeated and accelerated chorus finish. The EP finishes with the folk-inflected "Someone Else's Street": bass and percussion set a slow, heavily thrumming articulation of the downbeat against layers of vocals from Enzminger and Nace.

A Brief View of the Hudson makes interesting songs out of the mixture and juxtaposition of hallowed pop cultural archetypes; it certainly helps that they have the requisite chops and voices to perform these concoctions well. - Splendid Ezine

"Versatile Group"

“They place their material outside of any genre restrictions. Love, loss and a search for identity in the Big Apple are some of themes that grace the songs of this versatile group. ” - Jezebel Music.com

"Attractive Sound"

"The acoustic sixties rock feel mixed with some modern production and twin male/female vocals all add up to an attractive sound that makes me curious to hear more." - Urban Folk

"Leaves Us Hungry For More"

The disc starts with a child asking if he'll be a rock star. A good start for an album that combines a childlike lightness with a grownup's maturity. This theme is enhanced musically combining a jangling acoustic sound and brushed drums and cymbals with electric guitars. On the song Down South it is mirrored in Ann's sweet vocals mixed with Nick's low growl of a voice.
The production leaves a good amount of air between the instruments creating a light and airy feel. It feels like you discovered some cool vinyl from 1967 and you wonder why you never heard of this group before. Discovery is one of the main delights of being a consumer of music. This six-song 'ep' leaves us hungry for more. - Antifolk.net

"Americana Done Exceedingly Well"

Brandishing their unique brand of, yes, Americana, done exceedingly well. Ann's opera-trained voice; everyone's impassioned shouting; impeccable, salty-and-sweet harmonies; great playing; and old-timey twang. In all, a fun and enjoyable set, to say the bare least! - Phoning It In on BSR Live.com

"Suprisingly Tolerable"

"Demetri Martin, Slovin & Allen and Late Night With Conan O'Brien writer Brian Kiley are among the stand-ups who have squeezed into Lolita's narrow space since the show's debut this summer, alongside the suprisingly tolerable resident folk duo A Brief View of the Hudson." - The Onion

"Best Folk Duo"

It's rare that we like a band from the first chord. Yet the first time we saw folk duo A Brief View of the Hudson play at the Bowery Poetry Club we were hooked.

Ann Enzminger and Nicholas Nace incorporate many of the best characteristics of both country music and classic rock without sounding derivative. Their songs usually comprise one or two simple chord progressions with changes so well-selected as to generate an almost narrative sense of movement.

Enzminger is a tiny woman, a hair taller than five feet, but with an opera-trained voice as big and sweet as a bowling ball-size Hershey Kiss. Nace's twangy talk-singing adds a quirky and ear-catching roughness; we crave the combination time and again. - New York Press


LP: Querencia (2013 North/South)

EP: Well Here We Are (2010 North/South)

EP: Go North to Find Me (2004 North/South)

Single: She Will Never Speak, Anticomp Folkilation (2007 Crafty Records)

Single: Half A World Apart, The Art Star Sounds Compilation (2005 North/South)



"A Brief View of the Hudson features Ann Enzminger's arrestingly powerful vocals, which are well tuned to the duo's graceful songs of indie-folk heartbreak." -Time Out NY

"They finally bestow the flawless beauty that is their long awaited full-length, Querencia." -Bowery Boogie

"Singular vocal bliss." - Deli Magazine

Ann Enzminger spent her early years in Texas singing on Austin street corners and with many ill-fated traveling bands and revues. She finally settled in New York City in the early part of this century and through a series of seemingly unrelated events and a small stint in Drama school she met Nick Nace. Nick had come in to town, not long after Ann, on a slow train from Canada's northlands. It was a crisp October afternoon when he first laid eyes upon his new home, the sun was shining, the sky was happy and the golden leaves and yellow taxicab's spun together in autumnal glory. After some shaky first steps, a brief incarceration and an illness I wont bother to talk about Nick found a bed bug ridden room at The Hotel Belleclaire, a sleazy S.R.O. on Manhattans Upper West Side. It was a dismal place. Yet such beautiful flowers can rise from the darkest of corners. Besides two random meetings in the Hotels small elevator Nick & Ann spent years mostly unaware of the others existence. Then one day Nick was walking down the Bowery when he heard a voice singing as if from the ether. There was the petite frame of Ann Enzminger belting out a melancholy tune so powerful and violent yet so delicate and feminine Nick was dumbfounded. He watched for several minutes in a trance like state. Then it hit him. He knew what he had to do. He tore home, got his hands on an old blue guitar and resolved to start a musical collaboration with Ann by years end. Over the next six months he practiced day and night. One day as he was sitting in the hallway plucking a Hank Williams tune he looked up to see Ann staring down at him. "I've been listening to you practice for months now, you're finally getting somewhere, you're almost good even" she said. "I am playing down at The Delilah in two days maybe we can work out a few numbers." Perhaps it was fate, perhaps not, but from that day forward whenever I take the train home and it goes above ground between 125th St. and 137th St. I look to the west and between the buildings and behind the highway, right before we disappear underground once more, I see A Brief View of the Hudson.