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  • Writer's pictureBilly Castillo

Kate Ellis - “Hurt” ~ Hurts So Good!


What do you get when you cross authentic country folk with the poetic angst of Trent Reznor’s epic “Hurt”, originally released by Nine Inch Nails 29 years ago (and again a decade later by the late Johnny Cash on his final release)? Judging by the latest (and possibly, best) version of this modern-day classic, this time by rising artist Kate Ellis, you end up with 3:15 of absolutely amazing music.


Ellis was a “love at first listen” artist already, with such wonderful songs as the previously covered “Other Side of the Streets”. Her version of “Hurt”, though, goes way beyond “wonderful” and into the transcendent territory. The stripped-down (yet still hauntingly lush) production allows the focus to be on Ellis’s voice, and she accomplishes a seemingly impossible feat of making a song with two distinct yet still timeless versions already in the public eye still sound fresh, vital, and (dare I say it) original. The term “soulful” is tossed around so much that it lost its meaning, but here it’s quite apt. “Gritty” maybe even more on point.


Production duties were handled by John Reynolds, who has worked with such notable artists as Belinda Carlisle, Sinead O’Connor, and the Indigo Girls. With such an impressive resume it might sound like hyperbole to place Kate Ellis’s cover of “Hurt” up there with the very best, but arguably it belongs up there. This is how you do a cover right? Beautifully cathartic, “Hurt” may be the definitive version of this classic song, and one that transcends genre and becomes a timeless classic of its very own. You owe it to yourself to listen to this song…just be aware there will likely not be a dry eye anywhere in its vicinity. You have been thusly warned; enjoy at your heart’s own peril.


Listen to "Hurt" on Spotify here -

You can check out Kate Ellis website here:





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