Janet Lenore, a singer-songwriter with deep roots in the Northern California countryside, is releasing her first recording in Winter, 2000. Featuring 12 original songs and 5 bonus tracks, the "Ladies of My Family" is like having two CDs in one. The original tunes were recorded in 1999 while the five bonus tracks were in the vaults and unheard for almost twenty years. Transferred from a reel-to-reel tape, the bonus tracks are taken from a live radio performance by "Rosenthorn," Janet's folk music partnership with her mother.

Stylistically, this collection of songs tends towards a country-folk flavor with some assertive, bluesy songs thrown into the mix. Janet generally prefers fingerpicking guitar styles to strumming and she has a clear alto voice. Through the miracle of multi-track recording, Janet Lenore augments her acoustic guitar and vocals with her own banjo and mandolin accompaniment. "Ant Song," written from a tiny, rather righteous ant's viewpoint, has Janet playing lead fills using a theremin, an electronic instrument which she herself assembled (see Her songs are introspective and funny in turn, and sometimes both at once such as "House Gourmet," a song that describes how a suddenly empty refrigerator signifies the end of a relationship. Exploring other contemporary topics, Janet sings to a "virtual" lover ("Thru the Web"), highlights the universal dilemma of how to wear one's hair ("Hangs Down") and musically conjures a dream diet where weight loss is achieved by eating "Flat Food."

While most of these original songs were written during the past two years, "Another Fuse," was composed when the songwriter was in high school. Janet Lenore started making up her own songs soon after she took up the guitar with a vengeance at the age of 12. By the time she was 15, she and her mother had begun performing together as a folk duo in and around their Northern California hometown. Worries about her grandmother's illnesses inspired Janet to write the title track. Though she performed the song many times with her mother, this recording features Tanya Rosen singing the harmony vocals. The songwriter has fondly dedicated this CD to the music and the memories of her mother and grandmother, both of whom fought cancer in the 1990s.

The CD's bluegrass-styled title track features Janet's guitar and banjo wrapped around a rollicking mandolin solo by guest musician Robin Flower. The last of the 12 original tunes on this recording features the other half of the Flower and McLaren duo, Libby McLaren, whose accordion sets a more melancholy mood for "Trip to France." The CD's other guest performers were drawn from both West and East Coast musicians. Chris Grampp, Ben-o Jones and Floyd Whitworth play electric guitar; Joel Fisher and Jeff Davis contribute electric bass tracks, and Abhilasha Natarajan played the violin. Janet recorded most of the CD at producer-engineer Ben-O Jones' Boston studio over a three-day weekend in April 1999 while the guest musicians recorded in San Francisco's East Bay during the Summer and Fall.

Janet made four trips to the Sacramento Valley and the Sierra foothills, sifting through her family photo collections to create the cover art. The front cover portraits represent six generations of women, ranging from Janet's pipe-smoking great great great grandmother to her young niece Megan. Graphic artist Ellen Silva, in collaboration with Janet Lenore, designed the CD's beautiful cover art and lyrics pages.

Copies of "Ladies of My Family" are available directly from Janet Lenore by check or cash and can also be purchased through the web at For mail order, send checks to: Janet Lenore, PO Box 899, Alameda, CA 94501.