"LADIES OF MY FAMILY" CD RELEASED!
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 www.bigbriar.com). 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
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 www.cdfreedom.com.
For mail order, send checks to: Janet Lenore, PO Box 899, Alameda, CA 94501.