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Get this crazy baby off my head!

21.1.09

Jan James



Jan James - Limousine Blues - 2003 - Provogue

Suitably recorded at Bombay Studios in Chicago, "Limousine Blues" is a good Chicago/Delta blues album, in the Johnson/Waters style from a very talented vocalist. Jan played the role of Janis Joplin in the Chicago production of the stage show, and despite the comparison with Janis, she is a natural blues singer, has a soulful edge to her sultry clear voice. and has her own great Delta blues vocal style. There is terrific guitar work here from Craig Calvert, and the rest of her small band give her perfect backing. Jan has been on the bill with greats like Little Feat, and B.B.King, and has a strong European fan base, as well as being immensely popular in Chicago, naturally!. Buy her great "Last Train" album. If anybody is aware of any Craig Calvert recordings with other artists, A.O.O.F.C would be most interested.

TRACKS

1 Build Me a Man - Words (Terry Abrahamson), Music (Craig Calvert)
2 I Got a Feelin'
3 Rise Above
4 Did What I Did
5 Montgomery
6 Limousine Blues
7 Chain of Fools - Don Covay
8 Young Man
9 Back Down to Memphis
10 Fool of Me
11 Pack My Suitcase
All songs composed by Jan James & Craig Calvert, except where noted

MUSICIANS

Jan James - Vocals
Craig Calvert - Guitars, Bass, Drums
Bob Long - Hammond B3, Piano
Eric Batterman - Additional Drums

REVIEW

"Limousine Blues" - Jan James is one of the best female blues singers in the business today. Period. She and her band absolutely kicked at the Harley 100th Anniversary in Milwaukee a couple of years ago...that was the event that ended with one of the greatest mistakes in entertainment history; the weird choice of Elton John as the event's musical headliner. Whoever was in charge of that blunder should have had Jan entertain the 250,000 people along the lakefront instead of Elton and his "Tiny Dancer!" Jan would have had that crowd goin' with her pure, powerful blues. It's never fair to compare one artist to another but as you listen to Jan there is no way that you don't have thoughts of Janis Joplin...and there's nothing wrong with that! Jan lives in Chicago and all of the heavyweight impact that the Windy City has had on the blues can be heard in Jan's music. This is one great disc...Jan is one great singer! © www.bikertruth.com


ABOUT JAN JAMES

Jan James' voice bleeds soul - whether rocking thousands in European amphitheaters, or searing one lonely heart in some Chicago dive. Delta blue, country Baptist, out on the street, back to church, rock your socks, belting, wailing, whispering and cajoling ... its all there. She's been compared to Janis Joplin, she grew up on Patsy Cline, and she's one of Chicago's perennial best. Tina Turner... Janis Joplin... The Rolling Stones... Jan James' performances have always provoked these comparisons. With her sandpapered voice and tough-blossom ethos, Jan has clasped the enthusiasm and acclaim of US and European audiences to her blues-rocking heart. The Detroit Metro Times voted her "Best Female Vocalist" just in time to send her off to her new hometown, Chicago, where she soon became a favorite in venues such as Buddy Guy's Legends, Taste of Chicago, and The House of Blues. Along the way Jan has shared the stage with greats such as Koko Taylor, BB King, The Divinyls, John Mayall, Little Feat, and James Brown. In time the buzz spread to Europe and Jan went on to release her European debut album Last Train on the Netherlands Provogue label. This collection was co-produced by Jan, Craig Calvert, and well-known Chicago producer Steve Shafer. Mastered by Greg Calbi (famous for his work on classic albums by The Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Cheap Trick, and many others), Last Train's infectious mix of flat-out rock-and-roll, blues, and heady gospel music received spirited praise from the European press. In response, Jan embarked on a promotional tour of acoustic and electric performances aired on radio and television throughout The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Scandanavia with a feature on NBC's television program Talking Blues. Again the press raved. "Voices of the caliber of Jan James' are rare in today's pop music..." and "her upbeat rock/blues is exceptionally radio-friendly and very stylishly executed." Meanwhile, in Chicago, Jan was lured to the stage in the starring role of Janis Joplin, performing 20 of the late great's classics. She easily adopted the stage persona of the woman to whom she is most often compared. Audiences loved the results and responded with standing ovations. Comparisons, however, are meant to be outgrown. Two more CD's, Soul Desire and The Color of Rose have since been released on the Dutch label, the latter as a passionate sequel to Last Train. Now, Limousine Blues, James' most traditional blues album, Jan's 2003 release. With its ten original songs in the roots genre, James returns to what she calls the "front porch" of the blues, referring to the Delta style popularized by artists like Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. This recording was done at Bombay Studios in Chicago. James' partner, songwriter and guitarist Craig Calvert, teamed up with Terry Abrahamson (Bus Driver, Muddy Waters) to pen the first track, "Gonna Build Me a Man". Destined for radio stations everywhere, Jan is on a stellar trajectory. Tune in, listen, she'll take you along © Sleeping Dog Records