Ten years, eight songwriting honours and five Okanagan Valley Music Awards later, the woman they now call “The Pastor of Songwriting” in her hometown of Kelowna, BC, has been winning recognition from fans and peers alike as an outstanding practitioner of her craft.
The diverse influences are effortlessly pulled together by Eamon’s voice, an instantly familiar-sounding alto, which at times evokes shades of Tillery, Connie Kaldor, KD Lang and Heather Bishop. She is backed up by an evocative array of acoustic instrumentation that includes guitar, stand-up bass, fiddle, mandolin, pedal steel and a touch of soprano sax.
It’s an impressive repertoire for an artist who quit music more than three decades ago thinking she “wasn’t good enough.”
As it turns out, she’s proved to be more than “good enough.” She’s already earned the enthusiastic support of Roz and (the late) Howard Larman, hosts of Los Angeles’ iconic FolkScene program, and she’s been a featured artist on NPR’s Open Mic. “Blue Madonna,” the title track from Eamon’s 2002 debut CD, placed third in the KADAC Arts Awards and earned an Honourable Mention from the Billboard Song Contest. “Ruckus in the Henhouse,” from A Different Place, a political number inspired by the Vote for Change concert series, earned an Honour Award from both the Great American Song Contest and The Unisong Song Contest and was a finalist in the Mountain Stage Newsong Contest. “Let Time Take Care of the Rest,” from Deep Water, also received an Honourable Mention from the Great American Song Contest. Eamon earned the 2005 Socan Songwriter of the Year award and the Best Female Artist award at the Okanagan Valley Music Awards, and she has been named Best Folk Artist three years running. In addition, her music has been featured on several compilation albums, including “Protest Songs for a Better World” and “Dig Your Roots,” and she was the lead writer of the official Kelowna centennial song.
What’s more, her passion for sharing her gift with others has earned her the title “Pastor of songwriting” in her hometown of Kelowna B.C. (alluding to her dedication to her craft and not to any religious involvement on Eamon’s part). In 2006, she was a finalist for the Angel Award for outstanding contribution to the creative arts and a nominee for the Okanagan Art Award in 2007. Eamon appears frequently in the local media discussing songwriting and is currently putting together a book called “In Their Words".
That unwavering commitment to artistic growth combined with her formidable raw talent makes her one of the most exciting new creative forces on the Canadian songwriting scene.
Gord Brush - Guitar
The Blue Madonna(2002)
Tracks receiving radio play - The Blue Madonna, Heartbreak Train, When You Do That Thing You Do, Take My Hand, Edible Love Song, Peace Tonight
A Different Place (2004) Janey Girl Records
All tracks receiving radio play, samples can be heard at www.janeandgord.com.
Deep Water (2006) Janey Girl Records
I Will Fly, Black Wind Blowing, Ain't Gonna Get Wet, Move On Down, One Last Song
Real (2008) Janey Girl Records
Let It Go, The Soldier's Lament, Yellow Moon, I Can't Wait, Friends, Hero, When Darkness Comes
Caught in Time (2010) Janey Girl Records
Arms of the Angel, Salvation for the Street, A Bit of Grace
Arms of the Angel
Salvation for the Street
A Bit of Grace
A Piece of Red Clay
The Door is Open
Under the Big Sky
Jane Eamon - Sing Out Magazine
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God bless Jane Eamon. With wisdom, humor and quiet spirituality, this Okanagan’s album Deep Water r...God bless Jane Eamon. With wisdom, humor and quiet spirituality, this Okanagan’s album Deep Water revives the gospel-tinged tradition of rock-solid uplifting songs that might best be called “spirituals.” Not that this is a religious album: there is no mention of Jesus, Buddha, salvation or damnation. Rather, using the gospel tradition and choruses that demand to be sung along with, these are inspirational songs that explore the battles between right and wrong and between commitment and defeat. These are the sort of songs that are collected in Rise Up Singing and are sung joyfully around living-room pianos and campfires.
The themes are optimistic and universal: for example, the chorus to “Good Earth” reads “There’s a wisdom in the river/There’s a blessing in the wind/When I feel the good earth under my feet/I know I’m safely gathered in.” “Deep Water” calls out, “Lord I’m weary, but I will stand/Freedom’s calling from a promised land.” The songs are energetically but tastefully delivered in Jane’s passionate alto voice with the help of guitar, fiddle, pedal steel and keyboards. Jane also respects silence and patience, and delivers some of the songs a capella or with minimal accompaniment.
As Jane sings in “One Last Song,” “I’ll sing one last song before I go/A simple melody – one we all should know/And if you care to come sing it with me now/That one last song before I go.” Here’s hoping that these simple heartfelt tunes become “one last song” at folk clubs and campfires for years to come. – SS, Spring 2007 issue of Sing
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Jane Eamon is an heroic figure on the local and growing Canadian scene and it is easy to hear why fr...Jane Eamon is an heroic figure on the local and growing Canadian scene and it is easy to hear why from this excellent new album.
On Deep Water she explores new-folk with a dash of blues and a lot of understated but righteous gospel.
While her profound spirituality is found all over this strong CD, there is a sense of integrity and inclusiveness with songs of encouragement and empowerment rather than hellfire and damnation.
That isn’t to say Eamon doesn’t hold strong opinions. She references Woodie Guthrie on Black Wind Blowing that mentions war and hurricanes with what is a none too subtle swipe at Prez Bush. But she also maps out reprievement on the spiritual warning shot Long Way Down while Eamon is uplifting even on the break-up song Let Me Take Care Of The Rest with “think of me fondly.”
I particularly liked her poignant and moody narrative about a lonely drunkard on Singing Hallelujah even though the organ got mixed way too far in the background.
But check out Eamon’s marvellous range on the bluesy Move On Down, the bluegrass-tinged Good Lordie Momma, the experimental jazz-folk of I Will Fly and the a cappella title track.
A cool, restive and somewhat meditative album more in the Christian folk realm than a new age one—and, I must add, Factor Arts Grant money very well spent.
You can hear Jane Eamon live on Friday night at the Creekside Theatre and pick up this wonderful new album.
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One of the marvels of music is that it can transcend mental, emotional … take you to places of comfo...One of the marvels of music is that it can transcend mental, emotional … take you to places of comfort or pain, places you know, and the places you have never been.
I travelled Deep Water today and it was a wonderful journey.
Deep Water happens to be the latest hot-off the mix CD creation by superb Okanagan folk singer/songwriter Jane Eamon – and it also happens to be a superb example of what wonderful tour guides a guitar and voice box can be. Through her multiple talents and insights Eamon immediately transcended me back to my teenage travels through Mississippi, Alabama and other deep South states, filling my head and heart with the rhythms and religious roots of that unique home of soulful songs. Calculated or not, Deep Water has a strong connectiveness to the spiritual searching side of us all, and from the lyrics and all original song list through to the colours and album design – Eamon has created a folk-roots masterpiece.
Deep Water is a 12-song celebration of faith, friendship and facing fears. It’s an album that remains on your CD player for days with a distinct worn look on the play or repeat button. And while each and every time is the inspired creation of the terrifically talented Eamon – there is a wonderfully warm and familiar feel to this album – like you’ve musically been here before. Whether that is due to the mastery Jane has applied in crafting a traditional roots/folk/gospel sound and feel – or simply Jane’s simple straightforward lyrical and melodical style I am not sure. Regardless it works very, very well.
While Deep Water is all Jane Eamon, the popular Okanagan artist has once again surrounded herself with some of the best in the business creating her latest collection of originals including: Scott Gamble, Gord Brush, Gord Milne, Brian Wiebe, Ellie Young, Graham Ord, Zachari Smith, Al Hildebrand, Sherri Funk, Sandy Groening, Joanne Stacey, Corey Doak, Michael Garding, Vic Ukrenitz and Malcolm Petch. And just to complete the perfect package Eamon cajoled Andrew Smith to produce the album while having Brian Wiebe master the puppy at Solar Nest Arts studio in Kelowna.
There is no rock and roll feel to this album. It is purely folk/roots chocked full of inspiration and introspections, and yet it is both motivational and amazingly calming in its appeal. It is already one of my favourite new Canadian CD’s and guaranteed to bring Eamon heaps and heaps of musical attention and respect.
There are several exceptionally strong songs within the dynamic dozen displayed, however my two particular favourites are cut number three Good Earth and the opening selection Move On Dow. I suggest that both tunes will wind up in the running for Song of the Year at next year’s Okanagan Musician Awards.
Eamon snagged a FACTOR grant for the production of this CD showing once again that FACTOR has the ability to recognize a musical gem within the massive musical slag and stones that come their way.
If you have a love for folk, roots, gospel and/or just good music then hesitate not – immediately add Deep Water to your CD collection.
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I've just listened to a CD released by a local act that is definitely worth plugging. The Blue Madon...I've just listened to a CD released by a local act that is definitely worth plugging. The Blue Madonna by Jane and Gord features 10 original folk songs written and performed by Jane Eamon, with husband Gord Brush adding to the mix.
The songwriting is strong and not to be missed by those who appreciate music that manages to convey a message without sounding corny.
Okanagan-grown CD a superb album
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Every once in a while, a musical treasure drops into your lap, a disc you can’t resist playing over ...Every once in a while, a musical treasure drops into your lap, a disc you can’t resist playing over and over again. There’s no filler to interrupt the musical flow and plenty of variety to keep you interested.
When such a CD is released by a local act, well, that’s when you really stand up and take notice.
Jane Eamon’s a different place is such an album, without a doubt one of the best to come out of the Valley in the past decade. A heavy-duty endorsement, perhaps, but true. Not since the Cruzeros’ El Nino has there been such a strong Okanagan release.
Where to begin? There’s the infectious Robinson Caruso Blues, for instance, with only Norm Strauss’s bluesy guitar picking and Eamon’s vocals pushing the song along. Simplicity sometimes speaks volumes.
There’s also the absolutely gorgeous Starlight Parade, co-written with Dave Sopel and only tune Eamon did not pen alone. It’s a great love song - and tells a great story to boot.
Eamon remembers the past as well, giving us the insightful Lady of the Blues, which pays tribute to the likes of Memphis Minnie, Ma Rainey and Alberta Hunter. (Eamon may even raise a few feathers here, comparing Memphis Minnie’s guitar picking to the likes of Muddy Waters.)
My favourite track is Ruckus in the Henhouse, a rollicking tune and one of the best commentaries yet on the sad state of current global affairs. Eamon tells us “faith is on the auction block”, that “terror is a currency” and that “everybody’s praying too loudly to be heard”. (Whew - just think of the madmen doing the decapitating in Iraq and the cowboys shooting up the White House and you know the situation can’t be described any better than that.)
Ruckus in the Henhouse, like a number of songs here, features some great musicians. There’s Poppa Dawg from Dogskin Suit on slide, Sherman “Tank” Doucette on harp, Scott Gamble on drums, and Andrew Smith on mandolin and guitar.
Other great tunes? There’s Momma Can You Help Me, an acapella “women’s working song” in which Eamon is joined by Deborah Lee, Sherri Funk and Tabitha LeMaire.
“We sat in the studio and sang live like we were working in the fields,” says Eamon. “No musical background - just a tambourine.”
The Blue Madonna, Eamon’s first album, was a good CD, but her songwriting has grown by leaps and bounds since that last release.
The album is produced by Andrew Smith of Smith, Funk & Strauss. Other musicians on the CD include Gord Brush, Cam Ward, Michael Perkins and Yvonne Kushnier.
It is currently available at Guitar Town, corner of Leon and Bertram, and will soon be available at A&B Sound. You can also buy it by logging on to ww.janeandgord.com.
Plans for a CD release party are set for early March 2005.
You may have noticed that the CD review page in eVent never includes local albums. We stopped doing that long ago, finding it unfair to critique Okanagan acts alongside the likes of Elton John, Shania Twain, U2 or Emmylou Harris. Well, if all local product were of Eamon’s calibre, we’d have no problems throwing them in with the rest of the lot.
- Andre Wetjen is the editor and publisher of eVent. His column appears each week.
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Jane & Gord have the unusual trait of handling painful, complicated subjects with more grace than th...Jane & Gord have the unusual trait of handling painful, complicated subjects with more grace than they do simple, trite sentiments. The heavier and clumsier the subject, the more graceful their performance. Their guitars carry the soft, almost comfortable feel of intense emotions worn out through daily use. Eamon's voice settles into her graceful lyrics and deceptively unassuming melodies, and Brush is as integral and invisible to the duo's sound as air is to the spoken word. Visits to The Blue Madonna are with the heartache to hear them in action.
Sets are usually 45 minutes. Two sets is a general show. Material mostly original with the odd cover. Heart stirring gospel, old time folk, contemporary songwriter, vocal blues.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.