Jane Germain
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Jane Germain

Perth, Western Australia, Australia | INDIE

Perth, Western Australia, Australia | INDIE
Band Country Bluegrass

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"Leicester Bangs Review - Chinese Whispers"

Jane Germain - Chinese Whispers (MGM Distribution)
Australian singer-songwriter, Jane Germain, dabbles with blues, rock and folk styles on her ‘Chinese Whispers’ CD, and there’s no doubting the quality of her and her band’s influences. On the title track, mandolin man, Dave Clarke, lays down a melody reminiscent of ‘Blood On The Tracks’ period Dylan. On ‘What Have I Got To Lose?’, the rolling tune and upbeat vocal brings to mind early Michelle Shocked. Various members of Paul Kelly's Stormwater Boys and The Waifs come along for the ride.
www.janegermain.com
Rob F.
- Leicester Bangs (UK)


"Rhythms - No Fun Allowed Review - April 2012"

Ian Simpson will be known to many bluegrass fans as one of the best instrumentalists around. His roles in Paul Kelly’s touring bands, particularly the Stormwater Boys bluegrass project, have been impressive, to say the least.

Simpson first teamed up with singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jane Germain on her Chinese Whispers album. No Fun Allowed is their second album as a duo and it’s an ingenuous, spirited treat. There are no airs of snobbish traditionalism, nor any flagrant attempts to conjure some “ingenious” new subgenre. Just a couple of highly talented and passionate musicians playing to their strengths and loves. And clearly, despite the title, having a ball in the process.

The pair plays virtually all the instrumentation on this album, swinging between old-timey era versions of the folk forms, country, blues and bluegrass with a distinctly Australian swagger. Germain plays acoustic guitar and handles most of the lead vocals, but is also handy on the banjo. Simpson plays bass, guitars, banjo, percussion, dobro and harmony vocals. Adam Gare steps in with a little fiddle and mandolin when required.

In addition to a handful of co-written original songs, all vocal numbers, the duo pays tribute to a few of their favourites, including Chet Atkins (‘How’s The World Treating You’), the Louvin Brothers (‘Don’t Laugh’), and the Delmore Brothers (‘Mississippi Shore’).

Martin Jones
APRIL 2012 Rhythms
- Rhythms - April 2012


"Capital News - No Fun Allowed Review - February 2012"

It’s clear that JANE GERMAIN and IAN SIMPSON are having the time of their lives playing music together. And they do it so well, bringing their ample talents to bear on everything from traditional bluegrass and some gorgeous vocal harmonies to contemporary bluegrass. Throughout, that wicked twinkle in both their eyes is conveyed through their music, which is fresh, warm and wonderful.

I absolutely loved the cheeky Why Do You Hate Me So Much? and the first track, Listen To What You Know is a standout. Other fine original songs include the evocative I Can’t Hear You Now and No Fun Allowed. There are two excellent instrumentals, Climbing The Munro and the cute Bantams Out The Back; the musicianship is superb. The pair also pays tribute to vocal duos on tracks like How’s The World Treating You, Don’t Laugh and Mississippi Shore.

This is a charming, quirky and completely delightful album – Jane and Ian are a country music secret that definitely needs to be discovered!
MGM DISTRIBUTION SQUEAKY WHEEL 002

SUSAN JARVIS
COUNTRY MUSIC CAPITAL NEWS FEBRUARY 2012
- Capital News - February 2012


"Capital News Review"

If you thought you'd heard it all, then an album by an Australian born singer songwriter with Chinese heritage may change your mind. On Chinese Whispers JANE GERMAIN attempts to combine cultures and takes a bunch of West Coast based acoustic/electric musicians along for the ride, including some familiar names in IAN SIMPSON, ADAM GARE, DAVE BREWER and THE WAIFS BEN FRANZ. Despite the line-up of potential musical virtuosity the accent is on the languid rhythms and vocals of the artist who possesses a smoky voice and does not seem anxious to tie her songs up in neat little bundles. The Oriental fusion seeps in with the track "What Have I Got To Lose?" name checking Chinese cities much like an old CHUCK BERRY song would the USA. The title track features a traditional Chinese two string violin while the final, "Model Young Man" a Mongolian singer in a near "throat music" style. Well WILLIE NELSON recorded with Tuvan master KONGAR-OOL ONDA so anything is possible.
Country and Eastern anyone? - Country Music Capital News - Keith Glass


"Santa Barbara Independent Review - Chinese Whispers"

Saturday, January 26, 2008
Jane Germain has fashioned a career out of throwing everything into the mix. From the funky blend of blues and folk that flavored her debut recording to its rock-oriented follow-up, Surrender, Germain has never shied away from emblazing her albums with both purpose and soul. And on Chinese Whispers, the singer/songwriter has seemingly elected to bring the latter to the fore. An artist of Chinese decent, Germain has crafted a record that uniquely ignores stylistic constraints. Take, for example, the union of two-stringed Chinese violin and dobro guitar on “When You Come Around Here.” On Chinese Whispers Germain pulls together her diverse inspirations and turns them into an enchanting musical journey, and deeply personal lyrics ensure that it is as much a journey of the heart as it is of the soul. - Santa Barbara Independent (USA) Brett Leigh Dicks


"Xpress Review - Chinese Whispers"

Jane Germain’s Chinese Whispers delivers grooves that capture a sound that could be labeled as roots, but there are also hints of jazz guitar, country-esque sentiments and the romantic nature of soul.

Seeking connection with her biological roots, Jane followed her mother’s heritage to Beijing and Mongolia where she collaborated with Hanggai - a Mongolian folk band that she performed with regularly in and around her local area. The connection with this band enabled her to communicate what she wanted to express musically through translation and accompaniment.

The debut album also features a few of WA’s greatest - including the highly respected multi-instrumentalist Ian Simpson, John Reed, Adam Gare, Dave Brewer, Joe Whittle, and Ben Franz.

If you like the Cowboy Junkies, The Waifs, Beth Orton, or Bic Runga: this is definitely a new one for your collection with a bit of a twist, featuring traditional Chinese instruments that would almost mimic a western string quartet, confusing the psyche into thinking your embraced by a time in ancient Mongolia before electricity, celebrating simplified tradition before technology.

Warm and inviting.

_KIRSTEN VERWOORD

- Xpress Magazine, June 7th 2007


Discography

The Honeymoon's Over (with The Dreamers)
Surrender (with The Dreamers)
Free Spirit
Chinese Whispers
"What Have I Got To Lose?" named in the Top 10 of Australia All Over (ABC Radio)
"Revenge is Sweet" nominated for WAM Country Song of the Year
Lonesome Road (with Ian Simpson)
No Fun Allowed (with Ian Simpson)

Photos

Bio

Jane Germain showed up on the music scene in the 90's, with the release of the acclaimed debut, "The
Honeymoons Over" (with the Dreamers) followed up the next year with the album "Surrender".
Listeners were introduced to an Australian songwriter by birth, and Chinese by heritage who brought a self-styled vibrancy to the diverse music she whipped together - blues, folk, funk and anything else that seemed expressive and alive.
The songs she wrote and sang were about feelings old and new, and the music was inventively rhythmic as it was melodic.

Jane continues to take her music in new directions without losing the influences that are so much a part of her identity. Her latest compositions emphasize free, brushstroke-like improvisations, which have been inspired by her recent experiences with other cultures and musicians and her life in China. With this constant yearning to take her music beyond convention, Jane has collaborated with many internationally renown musicians, including the Mongolian traditional folk musicians Hanggai on the track Model Young Man, and Beijing er-hu (2 stringed Chinese violin) player Yang Tian Chuan on the title track Chinese Whispers and When You Come Around Here.

Jane first toured through China in 2001, introducing her songs to the Chinese people, and returned for her "Middle Kingdom Tour" in September/October 2004. She toured the Guangdong Province in January 2006 with performances in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, and returned in May/June 2006 to Beijing with a tour covering 16 dates. She returned to China again in December to collaborate with her Chinese friends and perform for the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Mark Vaile.

Her album, Chinese Whispers (released on MGM) further developed the ideas and emotions that have long compelled Germain. And with her ever upbeat sense of fusion and generosity, her music continues to ignore the stylistic restrictions that can leave pop music stale. Chinese Whispers also features accompaniment from some of Western Australia's top musicians, including the highly acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Ian Simpson (Paul Kelly's Stormwater Boys), John Reed (Kavisha), Adam Gare (Uncle Bill, Sensitive New Age Cowpersons), Dave Brewer (Diamond Dave & the Doodaddies, Lucky Oceans) Joe Whittle and Ben Franz (The Waifs).

Jane returned to China in May 2008 with banjo player Ian Simpson at the invitation of the Beijing Midi Festival (China’s biggest rock festival) followed by a tour with dates covering a series of concerts in Beijing and Shanghai.

Jane and Ian were invited to play at the World Expo held in Shanghai in 2010 - playing to thousands every day!

Jane won the 2011 WA Country Music Vocal Group or Duo with Ian Simpson (for the third consecutive year).

In 2011, Jane travelled with her band Jane Germain & The Yahoos to Victoria where they performed at the Port Fairy Folk Festival. One of their concerts was recorded by the ABC and broadcast on the Music Deli across Australia.

2011 was another great year, with Ian winning a Gold Guitar for Instrumental of the Year at Tamworth, from the album he recorded for the ABC with John Kane, "The Banjo"

2012 has started well with Jane and Ian winning the WA Country Music Award for Best Vocal Group or Duo for the fourth year in a row!

Jane and Ian launched their new album, No Fun Allowed on the 9th March 2012 at Kulcha in Fremantle, WA.
Joining them were special guests - ex Cowpersons Adam Gare and Fred Kuhnl.