Janet LaBelle
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Janet LaBelle

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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The Players: Janet LaBelle, vocals, guitar, piano, ukulele; Kyle Cadena, guitar; Andrew Kimball, bass; Evan Taylor, drums.

Material: Weaving together indie rock and surf pop, Janet LaBelle adds her name to a growing list of like-minded, talented acts such as Best Coast and She & Him. Songs like “Losing All The Way” showcase LaBelle’s ability to craft upbeat, instantly catchy choruses. “I Only See You” and “Goodbye, Baby” reflect a softer, more introspective side. These tunes have enough mass appeal to gain airplay on Triple A radio, while maintaining the requisite indie cred to fit in perfectly on NPR.

Musicianship: A multi-instrumentalist who’s been performing since age 7, LaBelle appears totally comfortable behind the mic. Blessed with a large vocal range, she’s in complete control––dialing down to hushed tones at some points, belting to the back of the room at others. She seamlessly moves between guitar, ukulele and piano. The latter is only incorporated in one song, “Goodbye, Baby,” however it shines through so well that one can’t help but wonder why she doesn’t utilize it more. Kudos also go to her backing band for providing a solid foundation for the songs. Evan Taylor keeps tight grooves on the drums, Kyle Cadena delivers memorable guitar riffs and Andrew Kimball maintains a more than serviceable bass line.

Performance: There’s no denying that LaBelle is the star here. From the moment she took the stage, her girl-next-door charm won over everyone in the crowd. Looking like one part Zooey Deschanel and one part June Carter, she masterfully crooned from each tune to the next. Her personality really shone through on “Honey Song,” as the singer strutted under the spotlight with a rockabilly swagger. The rest of the band left the stage for the final two songs of the set, as LaBelle performed “You Don’t Get It So Forget It” and “I Only See You” armed with nothing but her voice and a ukulele. The result sounded sweet and sincere; a singer earnestly opening her heart to a room filled with listeners.

Summary: Blessed with memorable songs and charisma to spare, the sky’s the limit for Janet LaBelle. Her style and subject matter seem readymade for licensing, most likely in a romantic comedy film. Meanwhile, she’s working on her debut full-length album, with hopes to release it later this year.
- Corey Irwin

Music Connection Magazine, April 2013 Issue, page 59. - Music Connection Magazine


What's so good?
By Christiana Bartolini | March 19th, 2013

I had the pleasure of seeing Brooklyn’s Janet LaBelle perform live a few weeks ago, and all I could keep thinking was that her style of music and even her look was the perfect fit for a prom performance set in the 50s.

The video for her single, “You Don’t Get It (So Forget It),” was filmed in L.A.’s Griffith Park. It’s truly a pleasant experience for your eyes and ears. It’s just Janet and her ukelele and her bellowing vocals. This depiction of a heart-wrenching love song has the ability to clench your heart and squeeze it until you’re feeling the emotions within the lyrics. We’ve all been there, and Janet has no problem putting it all out on the line for the sake of a good old-fashioned love ballad that’s also incredibly catchy.

If Janet LaBelle is playing a show near you, I highly suggest you go! It’s lively and adorable and fierce all at once. In the meantime, grab yourself a copy of her EP, Blossom & Blue!
- Indie Shuffle Music Blog


While we’re on the subject of artists participating in a certain music festival, today’s video comes to us courtesy of Brooklyn-based Singer/Songwriter Janet LaBelle. “You Don’t Get It (So Forget It),” is a B-Side to the single Just A Little Rain released in 2012. Shot on location in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, the video takes a stripped-down approach to music videos by eschewing elaborate setups and instead concentrating primarily on Janet’s heartfelt vocals and lyrics. Listeners will no doubt find themselves immediately drawn to Janet’s musical style, whether she’s channeling vocalists like Patsy Cline. or even adding a modern twist to early 1960's pop on the title track.
You can purchase Just A Little Rain on Bandcamp or iTunes. - Hobsnobbery


Appearing with The Everymen, Those Mockingbirds, Others at Tiny Giant Winter Beach Ball

Janet LaBelle, a product of New Jersey's pop punk scene, branched out into some sounds inspired by the 1960's -- from rock to noir to bossa nova -- on her 2011 Blossom and Blue EP. She maintains the DIY, analog ethic, though, of her pop punk past while looking for new sounds to accompany her more mature lyrics.

She'll be part of the Tiny Giant Artist Collective's Winter Beach Ball this weekend at Asbury Lanes along with, among many others, Those Mockingbirds and The Everymen.

Just one more reason to head to Asbury Park this weekend. And Asbury Lanes has actual bowling, too -- with balls instead of people.

Check out two non-EP tracks, featuring a solo LaBelle on ukulele, and I'll see you at The Lanes.
- CoolDad Music


Brooklyn via New Jersey songstress Janet LaBelle recently ventured to California’s Griffith Park with ukelele on her knee to record a live video for “You Don’t Get It (So Forget It)”, the b-side of her melodious 2012 Pop-Rock single Just A Little Rain.
Stream the video below and be sure to check out Janet LaBelle live when she comes to Asbury Lanes on February 9th as part of inaugural Tiny Giant Artist Collective Winter Beach Ball. LaBelle will join such SIMGE favorites as The Everymen, Those Mockingbirds, Holy City Zoo, Secret Country, Cinema Cinema, Cicada Radio, and many more.
Doors for the event open at 11:30 a.m. and the music goes all day. Find more information and RSVP here. - Speak Into My Good Eye


Brooklyn based artist Janet LaBelle recently released two new videos for her B-side “You Don’t Get It (So Forget It)” and new song “I Only See You.” With an affinity for the west coast, LaBelle chose to shoot her videos live on the hills of L.A.’s Griffith Park. Although diverging in style from her previously released videos shot with her full band, the simplicity of hearing LaBelle with her instrument demonstrates the effect of her songwriting. With tinges of Roy Orbison and Patsy Cline, the songs touch on that classic sound and remind us of what it’s like to fall in love again.

LaBelle, who has been working on her music between two coasts over the past few years, highly values the classic analog sound and the discipline of recording in that medium. Her latest album, Blossom & Blue EP (2011), was recorded entirely live to analog tape.
LaBelle is currently gearing up for a series of live performances in 2013 as well as working on material for a new full-length album. She recently toured with Jimmy Destri of Blondie as a member of his solo band: Jimmy Destri & The Sound Grenade.

You can catch Janet live at the following dates and venues:

Feb. 1st at Bar Matchless in Brooklyn, NY
Feb. 9th at the Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park, NJ 12pm
March 1st at 10th Street Live in Kenilworth, NJ 8pm

- The Waster Inc.


Finding yourself in the middle of history is a difficult thing to understand as it is happening.
Even now, a decade later, I’m having trouble processing it. It was a time not so long ago, unfolding deep in the swamps of New Jersey, that convinced us our moment had come. Our music revolution. An abandonment of MTV, consumerism, judgement. We didn’t fit in at school. Our parents didn’t get it. But we found each other. And when the weekend came we turned out by the hundreds to firehouses and Elks lodges up and down the state.
It was a feverish energy that spread to garages at the far ends of Long Island, and down to Philly. Bands like Brand New, Glassjaw, Taking Back Sunday and the Starting Line packed their gear and headed for New Jersey each weekend. Before the great war with Iraq, before the second Beatles death, we watched the birth of a “scene”. Like San Francisco in the 60’s, New York in the 70’s- music and man finally found each other again. It was one of those moments you had to be lucky enough to come across, because once it’s discovered it’s destroyed.
And here I am, back in New Jersey, thinking about all those punk shows that defined a different era. The industry eventually showed up, took the bands with good haircuts, and as the moving wheel of Capitalism will do, eventually we had to grow up and get jobs. It was like the great second act of the Almighty play. The characters, the plot, the real meat of the story, it was all there, and somehow the climax didn’t hold up its end of the deal.But there are soldiers who never lost focus of the main goal- to create killer music. Now, on this night of 2013 I think of one in particular: Janet LaBelle. Back then she fronted the pop-punk band Avery, one of the few female-led groups in the “scene” to get attention. But those were the old days. Janet grew up, and the only thing that hasn’t changed is her ethic.
While most of the bands faded off in to obscurity Janet kept writing songs, learning new instruments, and buying really cool clothes. She’s released three records and found a new home-base in New York City. Her latest, Blossom & Blue, is a five song EP of rock/pop/soul that takes a dive back to the ‘60s.
Scott Laudati: New Jersey matters, I think. You’re part of the thing that makes New Jersey matter. So are Bruce Springsteen and pizza. Do you feel like you owe New Jersey anything? Or does it owe you?
Janet LaBelle: Thank you. That’s very sweet. I don’t know if I’m quite near Bruce or pizza status yet … but I agree that Jersey matters. Growing up there has made quite an impression on me, and my music. I feel very fortunate to have grown up with such a thriving music scene around me.
Without that community, I don’t know how much writing I would have produced. Living in NYC over the past few years has also prompted me to realize that Jersey may always have my heart. I always look forward to my shows in NJ. I always feel a mutual sense of love and respect coming back to my home state.
Scott Laudati: It’s strange for me to be interviewing Janet LaBelle the woman. You were a girl singing about boys. Now you’re a woman singing about men. What happens when you meet the perfect guy? Sing about politics?
Janet LaBelle: Ha! I feel that, as an artist, there will always be an inclination to escape one’s own reality. Through songwriting, I’m constantly looking for ways to look deeper into myself or another world. A lot of my songs deal with the topic of love because it’s a topic that inspires me the most. I don’t think that will ever change for me. Not to say there won’t be a political song or two down the road. You never know.
Scott Laudati: I met you when I was 16 and super shy. You and a bandmate sang to me in the hallway of a club and everyone in the room fell in love with you. How many moments like that does it take to prove to yourself you were meant to do this forever?
Janet LaBelle: Haha. Wow! I think I was a lot more bold and uninhibited back then. I feel that I’ve always known that I wanted to be a performer, but when it came to putting myself out there and self-promoting, I’ve never felt entirely comfortable.
I think it was easier for me as a singer in a rock band than as a solo artist. Over the years, I’ve had to do a lot in terms of putting myself out there with the end goal of being able to perform on stage for my audience. I have never felt more comfortable than when I’m on stage and I think that every year that I’m working towards this goal proves to me that this is what I’m meant to be doing.Scott Laudati: That band was Avery, and the music was high-energy and high-pitched pop punk. If you were starting at the bottom of the Parkway what exit, in terms of success, did you guys get to?
Janet LaBelle: I think that all success is hard to quantify. I do feel that what I accomplished in Avery was very meaningful to me in terms of the music I was creating and the people we were meeting and connecting to at the shows. We were able to do national tours, get airplay on radio and TV, and be a part of something that was very special and specific to the NJ pop punk scene during that time.
Scott Laudati: There’s an authentic quality to your voice that reminds me all nostalgia isn’t sad. It reminds me of firehouses and high school gyms and all the Elks lodges we hung around in. Do you have a favorite memory from “the Drive-Thru Records days?”
Janet LaBelle: I have so many wonderful memories of every venue that made up the scene at the time, the people, the bands, the fliers made, the zines passed around. I’m very nostalgic for the way the whole community inspired me to write and to be active. I have to say though, that my fondest memories revolve around all the times I spent at the headquarters of our record label, Small Records, in Bernardsville, NJ.
People were always in and out and we would spend our days practicing, making peanut butter chip pancakes, watching movies. Sometimes we would take occasional excursions hiking or cliff jumping, just always having fun and always feeling inspired.
Scott Laudati: Aside from fun.(Fueled by Ramen) and a couple of others you seem to be one of the last New Jersey scene survivors. And even in that pool you’re one of the very few still making great music. When did your tastes start to change?
Janet LaBelle: I’ve always had a very wide range of influences. There was a point when I felt that I needed to change the way I was writing in order to accompany the lyrics that were becoming more mature. After college, I did a lot of experimenting with different styles. My musical taste spans genres and eras, so it took me a while to really hone my sound. Today my style is heavily influenced by ‘60s pop, but I think my voice still retains that power and grittiness that I developed in my early years while singing with Avery.
Scott Laudati: Do you watch the show Girls? If you were starting a band with the main four what would your band name be?
Janet LaBelle: Haha! Yes. I really appreciate that show for its honesty and humor. I don’t know how much of a say I would have on a band name though. I feel that Lena Dunham might steer it towards some level of vulgarity like The Va-JJ’s, perhaps?
Scott Laudati: You’re involved in artistic projects for Hurricane Sandy relief, how is the recovery moving along?
Janet LaBelle: The recovery still has a ways to go. It was nice to see so many artists getting together in the wake of a tragedy. Congress recently passed a relief bill for Sandy, so I hope those in need will be able to rebuild their homes and lives very soon.
Scott Laudati: Your newest record, Blossom & Blue, sounds like the summer in San Francisco that was supposed to change the world. The songs are groovy, full of soul, “cool”. When did you embark on this style of sound?
Janet LaBelle: It’s funny that you mention the west coast. I actually wrote half of the songs when I was out in LA during my recording sessions. I’m very much inspired by the west coast and the music that has come from there.
Scott Laudati: It also has a tweak of Serge Gainsbourg. Have you ever listened to Histoire de Melody Nelson?
Janet LaBelle: Yes, and I absolutely love Gainsbourg, so I’m very happy to be given that comparison.
Scott Laudati: How many instruments do you play?
Janet LaBelle: The instruments I have been playing live these days are: the guitar, piano/organ, ukulele, and bass.
Scott Laudati: I was told that from the day you start writing seriously, like, everyday, it takes ten years from that day before you write your first sentence that isn’t shit. How do you think that advice correlates to music?
Janet LaBelle: I think there is something to be said about the amount of hours dedicated to your craft whether writing or music…it could take years…or even a lifetime to write anything you think is ever any good. When I think about the music that I wrote ten years ago, I recognize the voice of who I was at that time.
it could take years…or even a lifetime to write anything you think is ever any good



It’s true that I had a lot to learn, but I also hear a certain type of energy in that voice, and honesty. I think good art comes from that type of honesty. While it’s true that the more you write the better you become at it, I do think there is a lot of value in early writing and the passion of a voice that is just coming into its own.
Scott Laudati: Your voice is especially lovely on ‘Goodbye, Baby’. I’m guessing, but does it have to do with the line, “Ill be waiting for your love”?
Janet LaBelle: I wrote ‘Goodbye, Baby’ about a relationship mutually coming to an end. For that reason, the tone is meant to be bittersweet. It’s a love song, but at the same time, a song about endings.
Scott Laudati: If December 21st was actually the end of the world how do you think it would have happened?
Janet LaBelle: I’ve never really subscribed to those apocalyptic prophecies, but I’m going to go with asteroids.
Scott Laudati: Today I ate a fortune cookie and the fortune said: Don’t buy any new clothes. How serious should I take this fortune?
Janet LaBelle: I’d say it’s better to play it safe … because really … you never know …there may be asteroids on the horizon …. - Trebuchet Magazine


Being a front-woman is no easy post to hold. You are the one who resides in the spotlight, whose every move and piece of music is scrutinized by show goers and penholders alike. You are relied upon to set the tone and receive backlash when you can’t hoist the bar high enough…try doing it all on quad skates.

New York City’s Janet LaBelle hopped across the Jersey state line to the Florham Park Rink, strapped on her best retro roller derby garb to cut her latest musical picture show for “Losing All The Way,” a captivating Pop-Rock composition showcasing the songstress’ seductive vocal styling, which calls to mind the likes of Jersey Shore-native April Smith.

Check out the video below and be sure to see Labelle live when she plays the Cake Shop on November 29th.

NOTE: The tremendous core strength it takes to remain still on a pair of skates for an entire music video shoot is incredible and did not go unnoticed by this writer. Well done Janet. - Speak Into My Good Eye


New York based indie darling Janet LaBelle has released a series of two live videos revealing her brand new single “Just a Little Rain” and a performance of her song “Goodbye, Baby.” Drawing from her pop tinged roots and 1960’s influences, the video series follows her release of the “Blossom & Blue” EP. While this latest EP demonstrates an exploration of styles channeling her main influences from Diana Ross to Tom Waits, from Astrud Gilberto to Fleetwood Mac, LaBelle’s voice emerges as one of its own. Check out the official live video of “Just a Little Rain” (filmed by Chris Carlone at Studio 201) here, and listen to our favorite single "Losing all the Way", streaming below. You can catch Janet with her band at the Mercury Lounge on Thursday 7/12 at 6:30pm. - The Deli NYC


Nowadays, good music is hard to find. It seems odd to say this, but I have long noted that things like this happen when materialism infects the world. Good music is alive like good food and like good food; you have to grow your own. Maybe add some organic sounds to your audible diet.

It was a Sunday afternoon when I first heard the voice of Janet LaBelle. Steve Berson played a track we had worked on for quite some time. We had been looking for a soulful singer to fill in the chorus on a track. Steve had invited Janet over to the studio earlier in the week to lay down some vocals. I must say her presence on the track was truly refreshing, a gasp of air, a new life.

Later, I had the honor of performing with Ms. LaBelle during the recent Warlock Asylum show at Arlene’s Grocery. Rarely have I’ve met a musician with such talent. An oasis in a desert of sound, to say the least, Janet LaBelle is paving her way in the fine arts of music and song. I recently had a chance to ask Janet a few questions about her career and musical inspiration after accidentally at the Le Bernardin Restaurant in Midtown this past summer. I am sure you will find Ms. LaBelle’s perspective very insightful:
Messiah’el Bey: It is a privilege to be able to learn about who you are as an artist. I really enjoy your work, especially the video for “Goodbye Baby.” You have a tremendous voice and a unique approach as a musician. For our readership, who may not be familiar with the artist Janet LaBelle, how would you describe yourself?

Janet LaBelle: Thank you, Messiah. Playing and writing music has always been my outlet since I can remember. My hope is to connect to people through music in a way that music has always been there for me. I’ve always felt a huge emotional response when listening to music, particularly to music that sounds as though it were being sung or experienced for the first time. It’s important for to me to achieve this effect when performing live or in the studio. I’m a big fan of recording live to analog tape to capture this kind of spontaneity and raw emotion. I also feel that performing live for my fans allows my energy and passion for what I’m doing to really come through.
Messiah’el Bey: What factors helped you decide to pursue a career in the musical arts?

Janet LaBelle: There was nothing else I was good at really. Ha! Actually, I feel that once you are bitten with the music bug, the desire to perform and create is always with you. For me, I was taken with music at a very early age and would daydream about growing up to be a working musician. Ultimately, I think it was this daydreaming that pushed me so hard to not let my childhood-self down.

Messiah’el Bey: You definitely have an original approach to your work. Who are some of your musical influences?

Janet LaBelle: When I started performing as a solo artist, I always felt that my catalogue of songs was having a bit of an identity crisis. My influences span so many genres and eras that it has taken some time to hone my sound. Some of my biggest influences fall into the genre of ’60s folk/pop. I love timeless themes and catchy melodies. The artists that have had a huge impact on me are Melanie, France Gall, Diana Ross.

Messiah’el Bey: One thing that I enjoy about your work is the quality of the music that your band has produced. Can you tell us a little more about the band that we see playing with you in the videos and stage? How did this all come about?

Janet LaBelle: Yes! I’m very fortunate to have such a great crew behind me. Believe it or not, we all grew up in the same hometown. Each of the members (Evan Taylor, drums; Kyle Cadena, guitar; Andrew Kimball, bass) are all hardworking and talented musicians in their own right. When the guys aren’t performing with me, they can be found performing alongside Bernie Worrell (Parliament Funkadelic/ Talking Heads), working on solo projects, or playing with other artists on the scene.

Messiah’el Bey: I am curious about your source of inspiration. I do notice the conviction in your words and you definitely have a strong stage presence. Can you give us any example about how you come up with ideas to create such beautiful music?

Janet LaBelle: I’ve always been inspired by sounds—the sounds of instruments and the moods that they can create, the sound of a voice, the rhythm of lyrics. Typically when I write a song, I will have a mood or an experience in mind that I want to convey then I choose the best instrument that will help me with the writing process. I get a lot of inspiration from just listening to music and discovering sounds that I’ve never heard before– songs that make me think: “how did they do that? I want to do that.” I get a bit obsessed with figuring it how certain sounds are made–I think that interest has always kept me challenged and inspired. It’s also important to look for inspiration beyond a record collection. Even though I like to spend a lot of time indoors with my instruments and listening to music, I’ve come to realize the importance of getting outside and experiencing the world. In that way, the music I write becomes very unique and personal to me.

Messiah’el Bey: What difficulties have you face in pursuit of your musical career?

Janet LaBelle: I think for any independent artist the most difficult challenge is to maintain unshakeable level of determination and belief in yourself, which can be tough especially in an industry that is always changing and oftentimes presents unclear waters to navigate. For me, there have definitely been bumps along the way, but I’ve realized that slow and steady progress is the best kind of progress you can make. It’s easy to get discouraged from pursuing a career in music when the mainstream notion of success is that it can happen overnight or through a reality TV show. It’s important to keep in mind that every long-lasting and fruitful career requires time and dedication.
//
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Interview With Janet LaBelle: The New First Lady Of Soul
Posted by Warlock Asylum · November 11, 2012 · Leave a Comment
Filed Under Entertainment, Music

Entering The Janet LaBelle Dimension

Nowadays, good music is hard to find. It seems odd to say this, but I have long noted that things like this happen when materialism infects the world. Good music is alive like good food and like good food; you have to grow your own. Maybe add some organic sounds to your audible diet.

It was a Sunday afternoon when I first heard the voice of Janet LaBelle. Steve Berson played a track we had worked on for quite some time. We had been looking for a soulful singer to fill in the chorus on a track. Steve had invited Janet over to the studio earlier in the week to lay down some vocals. I must say her presence on the track was truly refreshing, a gasp of air, a new life.

Later, I had the honor of performing with Ms. LaBelle during the recent Warlock Asylum show at Arlene’s Grocery. Rarely have I’ve met a musician with such talent. An oasis in a desert of sound, to say the least, Janet LaBelle is paving her way in the fine arts of music and song. I recently had a chance to ask Janet a few questions about her career and musical inspiration after accidentally at the Le Bernardin Restaurant in Midtown this past summer. I am sure you will find Ms. LaBelle’s perspective very insightful:

Janet LaBelle’s performance during the Warlock Asylum show at Arlene’s Grocery was legendary. (From left to right : Steve Berson, Messiah’el Bey, Helen Yee, Janet LaBelle, and Evan Taylor.)

Messiah’el Bey: It is a privilege to be able to learn about who you are as an artist. I really enjoy your work, especially the video for “Goodbye Baby.” You have a tremendous voice and a unique approach as a musician. For our readership, who may not be familiar with the artist Janet LaBelle, how would you describe yourself?

Janet LaBelle: Thank you, Messiah. Playing and writing music has always been my outlet since I can remember. My hope is to connect to people through music in a way that music has always been there for me. I’ve always felt a huge emotional response when listening to music, particularly to music that sounds as though it were being sung or experienced for the first time. It’s important for to me to achieve this effect when performing live or in the studio. I’m a big fan of recording live to analog tape to capture this kind of spontaneity and raw emotion. I also feel that performing live for my fans allows my energy and passion for what I’m doing to really come through.

A witty, inspirational moment for Janet LaBelle brings beautiful music into our world.

Messiah’el Bey: What factors helped you decide to pursue a career in the musical arts?

Janet LaBelle: There was nothing else I was good at really. Ha! Actually, I feel that once you are bitten with the music bug, the desire to perform and create is always with you. For me, I was taken with music at a very early age and would daydream about growing up to be a working musician. Ultimately, I think it was this daydreaming that pushed me so hard to not let my childhood-self down.

Messiah’el Bey: You definitely have an original approach to your work. Who are some of your musical influences?

Janet LaBelle: When I started performing as a solo artist, I always felt that my catalogue of songs was having a bit of an identity crisis. My influences span so many genres and eras that it has taken some time to hone my sound. Some of my biggest influences fall into the genre of ’60s folk/pop. I love timeless themes and catchy melodies. The artists that have had a huge impact on me are Melanie, France Gall, Diana Ross.

Messiah’el Bey: One thing that I enjoy about your work is the quality of the music that your band has produced. Can you tell us a little more about the band that we see playing with you in the videos and stage? How did this all come about?

Janet LaBelle: Yes! I’m very fortunate to have such a great crew behind me. Believe it or not, we all grew up in the same hometown. Each of the members (Evan Taylor, drums; Kyle Cadena, guitar; Andrew Kimball, bass) are all hardworking and talented musicians in their own right. When the guys aren’t performing with me, they can be found performing alongside Bernie Worrell (Parliament Funkadelic/ Talking Heads), working on solo projects, or playing with other artists on the scene.

Messiah’el Bey: I am curious about your source of inspiration. I do notice the conviction in your words and you definitely have a strong stage presence. Can you give us any example about how you come up with ideas to create such beautiful music?

Janet LaBelle: I’ve always been inspired by sounds—the sounds of instruments and the moods that they can create, the sound of a voice, the rhythm of lyrics. Typically when I write a song, I will have a mood or an experience in mind that I want to convey then I choose the best instrument that will help me with the writing process. I get a lot of inspiration from just listening to music and discovering sounds that I’ve never heard before– songs that make me think: “how did they do that? I want to do that.” I get a bit obsessed with figuring it how certain sounds are made–I think that interest has always kept me challenged and inspired. It’s also important to look for inspiration beyond a record collection. Even though I like to spend a lot of time indoors with my instruments and listening to music, I’ve come to realize the importance of getting outside and experiencing the world. In that way, the music I write becomes very unique and personal to me.

Messiah’el Bey: What difficulties have you face in pursuit of your musical career?

Janet LaBelle: I think for any independent artist the most difficult challenge is to maintain unshakeable level of determination and belief in yourself, which can be tough especially in an industry that is always changing and oftentimes presents unclear waters to navigate. For me, there have definitely been bumps along the way, but I’ve realized that slow and steady progress is the best kind of progress you can make. It’s easy to get discouraged from pursuing a career in music when the mainstream notion of success is that it can happen overnight or through a reality TV show. It’s important to keep in mind that every long-lasting and fruitful career requires time and dedication.

Messiah’el Bey: Is there any particular message that you are trying to get out to your audience and fans?

Janet LaBelle: I always have some sort of message in mind when I set out to write a song, but I try to keep my themes as universal as possible so that people can find their own meaning.

Messiah’el Bey: Where do you see yourself and your career five years from now?

Janet LaBelle: I’m hoping to have traveled more and to have spread my music to more people. Having a few more albums out would also be nice.

Messiah’el Bey: Thank you so much for sharing some of your insights and knowledge. What thoughts would you like to leave with our readers today?

Janet LaBelle: I’d like to encourage readers to live their dreams no matter the obstacles in the way. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies, but there is nothing more rewarding then living the life you see for yourself and no one else can decide that path other than you.

We wish Janet all the best in her career! We are sure that you will be hearing more about her in the future. For more information on the Janet LaBelle phenomena, please visit her website at Janet LaBelle. Stay blessed. - Blue Steel Magazine


Today Janet LaBelle tells us about her brand new single "Just A Little Rain." Here is the story:
The melody had been haunting my mind for a few weeks before I realized that it was trying to escape. It finally revealed itself on a rainy day in April around my birthday. I had just bought a new guitar and was experimenting with the different sounds that I could get out of it. My fingers began playing a chord progression that was instantly followed by a melody that I knew I had heard before. I had a flashback to a few moments that had occurred over the previous few weeks. That same melody had popped into my head once in the shower, once while making breakfast, and one night before falling asleep. These moments were so fleeting that I had never jumped to write the melody down. Now that it was out, I needed the lyrics, which didn't come as easily to me.

I wanted the song to reflect a difficult time that I was going through with assessing the things I had wanted from my life. Maybe these feelings were brought on by my turning another year older, as birthdays tend to do. I felt that I was at a crossroads between deciding to pursue what I love or to take a safer route. I didn't feel alone, however. Many of my friends were experiencing a similar dilemma. The night that I wrote the song, the lyrics came out fragmented and scattered. My thoughts were not all there. The line that was clear to me was the chorus: "You're okay and you know it. It's just a little rain."

It may have been something about that night. The rain felt comforting and was just breaking over the clouds. I felt that I would be okay with my decisions and I knew that my friends would be okay with their choices too. I wanted the song to be a mantra of sorts—for others and for me to sing or think about when feeling discouraged from taking chances that may lead to the places in life where we want to be.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself as you check out the video right here! - AntiMusic


"Imagine for a second that Josie told the Pussycats to shove off. And went and formed a new much more radical band. You get that last 60's garage/surf style, but it’s a touch more cynical than all that lovey dovey stuff they were forced to write by the guy that also managed Jabber Jaws band (Yea Jabber Jaws had a band, did you not pay any attention to cartoons when you were little? The Snorks had a band too.) Anyhow, The classic surf beat in Losing All the Way is too perfect not to do the “Plunge” to. Janet’s voice is powerful without being too “theatre”. This song has attitude, two clenched fists, and sarcastic smile to boot." Zac Clark, Rocker Tycoon - Rocker Tycoon


DECEMBER 16, 2011 - Beguiling New York-based songstress, JANET LABELLE's latest release - “Blossom AND Blue” - is a five-song EP that demonstrates a successful exploration of several styles ranging from '60s bossa nova to alternative country. LABELLE, who came of age as a singer and multi-instrumentalist on the NJ pop punk scene, has taken a unique approach to “BLOSSOM AND BLUE,” recording each song live to capture the raw emotion that shines through on each track. She also heavily uses guitar on this album, rather than her usual instrument of choice, the piano. “I really wanted to rock out on this album,” says LABELLE. “I learned guitar about three years ago and I wanted to go for it.” The unique collection of songs reveals several of her main influences. Opening track, “LOSING ALL THE WAY,” has a very '60s girl group vibe to it, while “HEAVEN CAN BURN” contains flourishes of FLEETWOOD MAC and TOM WAITS, with the chorus emerging like a howl, brimming with emotion. “HONEY SONG” goes in a different direction, with tinges of PATSY CLINE and alternative country, featuring a haunting melody that’s impossible to get out of your head. LABELLE also explores several different moods on the record, delving deeply into the bittersweet complexities of romantic relationships. “I feel like I’m at a time where I’m blossoming as an artist,” LABELLE says. “I think this album shows my development as a musician. I’ve always been into vintage sound, and using an organic approach allowed me to tap into classic influences in a way that was really spontaneous and energizing. I feel a rebirth from this album.”

(link to radio interview) - Brian Lush at Rockwired Magazine


Janet LaBelle: A Voice You Won’t Soon Forget
Posted on November 28, 2011 by FineTuned
I’m always in the mood to hear great new music. You know…something you’ve never heard before, yet when you do, it’s like you have been humming it since the day you were born. Something that transcends terms such as “old” or “new”. It’s rare to find, and when you do it makes you feel very lucky. Well, recently I felt as if I may have hit the jackpot.

I was browsing the flagcast on Radioflag (one of the best places I’ve found to discover great new music), and a DJ from WHCS in New York by the name of Matt Josephson, said he was going to be interviewing singer/songwriter Janet LaBelle. Intrigued, I decided to tune in. I didn’t know what to expect from Janet, but I’ve heard a couple of Matt’s previous interviews on his show, The Warehouse, and just knew I wouldn’t be let down.

When it began I immediately noticed LaBelle had a captivating voice, and a charming personality as well. I soon learned she has been in various other bands in past years such as a punk band called “Avery”, which had a couple of their songs air on the children’s television station Nickelodeon. Honestly, when I heard this, my expectations plummeted. However, soon enough the girl started singing, and let me tell you…she can Sing with a capital “S”.

Suddenly, I felt like I was in a coffee shop in 1960's Greenwich Village. Yeah, the same place that saw faces like “Mississippi” John Hurt, Dave Van Ronk and Melanie Safka. Being an avid folk fan, I thoroughly enjoyed her entire acoustic set, which included a cover of the old Safka song “Baby Guitar”. Soon enough Matt said he was going to play some of her studio material, which I normally don’t enjoy nearly as much as a live performance. But in the end I truly loved her recordings, which maintain a raw edge while still sounding quite clean. In fact, it’s hard for me to say which I liked better.

If you missed it live, here is a clip of Janet LaBelle’s live in-studio performance on WHCS’s The Warehouse:



No matter what kind of music you dig, do yourself a favor and give this girl a chance. She brings to the table a little folk, rock and blues, and together they form some fantastic tunes.

Find out more about her at www.JanetLaBelle.com and be sure to check out her songs “Heaven Can Burn”, “Without You” and “Apologies” to get a taste of what you’re missing.

Be sure to tune in to DJ Matt Josephson @m2j on RadioFlag.

Tune in to his show, The Warehouse, Mondays 5-7 p.m. EST on iWHCS.

Contact me at:
f1netun3d@gmail.com
@F1neTun3d (on RadioFlag and Twitter) - RadioFlag


"Where Atkins uses vintage 60s country as a stepping-off point, Janet LaBelle uses vintage 60s soul. Her most recent release, Moon Songs, is also up at her bandcamp. As with Atkins, it’s full of neat, unexpected flourishes. For instance, the opening track, The Moon is Ours shifts without warning from a pretty, jangly country vibe to a Do the Locomotion groove. Somehow they get a nice, full sound from just vocals, acoustic and electric guitar and a little percussion. The ridiculously catchy highway rock anthem Not Tonight is the best song here: as she does throughout the album, LaBelle’s full-throttle wail evokes Patricia Vonne with a little less angst: “I will get it right on the second try,” she insists.

The rest of the album is oldschool soul, for the most part, anyway. Apologies, a big, Aretha-style ballad swoops down into trip-hop on the chorus, while the big soul/gospel anthem Without You, a showcase for LaBelle’s lower register, also hits a trip-hop groove once the chorus kicks in. The last song is happy, catchy 60s Memphis pop done simply and elegantly with just acoustic guitars and vocals." - New York Music Daily


Artist: Janet LaBelle
I want to plug…my new EP, Moon Songs, that was just released in June! You can download it on iTunes!
Listen to me if you…have never heard me before! Hey, you’ve got to try everything once!
Music is my life because: It sustains me. I realized the effect that music had on me when I was 16 years-old and experienced a run-in with heartbreak for the first time. As I channeled my pent up emotions into songs, music became a means to escape and dig deeper into my world, a place to sort out my emotions and help me gain perspective, while also connecting to other people around me. It may be a typical tale of teenage angst, but since then, I have yet to find an outlet that allows me to breathe in such a way.
The first song I ever wrote…was a 4-chord piano song about how much I love to sleep. I was seven years-old at the time, so I guess that was a subject of some intrigue for me. I can’t remember if the song had a title, but I remember that the lyrics had to do with the desire to have good dreams and to not have nightmares. It was a mantra of sorts. I used to sing it to my cat.
My current playlist includes: Anything Phil Spector all day, every day! Actually, I just saw the documentary: The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector, and became borderline obsessed with the “Wall of Sound” that he created for so many of his musicians/bands. The songs repeatedly shuffling around my iPod are from The Crystals, The Ronettes, Tina, later Beatles and Lennon songs, with some Nico and Elliott Smith thrown into the mix.
Before every show I…put on Diana Ross & The Supremes’ Greatest Hits vinyl and dance around my room like a madwoman.
The desktop background on my computer is…a tiled image of young Brian Wilson sitting at a piano and writing notes in the margins of his sheet music.
Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug. What’s today been like so far? Today I’ve been the bug taking a sweet ride on the windshield! Actually that may just be the story of my life; I like to just go with the flow of things, and make the most of any situation dealt to me.
Do you eat breakfast? If so, what do you have? Yes, breakfast is my favorite meal! I’m always incredibly hungry in the morning; so much so, that I usually wake from a deep sleep around 6:30-7AM, and in a daze, walk to the kitchen to make some oatmeal. Then I go right back to sleep for a few more hours.
What’s the sexiest thing someone could ever say to you? “Would you mind if I took out the trash, did the dishes, and folded your laundry?” Gentlemen, take notes.
If you could take credit for any invention, which would it be and why? No inventions to date. I do come from a highly inventive family though. My dad invented the sedimentator. I’m trying to live up to his legacy.
Here’s what’s next from me: Lots of shows! I’m excited to be performing this fall with an exceedingly talented group of musicians: Evan Taylor, Kyle Cadena, Andrew Kimball, Robbie LaFalce (of Stephanie White & the Philth Harmonic). We’ll be doing some mini-tours on east coast, so make sure you check us out when we come to your area!
Web sites I visit daily: LOLcats to get my funnies, NYTimes to get my newsies, Facebook to get my stalkies.
The Beatles is a totally under-rated band.
My guilty pleasure is: Cake-in-a-mug. Talk about ingenious inventions! If you haven’t tried it, you really should!
Social Networking links:
MySpace.com/janetlabelle
Facebook.com/janetlabellemusic
Twitter @JanetLaBelle
Follow me because: I know a lot about cake-in-a-mug, my dad invented the sedimentator, I’m a Phil Spector junkie, and you may just dig my tunes! Download Moon Songs now! - Planet Verge


Shoreworld: Janet Labelle & Phil Petillo
—by John Pfeiffer, September 1, 2010


New Jersey artist Janet Labelle is back and sharper than ever with her newest disk titled Moon Songs, a five song EP exploring the waters of pop tinged soul, girl powered alt-rock and the fire fueled world that she continues to light up. Janet was once the lead singer of Avery, a great Jersey band with promise and talent that broke up a few years back, dissipating into Shoreworld history.

I always love a survivor. The artist that crawls out of the wreckage of the past while retaining their vision of creation, moving into the next new phase of adventure with the resolve of a winner, in a business that always tells you you’ll never make it out alive. Janet is one of those people. She’s been writing songs ever since the tender age of seven when she penned her first 4-chord ditty about how much she loved to sleep.

Whether she’s a sleep junkie still or not, Janet’s voice is anything but tired, soaring free and easy, at times just completely letting go and hitting great over toned sweet spots along the lines of Fiona Apple. She explores the sound of the sixties without falling into the pit of copycats. Her writing has matured as well and I hear smart arrangement choices throughout the disc. Moon Songs is strung together theme wise as well, which is kind of cool. Evan Taylor did a bang up job with the production, layering and setting up direction and sound with an eye towards pure continuity. Recorded in three different studios, Moon Songs manages to retain a smooth and focused sound from start to finish.

Opening track “The Moon Is Ours” brings back Locomotion memories of the sixties as she steps up to the plate and hits this tune right into radio play land. Great reverb drenched guitar lines from yesteryear mix with block hits and background bongos. Labelle’s vocals go from falsetto sweet to the vocal chord shredding style of Ronnie Spector effortlessly.

“Not Tonight” moves quickly into delicious pop territory with its The Sundays-meets-REM vibe. Jangly guitars and up-tempo rhythms move this along with a breezy and carefree alt feel. Janet’s vocal increases step-by-step emotional intensity here before dissolving into the songs cliffhanger ending.

“Apologies” is pure soul, soul, soul. Labelle’s knowledge of Smokey Robinson’s phrasing is evident here as she leans into the style perfectly. I had to shake my head and laugh listening to this track. She is scary good. This is a high point on the CD, showcasing her traditional love for the sixties and the ability to mix it into her own bag of tricks without becoming a note for note caricature. Hats off to the production team for a respectful exploration of the genre without falling into the original recipe.

“Without You” is a ballad style number in the traditional vein of Train and Elton John. Labelle manages to keep this interesting and out of arena schmaltz rock with breathy and dynamic vocal inflections and tones that change the direction without looking like a cut and paste debacle. Melody and lyrics mix deliciously with the bands laid back shuffle, her mid tenor delivery is at times spiritual, hypnotic and addictive. Janet is on to something here. The song shuts down with a clever “Desperado” piano passage that sums it up with storybook finesse.

The last tune on the disc is “What the World Looked Like” and although there are a few gems on this record, here is the song that I would pick as one of the best. The guitar and vocal intro sets the tune up well—not too over the top or campy. Janet brings the listener into her word and sits them alongside of her as she sings. Laid back and bluesy, this song screams for the full band treatment. Nevertheless, it gets its stark point fairly well as is. Also, harmonies would have been cool here but it’s a minor gripe from yours truly.

In conclusion, Janet Labelle is out there making great music without mimicking that 1940s granny rock thing (you know what I mean) and her writing is top-notch. She has several dates coming up where you might be able to catch her and I suggest a look-see as she’s the one that has something fresh to offer. www.myspace.com/janetlabelle

R.I.P. Phil Petillo - Renaissance Man Extraordinaire


If you have a love affair with the guitar or play in a band, you’ve heard of Phil Petillo. He was not only instrumental in keeping gigging musicians road worthy and sounding great for many years, but he was also known for physically changing the playability of the instrument with his own “Petillo Precision Frets,” a reversed triangular design that allowed super accurate intonation all along the fretboard.

In addition to his work with frets, Petillo was also known for developing his own line of special strings, pickups, parts, and electronics. No one could ever say that Petillo sat on his hands. His action and enthusiasm for creation started back when he first picked up a guitar at six years old. By the time he had reached the eighth grade he was already building instruments good enough to impress guitar maker John D’Angelico, who offered advice and tips which Petillo quickly added to his own growing collection of knowledge. Petillo was also an expert of wood technology, which he uses in refurbishing antique or damaged instruments, as well as in designing and fitting his custom work. While his technique and rich style may have come in part from the developmental years with Jimmy Diserio, godson of premier guitar maker John D’Angelico, Petillo continued to add design and tone options to his own brand.

In the mid 1970’s Phil designed and built the first four prototypes of the 350G, 350B, 450G and the 450B models that were presented at the Chicago NAMM show that helped launch Kramer Guitars, introducing the aluminum neck and body shape designs that incorporated wood and metal in a unique combination of material for deep sustaining properties. Famed bass players, Gene Simmons of KISS, on his Kramer Ax Bass and jazz bassist Stanley Clarke, used Phil’s aluminum neck.

Over the years, his client roster exploded into one of the biggest in the nation with names such as Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Keith Richards, Steve Miller and several other well-known stars. But Phil also had many local friends and customers and he was well-known for welcoming guitarists into his workspace and home to “talk shop” about everything from theory and exotic woods to the exotic instruments he loved so dearly. Whether you played guitar or bass, Phil was always available for advice, experiences and a friendly anecdote or two.

Unknown to many rock and rollers, the Ocean Township resident was also instrumental in advancement in surgical devices, hydrogen generators and fuel cell technology. Phil held many patents and has been honored with countless major awards for his work including induction into the Who’s Who of American Inventors and the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame.

Phil Petillo belongs to that special breed that never settled for second best when it came to their chosen passions in life. Whether building, inventing, or playing, he loved what he did and that’s all anybody could ever hope to achieve in our short time on this planet. Phil Petillo died August 13, 2010 at the age of sixty-four. He was truly one of a kind.

His son David will continue that tradition at the same Ocean Township location.

Phil is survived by his devoted wife, Lucille (Kersmarki) Petillo; five sons, Phillip Jr., 37 and daughter-in-law, Michelle and granddaughter, Emily, Stephen, 34, Michael, 31, David, 30, and Timothy, 27.
- The Aquarian Weekly


Discography

Moon Songs EP, June 2010
Blossom & Blue EP, November 2011
Just A Little Rain (single & B-side), July 2012

Photos

Bio

LaBelle's songwriting has been described as "top-notch" according to Aquarian Weekly and "full of neat, unexpected flourishes" by New York Music Daily. On her latest EP, "Blossom & Blue" (2011), LaBelle demonstrates that her range of influences is limitless, but her unique voice emerges as entirely her own.

Growing up in a small town in New Jersey, LaBelle fronted one of the few female-led bands on the indie-rock scene to gain recognition. She has since taken her songwriting and musicianship to new heights, learning more instruments and exploring a range of styles from '60s French pop to alternative country. When performing with her band, LaBelle delivers a high-energy show with surfy organ riffs and washed out guitars. In addition to her solo project, she has recently toured as a singer and multi-instrumentalist with Jimmy Destri of Blondie.

LaBelle is currently living in Brooklyn where she performs regularly with her band. She is working on her fourth album release with tour dates to soon be announced.