Janet Lee Myatt
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Janet Lee Myatt

Union City, California, United States | SELF

Union City, California, United States | SELF
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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"Janet's vocals have that same sparkle that Emmy Lou Harris has."
- Crystal (Crystal and The Wolves) - musician


"lyrics have an intriguing content of a spiritual nature." - Theo Cedar (Swaybone) - musician


Album Title: Janet Lee Myatt
Artist: Janet Lee Myatt
Reviewer: Annie Reuter
Review Title: Singer-songwriter Janet Lee Myatt provides diversity on latest EP
Rating: 3 Stars out of 5

After years of performing in choirs, including the award-winning Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, Janet Lee Myatt retired to focus on her family. She couldn’t give up music forever, though. Nearly a decade later, Myatt is back with the release of her latest seven-song EP.
A versatile collection, it is evident that Myatt has experience singing many genres. She was first introduced to jazz in college when she joined the exclusive 12-person Cal Jazz Choir. Later, she gained experience within gospel and rock when performing post college. Throughout the EP, she mixes folk, country, blues and jazz effortlessly. However, it is when Myatt dips into country that she finds her strongest voice. Perhaps then, it is no coincidence that Myatt traveled to Nashville to work with producer Jerry Cupit (Dolly Parton, Tim McGraw, George Jones).
Within each song, Myatt tells tales of striving for perfection (“A Perfect Way to Go”), questioning preconceived beliefs (“Fear”), and looking back on one’s life on the spiritual “In the Stillness.” While the album is mostly filled with ballads, when Myatt segues to upbeat tracks, she impresses and quickly captures the listener’s attention.
Despite being compared to Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt and Lucinda Williams over the years, it is evident that Myatt has a unique voice that is all her own. She can belt out fast-paced jazz songs with as equal precision to ballads.
Myatt kicks off the EP with jazzy and energetic track, “Fear.” A song about questioning life, unfortunately at times Myatt’s lyrics get lost behind the powerful music. Next track, “(When I’m In) My Right Mind Again” is a soft ballad with fitting piano and keyboard accompaniment, never overpowering her vocals.
“She’s So Insane” switches gears and Myatt is instantly transformed from a jazz singer into a country songstress. Complete with harmonica and banjo accompaniment, Myatt’s voice reflects that of up-and-coming country artists Laura Bell Bundy and Kellie Pickler. With a certain edginess that hasn’t been heard on previous tracks, it is on “She’s So Insane” that Myatt truly shines. More upbeat tracks like this could have only strengthened this release.
The slower “Feels Like Thunder” follows suit and breaks up the high energy that was heard on “She’s So Insane.” While I’m sure “Feels Like Thunder” is a strong track by itself, after the intensity that was “She’s So Insane,” the listener quickly loses interest.
All is not lost, though. The piano-driven “A Perfect Way to Go” introduces a more soulful side of Myatt while “Don’t Tell Me What To Do” embodies an edgier, electronic rock vibe.
After glimpses of jazz, country and rock, the listener is introduced to the folk-infused “A Perfect Way To Go.” A tale of a woman who is unhappy with her life, juggling numerous tasks with the ultimate goal of perfection, Myatt strikes a chord.
“Stop trying to be so perfect/Because that’s the perfect way to go … She’s always so eager to please/She’s falling apart at the seams/She keeps her dreams locked deep down inside/She’s disappearing from the sight,” she sings.
Overall, Janet Lee Myatt’s EP is a strong release with the help of reputable producers, engineers and musicians. However, on a whole the EP lacks cohesive flow as Myatt jumps from one genre to the next. While she portrays her versatility, listeners aren’t able to latch onto her as one artist. Is she a jazz musician, country or folk? While it is evident she showcases much talent, it is her upbeat songs that leave the most lasting impression.

Review by Annie Reuter
- Review You


“Janet Lee Myatt filled the stage with her folk country attitude reminding me of an early Lucinda Williams. Even in the rain, she belted out her songs with the energy of a true musician.”
- Kristin Cushman – Good Old Days Festival, Event Coordinator


(Referring to the song She’s So Insane)
“cool country-fried shuffle…you’re voice has a cool “Dolly Parton” thing going on…diggin’it.”
- Dennis Fallon – Music Gorilla Listener


“Totally different sound, very versatile. This is great! So upbeat and fun.”
- Joelle – Music Gorilla Listener


“Awesome material.”

- John Yoonn – Music Gorilla Listener


Discography

Janet Lee Myatt - 7 song EP, released 2010
Feels Like Thunder - 14 song CD, released 2005
Tattooed Heart - 12 song CD, released 2005

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Bio

A versatile writer, it is evident that Janet Lee Myatt has experience singing many genres. She was first introduced to jazz in college when she joined the exclusive 12-person Cal Jazz Choir. Later, she gained experience singing gospel and rock. Throughout her music, she mixes folk, country, blues and jazz effortlessly. However, it is when Myatt dips into country that she finds her strongest voice. Perhaps then, it is no coincidence that Myatt traveled to Nashville to work with producer Jerry Cupit (Dolly Parton, Tim McGraw, George Jones).

Myatt tells tales of striving for perfection (“A Perfect Way to Go”), questioning preconceived beliefs (“Fear”), and looking back on one’s life in the spiritual “In the Stillness.” Myatt impresses and quickly captures the listener’s attention, especially when she gets into her upbeat tunes such "She's So Insane."

Despite being compared to Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt and Lucinda Williams over the years, it is evident that Myatt has a unique voice that is all her own. She can belt out fast-paced jazz songs with as equal precision as her ballads. Myatt easily switches gears and is instantly transformed from a jazz singer into a country songstress where her voice reflects that of up-and-coming country artists Laura Bell Bundy and Kellie Pickler, with a certain edginess that truly shines."

Overall, Myatt's sound is a creative, tasteful mix of folk, blues, country and jazz sensibilities covering a broad range of emotions, moods and themes. With unique point of view, Myatt’s music is current, original and relevant.