Jan James
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Jan James

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Band Rock Blues


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Jan James"

"From the opening guitar riff it was clear that James would be strong ...
the blonde singer gave the Melkweg a tasty performance...
gives life to a musical tradition...Joplin singing for Faces...Stones.. - Telegraph

"Experience Jan James Friday at Martyrs CD release show"

Jan James is an overlooked Chicago treasure. In addition to playing all over town locally, she has performed in Europe and Scandinavia to huge audiences. She has shared stages with James Brown, Koko Taylor, Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper, Jeff Beck and B.B. King. At Chicago's Royal George Theater Jan had the starring role of Janis Joplin in a musical play based on Janis’ letters and songs.

James, with her band, has a CD release show this Friday, August 6th, at Martyrs. You can listen to samples from her new album, Ring Around The Moon, on her website.

The new record is a showcase for her dynamic voice. Click right now and listen to "That's Alright With Me"(click the link there if the player won't play). It's a great Motown style song with a funky beat and a strong, fat saxophone by Josh Shapiro. The album has a wide range of songs with some country leanings with a twangy pedal steel guitar as in "Grains of Sand" to an hymn-like "Someday, Somebody". The more you listen, the more you will like and appreciate this album.

Jan James grabs your attention from the first note of every song and doesn't let go. She has the kind of voice that doesn't need a microphone or modern effects. It's a pure powerful instrument in itself and she is a master with it. James is backed up by her longtime companion/collaborator, Craig Calvert, who has co-written their songs. Calvert also plays a very mean yet subtle guitar effortlessly on every track and whether he is in the background or taking the lead, he's playing something interesting.

Head out to Martyrs Friday and you will discover a great Chicago band. - examiner.com

"Ring Around The Moon, A Spark of Hope"

It’s hard to believe that it has been seven years since I first heard Jan James perform. She was onstage in West Bend, Wisconsin, at the Harley-Davidson 100th Anniversary Celebration. At that time I thought that she was one of the best female vocalists I’d ever heard, and I’m even more convinced of that now.

As the years have passed, Jan has gotten nothing but better. She’s even more smooth and sophisticated in her ability to use that strong, beautiful voice to convey the compelling music and lyrics she writes with her partner, Craig Calvert.

Ring Around the Moon is Jan’s 10th album. She describes it as “a spark of hope ready to catch fire.” And she’s right. It’s also a work with a theme and a tone—a theme and tone of hope; of appreciating all that life has to offer. The cut Right on Time should speak to all of us: “This is a plentiful world. Go fill your arms if you are strong enough. Like the rarest form of a pearl, blessings come to those who don’t hesitate…”

The pure sound of Jan James’ voice will haunt you. The melody lines created by Jan and Craig dance between jazz, blues, R&B, country (I love the dobro and pedal steel) and rock—they, too, are haunting. The CD’s first selection, The World Will Wait, is almost anthem-like. Every time I hear it I feel it should be one of those soundtrack themes of a major motion picture—the kind of thing that conjures up a million images each time it’s played.

The cut You Oughta Know is the life story of many of us. Grains of Sand should kick off every Sunday morning at your local get-out-of-your-seat-and-dance charismatic church. Every piece on this album speaks to all of us in some way.

I have always considered myself to be a true connoisseur of female vocal talent—from Janis to Tracy Nelson, from Bonnie Raitt to Aretha, from Ella to Etta, to all the greats in between. Jan James is definitely in that league—and Ring Around the Moon is definitely one of her best. - Thunder Press


Ring Around The Moon LP
Drive Me Home LP
Limousine Blues LP
Holiday EP
Promise Me EP
Compilation LP
Soul Desire LP
Color of The Rose LP
Color of the Rose single
Last Train LP
Back On My Feet Again single
Don't Cross The Line single



This tale comes right out of the inner soul of American music. It reads like the street-level truth in the lyrics of a Delta classic.
What kind of artist finds their way to Chicago after having learned licks on a guitar from a Tennessee guy named "Catfish?"
What kind of artist hones powerful vocals in a church choir and then translates that emotion into a deep understanding
of the blues? Jan James is that kind of artist.
Raised in central Michigan on a family-run fishing resort, Jan's talent was obvious early on."The more I played guitar and
the more I tried out the voice I learned to use in the church choir," says Jan, "The more I liked it." And so did everyone else.
She was continually invited to sing at public gatherings andlike all the great artists-the seduction and thrill of performing
onstage soon matched her talent.
Jan met her partner, songwriter/guitarist Craig Calvert, while they were both attending Michigan State. She was working
in a duo, performing regularly at a small cafe. When she needed to replace her guitar player, the timing was right.
It was perfect. Craig was taking a break from his punk band; they met and developed a musical chemistry that has evolved
into a big sound and feel that is colored with blues, soul and the sweet dynamics of the best rock.
After their performances together established a solid reputation for them in the Detroit area, Jan was voted "Best Female
Vocalist" by the Detroit Metro Times.
Then, continuing a legend-laced journey, they moved to Chicago. The blues capital was good to them, and they to it.
They became favorites in such venues as Buddy Guy's Blues Legends, Taste of Chicago and The House of Blues. They
shared the stage with Koko Taylor, John Mayall, Little Feat, James Brown and B.B. King. They cut their first demo, a
powerhouse CD called "Last Train," picked up by the Dutch label Provogue, in yet another example of the wide appeal
that American blues has throughout Europe.
Jan launched a promotional tour of acoustic and electric performances aired on radio and television throughout The
Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Scandanavia, along with a feature on NBC's television program, Talking Blues.
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." More albums followed: "Soul Desire," "The Color of Rose"
and the critically acclaimed "Limousine Blues."
Comparisons to legendary artists are often soaked in hype and are sometimes unfair both to the legend and to the musician
who is carrying on the legacy. But sometimes they are necessary. Sometimes they must be made; not just for the sake of
similarity but for the sake of the importance that keeping something so stark and vital alive means to the art.
Jan performed at Chicago's Royal George Theater in the staring role of Janis Joplin in a play based on Janis letters and
songs. Along with the standing ovations, there was so much more. There was the aura of a major talent. There was not only
the power of what Janis had left for us, there was the power in what Jan James now does and will do.
Jan's newest CD, "Drive Me Home," is a pure and commanding showcase of her heritage and her talent from start to finish.
Each and every cut demonstrates just how good she is. This is what modern music should be.
This is Jan James.