Before I went, my wife asked me if I was expecting to enjoy it, or if I'd be dissapointed. She was referring to a phenomenon I've noted, that, well, things change. I alluded to it when I posted some thoughts about a Ducks Deluxe reunion. When Street's first album came out, it spoke to me, and I became a fan. While I am still a fan, I am aware that her msuic has changed. So, given that, would I enjoy seeing this musician perform, or would I be dissapointed for it reflecting where she is now, rather than where she was when I became a fan?
I said I'd enjoy it. And I hoped that I'd be right, even if I wasn't 100% sure.
I'm glad to say that was right. This performance was more fun than I thought it would be. Hell, it was more fun than I had dared hope it would be.
Janey didn't do any songs from that first solo album -- the one that had meant so much to me. "There Ain't No Angels in the Sky"? "Me And My Friends"? "In My Mind"? Not there. Janey was emphasizing the material on her more-recent CD, The Street Less Traveled as well as her collection of demos, Outtakes. Both albums are available on her website.
The following video gives a good idea of her contemporary performances:
I should note, though, that she was accompanied by Tom Murphy (guitar) and Dennis Pereca (keyboards). Murphy, had never played with her before, and did an amazing job of improvising leads that fit with the melodies of her songs. Pereca is her old songwriting and performing partner. I wasn't aware of this before tonight, but Janey and Dennis had done a couple of albums in the seventies -- under the name "Janey and Dennis."
This performance gave me a better appreciation for Janey's newer bluesier material, and I fully enjoyed it. I would go see her again if the opportunity presents itself. I think my favorite was "He Just Does" (as in "I don't know why he loves me / He just does."), which presents a happy view of relationships.
After two sets, separated by a brief intermission, Jany relinquished the stage so that members of the audience could perform some of their own songs. This was, afterall, a group of songwriters. That was followed by an impromptu mini-set of Janey, Dennis, and a few of the others doing Beatles's songs.
In my next post (unless something earth-shattering happens, r I just feel like writing about something else instead), I'll talk a little about the other songwriters who were there.