Just finished four shows with Tom Paxton - what a fantastic time we had! Tom was at my very first gig, the Village Gate in New York, when I was all of 13 years old. I finished my song and the crowd gave me a standing ovation - but I'd been told to do just one song, so I began walking off the stage. Tom grabbed me from behind and yelled "Get back out there, kid!" What a memory....
We spent four days rehearsing, determined this would not be another "Hi, we're doing a show together - that means I sing a few, he sings a few, I sing a few, he sings a few, then we bow together." No, this show is really a joint effort. Tom's singing on "My Tennessee Hills" gives me tingles every time I hear it, and along with his accompanist Robin Bullock, we manage terrific three-part harmonies on "How Beautiful Upon the Mountain" and "Ramblin' Boy." It's really a once-in-a-lifetime thing, for the audience and for us. Heck - how often do you get to see two performers who've known each other 45+ years and can still carry a tune!
When we closed out at The Birchmere last night, I hugged Tom and Robin and said "I'm going to miss you both soooo much!" It's true. Performing with a peer, particularly a peer of Tom's stature as a songwriter and performer, is a rare and delicate pleasure. Fortunately, we'll be doing more shows next year. And hey - if you were there, and you liked it, ask other venues to book the two of us!!
HOT NEWS!!! The third annual Message Board Auction is rolling again! If you're not a member of our Forums, please join - we don't use you, honest! Heck, we don't even keep track of our members, let alone send out email blasts to people who haven't signed up for them. But you've got to be a Forum member in order to post and participate, so come on down!!!
As in previous years, the auction will be run by Hoops, with Kathleen Brogan acting as banker. Sellers will begin posting items about a week before the auction starts. The auction itself will begin November 15, and end November 30th. On November 7th, two new message boards will magically appear, and people will begin posting their items. All items to be posted must be pre-approved by Hoops! Please for information.
Just a few of the items: Karensews will be offering embroidered denims; combo master class + NPT living room concert, with the winners all getting copies of Angela Aki's album Life as prizes; a copy of the incredibly rare living room concert Live at the Campbell's (one of only 50 ever produced) - and back by popular demand, a return of "The Works" set, where you get one of everything we have in stock - CD's (including the rare ones), books, posters, whatever!
My personal donations also include a rare 1958 first edition hardcover of James Ramsey Ullman's The Day on Fire, as well as a library edition copy of the Stars anthology.
Fans are encouraged to donate whatever items they think the market will bear, and the items do not have to be "Janis Ian-specific." Just remember that peoples' funds are limited, so the items should be interesting - and shippable!
On adjacent news, Blood-Lite II: Overbite is out, and the story I wrote with Kevin J. Anderson, "Dark Carbuncle", is first in the book! That makes ten published stories for me, people. I'm hoping to get a book out eventually... in my spare time...
Also, folk diva Christine Lavin has put out a beautiful Christmas collection, with songs by (among others) Julie Gold, Darryl Purpose, and moi ("Joy", from Folk Is the New Black). Check it out on her webpage!
Oh! I'm trying to get 5,000 "likes" on my Facebook page, so please help me out!!! Go here to "like" my page.
I think that's it. Thanks to all of you for the incredible support you've shown me, and talk to you in December!
Wonderful video by Paraskevi Gogorosi using Janis' song "From Me To You."
Paraskevi is a Greek designer and video maker. In his own words: " I have made a video inspired by your song, for the dire situation that the Syrian refugees are facing. I was looking at photos of them while listening to Janis' songs. It was just an intense moment, when I realised that the lyrics were telling a story about these souls."
Join Janis on HBO's "Getting On" series!
Janis guests with Rita Moreno and Laurie Metcalf in the final episode, along with stars Laurie Metcalf, Alex Borstein, and Niecy Nash.
Janis & Jean Smart co-narrate a book!
The long awaited audio book Patience & Sarah is slated for release September 15. Listen to excerpts at Entertainment Weekly.