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Monthly Update

March 1, 2014

Janis and Tom Paxton

Janis and Tom Paxton

Pat: What are you doing?

Janis: Packing. For the UK tour.

Pat: I thought you weren't touring any more. I thought it was too hard?

Janis: I'm not touring. I'm singing with Tom Paxton and Robin Bullock.

Pat: Oh. Really. That's not touring?

Janis: Of course not. Touring involves putting together production notes for lights and sound, checking mileage and routing, figuring out when you can do laundry and backing into how many pieces of stage and street clothing you need, putting together your gear from strings and picks to flight cases, making sure it's all insured, doing interviews and social media, fighting for audience numbers in each market, getting in shape so every show is as good as it can be, rehearsing old sets and adding new songs, deciding what merchandise to bring, shipping it, making sure it arrives, and getting a good haircut just before you leave.

Pat: And this is different how?

Janis: I already got a haircut.

Tom Paxton & Janis Ian On Tour 2014

Tom Paxton & Janis Ian On Tour 2014

Yes, it's true. On March 7th I take off for the UK to join Tom and Robin for nine dates across the UK. And before you send more emails asking why we're "skipping" Ireland / Netherlands / Copenhagen / Barcelona / The Outer Hebrides, it's because we both had obligations on either side of the time frame. If tickets go well this year, we're hoping to play some of those places in 2015. We've got some great rehearsal footage by Travis Trout up on the Janis Ian YouTube channel.

But in addition to the tour schedule, I have a really wonderful announcement to make! I have personally acquired the audio book rights to Patience and Sarah, a transformative book in my own life, and we are set to begin recording in April! Stefan Rudnicki, who directed my own Grammy-winning audio book, will be directing – and in an incredible stroke of good fortune, the amazing Jean Smart will be my co-narrator. I am beyond excited to work beside her and to learn from her.

<grin>

Can you help support the project? Sure! If you collect high-end instruments, I'm selling a bunch of guitars– you can see some on Youtube and at the gallery. Worth a look even if you don't buy guitars; the photos are really nice.

<smile>

Patience & Sarah by Isabel Miller

Patience & Sarah by Isabel Miller

Other than that, I'm debating different ways of funding independent projects like this. I support a lot of Kickstarter projects myself, but I worry about not having the time to fulfill whatever I've promised. Ditto Patreon, though the idea of building projects with the assistance of patrons, in the old-fashioned sense, is really intriguing. But again, the problem of fulfillment, when I already have so many other commitments. Thinking thinking thinking... maybe I'll start a projects@janisian.com Paypal account, with no promise of anything to anyone except the chance to fund independent projects. Maybe I'll build a special web page and rotate it between projects, keeping it updated in my spare time. Maybe I'll see what I could get for renting out the Tiny Alien Dog so she can get her belly rubbed by more people than me. Who knows?!

With or without extra funding, the audio book will get done and find its way to the right publisher – and I will continue to do work I believe in. That's the great thing about getting older. Your priorities shift to what's important in the long run, not the short.

Gadzooks. What a soap box... sorry! I'm just really excited about it!!

Tiny alien dog topples, exhausted, onto captured elephant.

Tiny alien dog topples, exhausted, onto captured elephant.

On to other things. The Singer and the Song won Audiofile Magazine's coveted Earphones Award right out of the box, and people seem to be enjoying my renditions of Miriam Therese Winter's songs. It gives me hope that in these divisive times, the life of a Catholic Medical Mission Sister and theologian, narrated and sung by a gay Jewish woman, could be such a success.

The Tiny Mouse continues to win accolades, most recently a stunning review from School Library Journal. I'll be putting the song in all its versions up on iTunes pretty soon, as well as a few surprises. Speaking of which, I've just completed a special CD for the UK tour! Titled Strictly Solo, it features a few new songs, a few that have never been on one of my albums before, and a few old songs you've been asking for in solo format, like the guitar-based version of "Bright Lights & Promises". Right now it's only available during the UK tour, but I may go ahead and manufacture in the US as well, so stay tuned.

We have a new piece of sheet music available for "He's a Rainbow" – free for the next few months, too!

Finally, the most important thing – thanks to your open-handed giving over the past year, as well as the website sale and "Prose for Pearl" auction, we were able to give away a stunning $76,000 in scholarship money last year! That brings the Foundation's dollars donated to various higher education institutions to $750,000!! That's right, three quarters of a million dollars! We have lost count of how many scholarships we've provided at our affiliated schools, but we'll never lose sight of the generosity so many of you continue to show. I am truly humbled and proud to be a part of your world, and I thank you so much for being a part of mine.

All the best,

Janis Ian

Janis

Hot News
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    Private Dancer, Slowhand, Born in the USA, and...

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    Hundreds of requests later...

  • Want to contribute to a new project?

    You can help fund Janis' current projects!

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Tour Dates

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All tour dates updated on July 24, 2014

[full tour dates list]

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