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Jane

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Biography of Jane

Jane begins playing guitar as a teenager in 1985 and quickly progresses to song writing. Her compositions and quirky self taught guitar technique catch the ear of producer Mark Cunningham who organises and produces her first two track demo. Jane begins gigging in earnest and records the tracks DOESN'T MEAN THAT MUCH, FIRE IN MY EYES and KIND WORDS.

During this time she catches the attention of Reg Webb and Dave Bronze. Both musicians have vast musical pedigrees having worked collectively with Lenny Kravitz, Eric Clapton, Vanessa Paradise, Paul Carrack and Procul Harem to name but a few. They recognise something special in Jane's writing and Dave and Reg record the next batch of songs.

During the following few months, Jane and Reg play perform acoustic guitar and piano versions of her compositions. A seven track demo containing the tracks BE MY STAR, SHOWDOWN, I AM NOT ALONE, FRIEND OF MINE LOOK TO YOU, WHO DO YOU LOVE and THERE IS NO ESCAPE not only features Reg Webb and Dave Bronze but also the amazing guitar skills of Alan Christie who later went on to play bass on the number one smash hit 'Return of the Mack' by Mark Morrison and who now plays with The Arlenes.

Al and Jane met when she invited him to play on the recordings after a phone call to a mutual friend when she overheard him playing guitar in the background. Now things are looking good. Jane gets a small record deal and is able to fund the recording of a more ambitious project. With producer and guitarist David Rosenthal at the helm and Reg Webb back on keyboards, she begins recording a 5 track E.P. of new material. The E.P. contains the songs BORDERLINE, WE ARE ONE, MOVING ON, NOWHERE STREET and CARRY ME . Then, disaster strikes.the record company folds but all is not lost because at least Jane is left with five great tracks. At times Jane feels like throwing in the towel. She questions whether she's on the right path. On the verge of giving up on music, she meets pianist Pete Jacobsen who instils within her a new confidence in her abilities. From the outset, they establish what will be a long standing deep friendship and working relationship. Pete encourages her continually and urges her not to give up. For about a year, Jane and Pete also worked closely with fellow writer and performer Phil Burdett both live and in the studio.

In 1998, Barrington Pheloung (composer of numerous film and TV scores), sees Jane and her band perform and is so impressed he invites them to record at his studios. Jane, Pete Jacobsen and Phil Aldridge spend a wonderful couple of days working at Barrington's beautiful studio and come away with the first versions of TILL THE NEXT TIME and COME WHAT MAY. As if his offer to use the studio wasn't generous enough, Barrington also gives Jane the very piano he used to compose much of the score for the acclaimed MORSE series. Jane treasures this gift and still uses it herself to write on. Pete and Jane continue to perform her new material together. Then, with engineer Annie O'Raque and producer Mark Street, they begin to lay down the ten new tracks. Using the alias of Rachael Blue, decides to upload some of her older songs onto the Internet to test the water and see how they are received. And the response is positive. At first a trickle of emails begins to arrive in her inbox but quickly the trickle becomes a stream until she's receiving dozens of emails a day requesting further information about her material and asking if more is available. Her mp3 site now averages hundreds of hits every week with people all over the world downloading her material and wanting to hear more.

Tragically, during the recording of the new songs, Jane's dear friend Pete Jacobsen died unexpectedly and prematurely in April 2002. Her debut CD CLOSE UP AND REAL contains the last songs Pete recorded. This CD is Jane's tribute not only to his memory but to his unwavering faith in her and her music.

It's been an astonishing eighteen months for UK singer/songwriter Jane. Since the independent release of her acclaimed debut album CLOSE UP AND REAL , she's been propelled from domestic obscurity to the subject of much media curiosity.

Having 'given up' on music for over ten years whilst she studied for a psychology degree and raised her three children, in 2001 Jane discovered she had a legion of fans on the internet. The thousands of downloads of her old demo's convinced her to dust down her guitar and record some of the tracks she'd written during this time.

Jane's music attracted the attention of top musicians all keen to work with her so her CD recordings are graced by top players such as the late jazz impresario Pete Jacobsen, (Tim Whitehead, Level 42, Carmina, Barbara Thompson), Dave Bronze, (bass with Eric Clapton, Robin Trower, Procul Harem, Eric Bibb, Sting), Reg Webb (keyboards with Lenny Kravitz, Vanessa Paradise), Wendy Roberts, (vocals for Mike Oldfield, Eric bibb) and Steve 'West' Weston (Big Town Playboys). Soon added to this list of talent was world famous composer Barrington Pheloung who donated studio time for recording after spotting Jane performing in a local local bar.

SEEDLING is Jane’s second album and was written and recorded during a particularly difficult time in her life. The songs vary in style and range from full on country rock to Dido-esque pop and Norah Jones style cocktail lounge grooves.

It is a stunning collection of lyrically intelligent and musicially satisfying tracks all penned by Jane which firmly establishes her as a songwriter to take seriously and perhaps it's no surprise that tracks have already been claimed for use in both TV and a music documentary to be released later this year.

REVIEWS

Quite simply - it's a gorgeous - Female Songwriter May 2004

Whereas Close Up And Real, Jane’s debut album, was a collection of old and new material, recorded over a 10 year period, her latest offering was, in contrast, put together at lightning speed in the early months of 2004. Such spontaneity has led to a tighter focus and whilst the range of styles is just as varied as before (a major label’s marketing nightmare), Jane’s writing has matured in leaps and bounds. Seedling’s opening and closing tracks are perfect bookends for the rich mix of genres explored within. Let It Bleed-era Stones comes up to date in the country blues of ‘I Never Thought It Was Love’, a showcase for Steve Weston's gritty harp, while the achingly beautiful title track is Jane’s bittersweet farewell to her late ex-husband, drummer Michael Bettell, whose life was dominated by his quest for artistic recognition. Her line ‘You were waiting so long/Bet it all on a song’ sums up his stubborn passion perfectly, as a ‘celestial choir’ backdrop (a la ‘I’m Not In Love’)! underlines the sentiments of loss and hope. Vocally, when Jane plays to her strengths, she is a wonderfully charismatic singer, able to deliver her emotions with immense clarity and meaning. The manner in which she frames her lead vocal with backing harmonies and counter melodies is also an endearing quality which attracts closer attention.

Jane’s influences are worn on her sleeve, and there are too many to name, but the end result of this melting pot has its own refreshing identity. With no record company A&R bully to dictate Jane’s musical direction, she enjoys the freedom to dress her songs in any outfit she chooses, and this is a wonderfully fulfilling place to be, artistically. Too many artists have been beaten into a corner by enforced labelling, and although the limitations of a truly independent release mean that only the enlightened few will get to recognise Jane’s talents, what they are getting is the definitive article. I’m looking forward to a more organic-sounding third album. Bring it on.

Mark Cunningham - Editor of Total Production International and author of GOOD VIBRATIONS & LIVE & KICKING
Total Production International May 2004


Jane after doing the housewife and mother gig for a decade finally decided that it was high time to record some songs that she had written over the years and put them out on her own. Seedling is a more polished album that showcases refined songs and superb vocal delivery - and you gotta love that harmonica playing! Smother Magazine May 2004

Ask Jane and she’ll tell you that her glass is almost always half-empty (“and probably poisoned too”, she’ll add); strange then that the music she creates sounds like it was crafted in the optimistic rays of dawn’s first light. Her attitude is, perhaps, typical of any woman who has to cope with real life - in this case she’s a housewife and mother of three - though as a result of last years independently-released ‘Close Up And Real’ she’s surely moving into the unreal realm of the professional musician. If not, why not? This second album showcases a chameleonic voice capable of shifting from the pop-belting joie-de-vivre of Melanie C (‘I Wanna Stay Blind’) through the realms of a countrified Thea Gilmore (‘Never Thought It Was Love’) to the tender, lilting beauty of Jane Siberry on the acoustic ‘Place To Find You’. Logo Magazine May 2004

We don't normally do album reviews - but then we came across this and Sunday morning chillin hasn't been the same since. This should be a contender for 'album of the year' and it shows the big boys in the music industry were they are going wrong. Out In London May 2004

Great music has the ability to make you stop and think, if this album had been released by a leading record label with all their marketing clout it would be a platinum seller and the world would know all about this great talent. As it is Jane remains known only to those who have found her, but then her music is her own and perhaps it is this that makes this album so good.
Kevin Rowley – OutinLondon.net

... well-crafted pop songs – There are many singers like Jane, playing small clubs and bars all over Britain, but few with such strong songwriting ability. What she needs is a major publishing deal to sell these songs sold to those (like, say, Jewel and Fiona Apple) who so obviously need them. The Mind's Construction May 2004

In listening to Jane, I have come to admire her approach to songwriting - Get a hold of this record and listen to it. You will feel the same way. Online Rock April 2004

... with such great songs, why hasn't somebody snapped up this artist and made her into a star? Reviewd4U magazine

Whoa. Her vocals are big. Real big. Like stadium big. The music keeps up but it’s the vocals that you’ll be buying this CD for. Jane is the focus and rightly so as she could carry any tune by herself without a problem I imagine, (and she feels that she’s not a proper singer)? Well if this isn’t 'proper' than whatever it is should be the standard to which all other vocalists strive for. Smother

There are many positives to take away from Jane’s album and definitely, it would not be too out of place in the company of Tori Amos, Sheryl Crow or Jewel. Jane writes competent mainstream pop songs - mainly ballads and upbeat R&B-inflected numbers, which she delivers with aplomb. Kevin Matthews - Fufkin

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