Date:   5/2/2006

Grammy-winning folk icon, Janis Ian, visits Thrasher

So, how many world-class musicians are on your life list? In just over a week, the Thrasher Opera House gives you an opportunity to add one more – Janis Ian is playing a concert at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, right here in Green Lake.


Janis Ian has been making music professionally for over forty years now (she did start young, debuting with Society’s Child as barely a teenager in 1965), and to hear the critics tell it, she’s playing stronger than ever. Not a statement to be taken lightly, considering Janis currently has nine Grammy nominations (and several wins) to her credit.


Ian’s latest effort, Folk is the New Black, is garnering rave reviews from the international press: “Folk Is the New Black is a songwriter’s tour de force…Ian is right back where she started, in the bosom of folk music at its best – older, wiser, her talent honed and sharpened until it cuts so fine, we barely feel the blade slicing through us.”  “A benchmark effort in a career in song that spans more than 40 years, Folk Is The New Black is a bona fide jaw-dropper, a stunning achievement that embraces the zeitgeist of the age, rocks at an assured pace, oozes with satiric wit, edgy humour and barely concealed rage, flaunts her disgust of the new republic, of human greed and cruelty with intellectual muscle and a burning imagination, and wrenches the heart.”  “A rich and complex musical experience, 15 songs whose lucidity and melodic potency define a composer at the peak of her abilities, all rendered in a sweet, quiet voice that urges the listener ever nearer. Both intensely personal and robustly inclusive, Ian's new songs are among the very best she has written — indeed, among the finest in the entire American folk songbook.” Greg Quill, Toronto Star.  The glowing reviews come as no surprise to Ian’s loyal fan base, who bombard her website with a quarter million hits per year, even though she hasn’t had a “top twenty” release in decades.


Janis Ian can be counted among the greatest America singer-songwriters. Take a few of her best known works: Jesse, a song recorded by so many singers that few people remember that Ian wrote it; Stars, recorded by artists as diverse as Mel Torme and Cher; and the unforgettable At Seventeen, a song that brought her five Grammy nominations in 1975 and which is now reaching its third generation of listeners.


Ian’s is a formidable talent, a force of nature. Ella Fitzgerald once called her, “The best young singer in America.”  Chet Atkins said “Singer? You ought to hear that girl play guitar; she gives me a run for my money!”  Reviewers have called her live performances “overwhelming to the spirit and soul,” and “drenched with such passion, the audience feels they’ve been swept up in a hurricane.” She averages about two hundred live shows a year, routinely touring the US, Europe, Australia, Japan, and Asia. This week she wraps up a tour through the UK. Then it’s a date in Chicago and on up to Green Lake, before hop-scotching around the US. Catch her while you can.


Tickets for Janis Ian’s May 20th performance at the Thrasher Opera House, sponsored by Shoreline Inc., Heidel House and Two Chez, are $25 each and can be purchased at the Thrasher Office, Knowledge Emporium, Green Lake State Bank, Ripon Drug, Pick ‘N Save, or Twister, or by calling 920-294-4279.  Those who prefer to order on-line should visit Plan to arrive that Saturday night by 6:45 p.m. to get a good seat. You won’t want to miss a bit of the show.


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