Singer-songwriter Jane Bolduc pulls no punches when it comes to putting it out there, musically or emotionally. "She who shall not be tamed!” is how the self-effacing artist refers to herself, laughing freely and easily. Indeed, the red-hot songstress' newest offering, JANE BOLDUC LIVE, proves that she can tackle a wide range of styles that embrace a host of musical influences – from a hybrid roots-rock-pop-country-folk reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt to the gritty-bluesy-R&B of Etta James, Jane has a sound that is distinctly her own. She radiates a gutsy verve as a performer that’s powerfully seductive, while at the same time, her songs have an almost delicate sensitivity – their sly perspective puts us off guard, and then hits home.
"I grew up listening to '70s singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Jackson Browne and Carly Simon," Jane explains, "and the radio stations I listened to back then played everything from The Rolling Stones to the Temptations to Stevie Wonder to Linda Ronstadt! I’d like to think my music has a similar kind of mass appeal. I don’t write music to fit a particular niche or trend in the market. My songs are an extension of me – a mélange of musical influences that tell my story." Born and raised in what she describes as a "bucolic town in central Connecticut," Jane, like so many of the great singers that preceded and inspired her, grew up singing in church, but was always firmly rooted in the folk/pop sounds that surrounded her. As her career took her across the country to New York, Nashville and Los Angeles, her life lessons became sources of inspiration for her songs, and her fellow artists – Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin, Sheryl Crow and Bonnie Raitt among them – helped to shape her style.
Jane’s straight-forward yet lyrical songs tell uniquely personal tales which speak to us all, and give voice to many women in America today who find themselves at a crossroads.
Her memorable compositions speak of trying to navigate life ("How Do I Get There From Here?"), struggling to find one’s way ("Lost and Found"), discovering the forces within that guide us ("Renegade Heart"), and understanding – among other things – the very clever ways we misdirect ourselves (the wistful ode to self-delusion "In My Mind's Eye", "Missionary" which tells of a relationship with a "fixer-upper", and "Benefit of the Doubt," a biting ballad about swallowing "half truths and lovely illusions," then spitting them back out). Whether it's an acoustic rendering on solo acoustic guitar or an electrified power ballad, she delivers all with open-hearted passion and compelling honesty. Wherever Jane Bolduc's headed, and it's not always an easy road, we're glad we're along for the ride.
Over and over again, critics have praised Jane's dynamic vocals and insightful lyrics – the LA Weekly described her as a performer "with a voice like a prairie tornado." She has won awards for her vocal and writing talents, including songwriting competitions sponsored by Wildflower Music Festival, Berklee College of Music, the Virginia Organization of Composers & Lyricists, and The Portland Songwriter's Association, as well as being selected as Best Female Vocalist at the Talent America competition in New York City and performing at Carnegie Hall.
Of late, Jane has established herself as a regular fixture in the Los Angeles acoustic music scene, frequently sharing small stages with a tight-night community of, in her words, "like-minded independent artists who are incredibly talented, inspiring and supportive." Springing forth from this community is an on-going project that Jane has been ardently involved with from its beginning, Grassroots Acoustica, a monthly benefit concert series produced by Mark Islam. This series features performances by some of the best singer-songwriters around, and donates all proceeds to local charities. Another by-product of these acoustic music venues is Jane's CD HOUSE BLEND, a compilation of her intimate solo coffee house performances. In addition, an EP of some of her studio work, THE BABY JANE SESSIONS, is also available.
Some of her acoustic scene colleagues may be surprised by her latest CD. “Some people might think this album is a departure for me," offers Jane. "But actually, it feels much more like an arrival!" JANE BOLDUC LIVE features her passionate vocals in a no-holds barred, full-throttle live performance. This CD sizzles with an energy that captures the allure of Jane and her music – a smart, sophisticated earthiness that is powerful, sexy and fun.
"I rarely perform some of the songs on this LIVE CD," she says. "They're songs that I love, but somehow they've always felt too big for my solo acoustic performances at some of these smaller venues. Once in a while, I’d kick off the set with a rollicking, high-octane rendition of “Restless” or “Renegade Heart”, and it seemed like the audience was looking at me thinking ‘Calm down, girl… What are you carrying on about!?!’ But last fall, I played a show at this fabulous outdoor concert space with this magical combination of players, and it all clicked: my band rocked, the arrangements fit the songs, and I could be as expansive a performer as I wanted to be! Every time I listen to this CD, I'm right back there on that stage, with all that energy and sound, and it feels like flying – it is pure bliss..."