"Light of Mine" is a double-disc CD/DVD -- aside from the audio tracks listed and listenable here, the DVD also features live performances of: Little Hours (by Jen), American Skin (41 Shots), Me Be Me (Jen), Into the Mystic, Sunny Sunday, Passive People (Jen), Manchild (Jen), Nobody Told Me, Scream Laugh Cry (Jen), Strip it Bare (Jen), Go On (Jen), You Haven’t Done Nothin’, I Could Fall. And videos:Let it Show (Jen), Election Day (Jen), Backdrifts
-- Strange days indeed: these years have brought us torture, wire-tapping, and a patriotism based on wearing lapel pins, shopping, and ignoring the constitution. Fear (or just the fear of fear) has made our thinking flat and closed and has perverted our national decision-making into something unrecognizable. We resign ourselves to powerlessness and fall into the arms of the strongman. We wait for answers to fall out of the sky. We keep our defiance safely contained to our blog screens.
Or we remember to make some noise. We reclaim our own sparkling power and responsibility, and remember to seek the truth, to protest, to create a real future individually and collectively, and to dream.
Light of Mine is 11 songs from the past 35 years that explore these notions of power and fear. The writers are Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, Van Morrison, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Sly Stone, Joni Mitchell, and David Bowie, while singer Jen Chapin contributes a couple songs of her own. The band is the critically-acclaimed “Rosetta Trio”, featuring double bassist Stephan Crump and guitarists Jamie Fox and Liberty Ellman. Political subtexts aside -- or are they front and center? -- this album is a groovefest, a playground of spirited dialogue, passionate expression and forward momentum.
Jen Chapin’s music is urban folk — story songs that search for community and shared meaning, powered by the funk, soul and improvisation of the city. Critics have hailed her work on her albums Linger (2004) and Ready (2006) as “brilliant.. soulfully poetic” (NPR), “thoughtful.. worth-savoring” (People), “addictive” (Boston Globe), “smart, observant, lyrically deft, politically aware and emotionally intuitive” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel). JazzTimes has called her “a first-rate storyteller” while Relix regards her as “one of the freshest voices singing today." She has been featured on “Late Nite with Conan O’Brien,” honored by the USA Songwriting Competition, appeared on stage with Bruce Springsteen, and opened up for Bruce Hornsby and the Neville Brothers. Her performances are powerful, spotlighting the world-class musicianship and rare chemistry of husband/acoustic bassist Stephan Crump and guitarist Jamie Fox, with the frequent special addition of guitarist Liberty Ellman. As an activist, educator and mother, Jen also brings the knowledge and insight of varied experience (student/traveler in Mexico and Zimbabwe, BA in International Relations, longtime Member, Chair and Secretary of the Board of WHY – (http://www.whyhunger.org) to her workshops and presentations to college, community and church groups.