Hi. I'm a singer-songwriter and I live in Ashland, Wis. This is my debut solo album, titled "Identity Crisis." I don't sound like a boy band or a pop diva. I've got my own progressive folk/ new folk/ free folk style (a good thing) that's inspired by the music I love: Wilco, R.E.M., Gillian Welch, Nellie McKay, Loretta Lynn, Lucinda Williams, Greg Brown. I love rhythm, thanks to rap and electronica, (such as Bjork, House of Pain, Dr. Dre, Arrested Development, Digable Planets) and funky stuff like Jamiroquai...I'll listen to anything.
But back to my album.
It melds emotional electric and acoustic rhythm guitar, sincere lyrics and direct vocals. You'll want to hear more after the first listen. Random people will tell me that the music has helped them pull through major life events. That alone was worth making the album.
"Identity Crisis" is a bit experimental, but not so much that the music is pretentious. On "Fool For You," an electrified love song on the album, for example, I play a kitchen colander.
Sasha Mercedes, my producer, calls "Identity Crisis" progressive folk-rock because the album hybridizes music genres. The music straddles the boundary of bluesy folk and Americana to also tread on territory paved by more modern punk and rock. The folky title track features finger-picked electric guitar to share voices I heard on her trip to Washington D.C. in 2002 as a newspaper reporter covering an anti-war protest.
"Susanna" on "Identity Crisis" pushes the door more into country-folk with its slide guitar, courtesy of Stevens Point, Wis. musician Mike White who makes a special guest appearance on the album. Dreamy space-based lyrics on "Gravity" and "Desoto's Youth" are reminiscent of what one might hear Eva Cassidy sing, but the album tempers the sweetness with the electric pseudo-punk song, "Only My Fear," which I often dedicate to anyone who has experienced panic attacks, and "Top Step," a look into the life of a sexually abused girl.
Identity Crisis was recorded in Madison, Wis., while Sasha Mercedes was house-sitting over the winter. We recorded the project in four or five days using a digital recorder. Tom Fabjance of the Sacred Heart Music Studio in Duluth, Minn. mastered the CD. Tom has worked on sound for such groups as the Smashing Pumpkins and Mazzy Star.
"It took me three years to get geared up for the Identity Crisis project. I had never recorded before and the process seemed intimidating," Claudia Jane said. "Now that the CD is done I feel that all the work paid off. The final product is well worth the wait."
Over the past several years Claudia Jane has performed at many venues, including The Chequamegon Women's Showcase at StageNorth in Washburn, Wis.; Fitgers Brewhouse in Duluth, Minn.; The Clark Place in Stevens Point, Wis.; and The Still Life Café in Seattle, Wash. She has performed live on Wisconsin Public Radio as a guest on the Saturday night Higher Ground program with Jonathan Overby.
She continues to craft songs for another album, is actively recruiting musicians for a band and is in the middle of a collaborative project with Sasha Mercedes.
For more information about Claudia Jane, to get on her mailing list, to talk about being in a band, or to purchase her CD, visit her Web site: http://www.claudiajane.com