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21.07.2014
A little more than a year ago, on February 9, 2010, Madison Violet appeared as part of John Platta€™s On Your Radar series at the Living Room in New York Citya€™s East Village.
Although it is sporadically written that fiddler Natalie MacMaster is a relative, they are not related. Brenley MacEachern was born in Montreal and grew up in a small Scottish community in the town of Kincardine on the shores of Lake Huron. Brenley started writing, but harshly appraises her efforts as a€?pretty rough.a€? She didna€™t really know how to write using the guitar, so a couple of times shea€™d get together with another guitar player and sing the melody while he played along, but never liked the end result.
Both Brenley and Lisa thought they were going to work in the medical field, Brenley as a lab technician and Lisa as a pharmacist. Lisa states, a€?I was in grade 12 and was asked to do a musical comedy touring show called the Cape Breton Summertime Review.
From online interviews we learned that Brenley had bought a looping machine and had looped her own voice. The longer they played together, the rootsier their sound got, the old record collection seeping in more and more.
Of particular influence was an album they discovered around 2005 by Nick Lowe called The Convincer (released in 2001), which had a feel that reminded them of the old a€?Charlie Rich days.a€? The writing was a€?so strong,a€? said Brenley, it convinced them to go back to their roots. When they sold their albums at shows, the fans took note of the more-produced sound on the CDs as opposed to the stripped-down sound of their live performances. Les Cooper, a big Alison Krause fan and a local Toronto producer, was their choice to guide their most recent album, No Fool for Trying.
I forgot to ask if the pedal steel on the first track, a€?Ransom,a€? was a result of the girlsa€™ insistence.
While I love their latest CD, Ia€™m going to have to attest that I love hearing them rock out on their earlier work. Brenley was exposed to music from the time she was very young.A  There were two cousins who played guitar and everyone on her fathera€™s side of the family sang.
Brenley started writing, but harshly appraises her efforts as a€?pretty rough.a€? She didna€™t really know how to write using the guitar, so a couple of times shea€™d getA  together with another guitar player and sing the melody while he played along, but never liked the end result. Lisa states, a€?I was in grade 12 and was asked to do a musical comedy touring show called the Cape BretonA  Summertime Review.
When they started out, and Brenley asked Lisa to jam on fiddle and sing a bit with Zoebliss, an a€?ambient trip-hop band,a€? they were light years away from their current style.
We’re working on five live concert recordings from INRS, and a new show is finishing production.
We’re planning to broadcast more of these evenings going forward, in addition to still producing the full Nextlevel Radio podcasts. Music played during the Laura Harley interview (in order, unannounced): Sharpshooter (from her previous band Sliver), Shine, Sing Out Loud, Stars Light. About 3 weeks ago I was in the midst of preparing show 4 (more about that in a bit), when I got contacted about a new job in Washington DC. Looking at our web stats we have had listeners from every single continent on the planet which is not covered in iceburgs permanently. Tracks Played during the interview (unannounced): Posee un Corazon(audio excerpt for intro), No Te Aflijas, and La Rosa del Amor. Press the arrow above to hear the most recent show.Click here to learn how to subscribe to the podcast. We can help you project more of your talent, power and influence when you present yourself and your ideas to others. Motivated and engaged employees and managers who can change attitudes and behaviors from reluctance and indifference to meaningful productivity by engaging the hearts, minds and passions of themselves and their teams. For a dose of fresh ideas that can stimulate your professional career and business growth, please call Kathy McAfee, America's Marketing Motivator at (860) 408-0033 or send us aA  note outlining your specific needs in the REPLY box below.
Some say a€?therea€™s nothing new, only recycled old stuff.a€? If this is true, then perhaps innovation is easier than we all think it is. If this grabs you, please download this one-page thought-starter on how you can begin to drive innovation into your company. Find out why you need to reduce your PowerPoint emission and how you can stop global boring with your very next presentation! Read more about how the Clean Sheet Thinking presentation pre-planning tool will help you prepare in a way that is faster and more focused than ever before. Download theA Clean Sheet Thinking template and plan your next presentation in less than 30 minutes. If you're a woman in business, you'll want to build and maintain a solid professional image. Keep your leadership pencil sharp by reading some of my favorite books on the subject of leadership.
The core elements of a professional handshake and why it is critical to making a positive first and last impression in networking, business and job interviews.
Find out how you can become moreA  memorable and relevant in your networking follow-up by sending personalized greeting cards through the snail mail. For help with increasing the productivity of your meetings, please ask about our Overcoming Meeting Mania, offered as a Motivating Lunch'n Learn Seminar.
Get involved with the Soroptimist International organization and add your talent, time and energy to help improve the lives of women and girls in your local community and around the world. If you care about social justice and the lives of women and girls, then join forces with the YWCA whose mission is to eliminate racism and empower women. Learn how to stand out from the crowd and your competition by leveraging grassroots innovation. Check out our digital downloads for motivating training programs to help advance your presentation skills and networking success. Club 529 is an exciting new program that teaches kids to build their own business and to invest their profits into a 529 college savings plan. Kids age 8-19 can join the club for a nominal membership fee.A  They will get acess to our web-content giving them the information they need to develop their own business.
As a lightning bolt of illumination splits the sky, a thunderclap of enlightenment follows.
Somewhere around 1999 or the early 2000s I went with a group of co-workers to an early show at the now-defunct, sorely-missed Manhattan nightclub, The Bottom Line. In an effort to pin down the exact date of the show, I checked the "Timelinea€? on the Bottom Line website that lists the performers for each show. Although he couldna€™t answer my question (a€?There were so many appearances!a€?), he was eager to weigh in with his own recollections and praise. Later, her father graduated from Rutgers University and began teaching in the New Jersey public school system.
At nine years old, Janis heard Odetta for the first time on a Harry Belafonte television show.
In junior high, shea€™d go to Greenwich Village, meeting with others from camp, to stand around the fountain in Washington Square Park and sing.
Her father subscribed to Broadside Magazine which published songs by people like Bob Dylan and Buffy Sainte-Marie. Her recording career got its rocket-propelled start after she wrote a€?Societya€™s Child (Baby, Ia€™ve Been Thinking)a€? based on her observation of an interracial couple. The psychological battering from pressure to constantly write, tour and record, and the disintegration of her family took its toll. While we cannot be sure that poem was written exactly during that time, it seems to capture her frame of mind.
She played a tough weeklong gig in California, but realized that the weather and atmosphere was what she needed. The album Stars (1974) was followed by her biggest success, Between the Lines (1975) which contained the song a€?At Seventeen,a€? another revealing tract that cut so deep, she was initially afraid to play it to audiences. In 1982, feeling depleted, Janis walked away from a multi-million-dollar record deal with Columbia which had three more albums contracted.
In 1986, her new publisher MCA suggested that Janis work with Nashville writers to improve the marketability of her songs.
The years of being a workaholic caught up with her and she became ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). As she finally regained the upper ground in her battle with CFS, Patricia Snyder came into her life, bringing her physical and emotional comfort.
The initial album coming out of this period, Breaking Silence, would be her first in ten years. The book describes in detail the relationships Janis has had, over the years, with both men and women. Janis had been approached by the gay-oriented magazine, The Advocate to write a monthly column for them. After her moma€™s death, to honor her, Janis established Pearla€™s Foundation, a scholarship fund to help people in their efforts to seek higher education, Her mother had forged ahead and graduated from Goddard College, in spite of her illness, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Janisa€™s most recent albums, God and the FBI (2000), Billiea€™s Bones (2004) and Folk is the New Black (2006) show that her writing is still razor-sharp. Those of us who have been fortunate to stand face to face with Janis will never forget the steady gaze behind which sits one of the formidable minds of our generation.
I was shocked to discover how little I actually knew about Janis Ian.A  It wasna€™t until I picked up a copy of her autobiography, Societya€™s Child, that I understood the full depth of Janisa€™s connection to folk music. The FBI would shape her early life.A  Her family was already being scrutinized before she was born. The book describes in detail the relationships Janis has had, over the years, with both men and women.A  What was horrific about most of Janisa€™s earlier relationships was the amount of betrayal her partners displayed. Patrick Collard - Guitar - The Stranger Song, Probably still my favourite Leonard Cohen song, full of enigmatic imagery.


The following fall they showed up at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference.
Within about six to eight months, she had met her future musical partner, Brenley MacEachern. Brenleya€™s father is from Cape Breton, so she spent two weeks of every summer with family there, a€?down east,a€? about a mile away from where Lisa grew up. I took the last couple of months of school off, faxed in my work, and finished high school that way. During a rehearsal session with Lisa, she left to get something and, from another room heard her own voice again, but with Lisa having added her own.
When Lisa and Brenley compared the collections a few years back, it was a€?pretty uncannya€? to recall the number of Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton albums their parents had. They have one EP and three full CDs out to date a€” Mad Violet (2002, EP), Worry the Jury (2004), Caravan (2006) and No Fool for Trying (2009). The fans would buy the earlier CDs and come back and ask if there wasna€™t a recording that captured their live sound. Brenley began writing in a folkier rootsy style for the two of them, and Zoebliss fell away, since the other members of the band had day jobs and couldna€™t keep pace.
It was started back in New Jersey sometime in July, and was put on hold in August when the move happened.A  Since the move, it has taken a while for everything to settle down. She currently just sings for fun, but every time I heard her singing at local events I knew I had to record her. Devon has been working hard to establish himself in the LA music scene, and has a solid EP out of selections from the Baha’i writings set to music.
Its pretty much my dream job, working for XM Satellite Radio (in their IT department, not as a DJ). I’m scheduling interviews right now, and Pieter is busy working on a new layout for the website. Their album has found critical acclaim in the New York Times, and once you hear it you will understand why.
He’s an electronic music producer whose tracks range from Trance, Drum N Bass, and even downtempo. Motivational Speaker and thought-leader Kathy McAfee can help you motivate the troops so that they can contribute greater value to themselves, their organizations and the world.
Success or failure may be determined simply by timing and onea€™s ability to execute with excellence. The Marketing Motivator is our free e-newsletter which highlights innovative companies, people, products and ideas. Here are some pre-selected quotes on leadership that you can use in your next meeting or presentation. Call Kathy McAfee at (860) 408-0033 to discuss how sending cards can help you stand out in the marketplace and stay more visible and valuable to your clients,A  prospects, hiring managers, networking contacts, family and friends.A  If they are important to you, you should be sending them cards and showing your appreciation. Watch the video below which re-enacts Kathy McAfee's "Green Shoes Story" presentation at the YWCA In the Company of Women luncheon on March 26, 2009 in Hartford, Connecticut. Read about the six imperatives of grassroots innovation in this article Is Your Business Weird Enough? You no longer are required to spend lots of money on TV advertising appealing to the masses to create opportunity for yourself. They will graduate with hands-on experience in business and a confidence in their own abilities to be successful. Lured by a bill that included Tom Paxton and Janis Ian, we knew we were in for an evening of top-notch folk music. She took center stage and began playing fingerstyle guitar with an almost impossibly pristine sound. I know that earlier in my life -- through my 20s possibly into my 50s, I viewed her as a pop artist with a social conscience.
A precocious toddler, Janis writes that her father used to say, a€?Janis started talking at seven months and never stopped.a€? At two-and-a-half years old, she persuaded her father, also a master music teacher, to give her piano lessons. The FBI would contact each school administration every two years when hea€™d be up for tenure.
With her fathera€™s guitar perched on her lap in the back of the family station wagon, she played it for them. Janis made a lead sheet like those in the magazine, added the melody, chords and lyrics, put her name and phone number on the page and submitted a€?Hair of Spun Gold.a€? Two months later, her father got a call from the editors.
Janis took guitar lessons with the Reverend Gary Davis, and after the lessons morphed into social occasions, began hanging out with him. She played regularly after that, which got her noticed and led to a meeting with legendary producer a€?Shadowa€? Morton.
Chapters dealing with their separation and divorce and Janisa€™s emotional upheaval are particularly sad.
All the Seasons of Your Mind (1967) sold enough to make the national charts, but followup albums, The Secret Life of J.
Harrowing passages describe how a diligent psychotherapist there, Gerry Weiss, pulled her back from near death and personally nursed her back to health. It was provoked partly by a critic referring to her, still a teenager, as a a€?washed-up has-been.a€? It was also partly inspired when she heard Don McLeana€™s a€?Vincenta€? for the first time.
She needed to get off the merry-go-round to explore other areas of life, to regenerate her resources. She had talent and wrote deep songs but Nashville writers had the craft to make them more commercial.
After she declared her homosexuality, he stood by her and issued an authoritative warning to anyone who might give her trouble: a€?Dona€™t mess with hera€¦a€? He would bolster her confidence in her guitar playing, stressing her individuality. Tragically, her mother, Pearl, had become ill with Multiple Sclerosis and would decline over a 20-year span. She refused, saying a€?I dona€™t write prose,a€? but Pat and an editor provided the idea that Janis would poke holes in the stuffiness of its image and that concept sealed the deal. Janisa€™s father owned every copy of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction ever printed. Janisa€™s stint as a columnist for Performing Songwriter plumbed her depth of knowledge of the music business.
An initial auction of Janisa€™s own personal effects, held on the internet, brought in a total of $66,000. I also became aware of the route by which she developed her sense of social justice, and the emotional, physical and financial hurdles she has overcome. Her father, then a chicken farmer, was inexplicably picked up by FBI agents after attending a meeting about the price of eggs.
Her marriage to her husband descended into physical abuse, psychotic behavior and Janisa€™s near-murder at his hands. On city streets, it might take the form of a long-limbed beauty wearing high-heeled knee-high boots. As they described their evolving life paths to me, the phone line hummed and crackled with their energy.
The street they grew up on is called a€?Fiddlera€™s Rowa€? because every house on the street has had someone in the household who plays fiddle.
In the second semester, I started dating the guitar player, hanging out with the a€?wronga€™ crowd, having way too much fun and playing guitar all the time. Lisa hadna€™t yet sung on stage with Brenley due to her fear of being heard, and Brenley, having not been aware that Lisa sang, was thunderstruck at the sound of their voices together. My two closest friends and I would sit together on the school bus, squished together, and sing three-part harmonies on Rankin Family songs.
The same similarity applied to the number of fiddle albums, Gordon Lightfoot, Beach Boys and Elvis Presley records.
They changed their name to Madison Violet for the most recent CD, to reflect their evolved style. Playing in Australia for three to four months of the year also gave them a chance to evade the Canadian winters. Brenley commiserated with the ethos of their fans, saying she also gets disappointed when she buys an album and the layered production obscures the nature of the songs shea€™d heard live. His decision to strip the sound down to a bare minimum met some resistance, both women wanting more instrumental backup, especially from feisty Lisa. She was 7 years old when she started taking step-dancing and piano lessons.A  At 9 years old, she and her three closest friends would go to the local community hall every Wednesday evening for group fiddle lessons. I used to sing in the church choir, which was fine, because it was a group and you could kind of hide behind things, as with being a fiddle player, you can hide behind your instrument. DC is a great place, and I think there are a lot of great artists and thinkers who will provide a some solid material for future shows. He just won his second national title for Poetry Slam, and is in the process of filming material for Def Poetry Jam. The music builds on the best of traditional Colombian styles, and fuses it with the dynamite production of Grammy Award Winning Producer KC Porter.
I heard him two years ago at the Baha’i Center in New York, and was blown away by his poetry.
The Marketing Motivators at Kmc Brand Innovation, LLCA have a few thoughts to share on the subject of innovation and its role in our business success. So rather than focusing so intensely on driving up your share price or crushing the competition, why not focus some of your time, talent and energy on Helping Others be more successful. He sounded amused as he recounted the reactions of colleagues when they discovered how well Janis played guitar. My longest-standing memory was (and still is) the way I would get choked up listening to a€?At Seventeen,a€? especially during the ache-filled refrain, a€?a€¦who call to say, come dance with mea€¦a€? Ahh, yesa€¦ Ia€™d had my share of a€?wallflowera€? years and there were more than a few missed dances.


It ended a year later because, at three, she was already getting into arguments with him over interpretations and fingering.
In kindergarten she objected to learning her a€?ABCa€™sa€? because she already knew how to read.
Theya€™d see interracial and gay couples while being totally ignored by adults -- a completely opposite atmosphere from conservative New Jersey.
She did one more album, Uncle Wonderful (1983) with an Australian publisher, then walked away from the music business. She discovered that her a€?accountanta€? (a bookkeeper without a proper CPA) had embezzled her money and falsely represented her income tax payments. She teamed with accomplished songwriter Kye Fleming both creatively and romantically and found some success and some brief happiness. At the time of the printing of her autobiography, $300,000 had been raised.This preceded, but could have functioned as a road map for eBay. Hunger (1997), completed after a difficult studio experience and filled with glittering gems from start to finish, has become a personal favorite of mine.
Janis has finally found happiness in a stable 20-year relationship, a testament to her resilience and intelligence. Lisa and Brenley were trading snippets of mutually shared childhood background a few minutes after they met.
I was going to go to college at Saint Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and study science the first year before studying pharmacy. The fearful part was having my lips on that microphone and knowing that it was raw and everyone in the audience could hear what was coming out of me. When I characterized Gordon Lightfoot as a Canadian-bred country influence, Brenley countered that, as a touchstone, he was a lot folkier, less country-like than, for instance, Neil Young, one of her major influences.
I caught up with him in NYC when he was doing a reading this summer.A  New York is a funny place because you always see celebrities walking around. Whether accompanied by her guitar playing, or just a minimal beat, she has an amazingly smooth voice that only gets more powerful when coupled with her uplifting lyrics. Istvan and Leonor tell us the story of their music, all the way from Hungary to Cuba, Columbia, Paris, and back again.
With the help of the Internet, we now have an accelerated word-of-mouth marketing vehicle within our grasp.
Your customers care about more than just the features, benefits and price point that you offer them. Then, Gary insisted that Janis open for him at a Gaslight Cafe gig and the owner reluctantly agreed after Gary threatened to walk out. Shadow disagreed with her a€?Baby, Ia€™ve Been Thinkinga€? title, so when her first record came out, it became a€?Societya€™s Child,a€? with the prior title in parentheses.
Although it brought a halt to her relationship with Peter, they remain friends to this day. The albums Aftertones (1975), Miracle Row (1978), Night Rains (1979), and Restless Eyes (1981) followed.
Janis found it liberating to study in areas, such as ballet, where she had no innate ability. She attended her first Worldcon, the largest gathering of science fiction writers and fans, at the prodding of two of her heroes in the genre, Mike Resnick and Anne McCaffrey. Her article on a€?The ABCs of being the Boss,a€? geared toward musicians, contains a wealth of helpful information for anyone in a supervisory capacity. The agents would hang around, always recognizable in their black suits and ties, even in the heat of August. The albums Aftertones (1975),A  Miracle Row (1978), Night Rains (1979), and Restless Eyes (1981) followed. I learned what I know about songwriting as well as what I know about guitar playing from Brenley,a€? Lisa said. I didna€™t think I had the stomach to be a doctor and I thought that the closest I could get to the medical profession was to be a pharmacist. While theya€™d initially steered away from their parentsa€™ tastes, they both admitted to a secret love of American country music.
The teacher, Stan Chapman, was heavily involved in the careers of many a professional player in the younger generation in Cape Breton. Behind his back, when she was around 12 or 13, Brenley would sneak into his room and play it whenever he went out to play with his friends. I would be about a foot away from the microphone until the lead singer would turn around and look back and then I would put my mouth up to it and pretend that I was singing into it. It’s really exciting to see just how powerful the combination of music and spirituality can be.
After her mom had a talk with the principal, Janis was allowed to read while the rest of the class did their drills.
She practiced, listening to all the records in her parentsa€™ collection, plus some borrowed from family members. A huge success in Japan, she became an iconic star and was (and still is) treated like royalty there. She also studied acting under Stella Adler, who became a close friend and mentor until Stellaa€™s death in 1992. An avaricious IRS agent appropriately named Granite seemed to take sadistic pleasure in erecting barriers to Janisa€™s attaining any kind of solvency, despite her complete cooperation. After the relationship ended, although Kye, a Nashville native felt awkward, Janis felt that Nashville had become a€?home,a€? and decided to move there permanently. They pushed her to involve a number of other authors to contribute to Stars, a compilation book of short stories based on her songs.
Also available is the article Janis wrote for Performing Songwriter, on the free downloading phenomenon, a€?The Internet Debacle.a€? When she reported that downloading actually increased sales, not the opposite, as the record industry had charged, she was called a traitor.
She practiced,A  listening to all the records in her parentsa€™ collection, plus some borrowed from family members.
Peter became her love, her rock, an oasis inside of the whirlwind.A  On the music trail, she became friends with stars such as Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, who tried to protect her from drugs, but the proximity led to some experimentation. September came and I went to a€?Frosh [Freshman] Weeka€™ and got the university out of my system during that week and never enrolled for any classes.
Since we were doing this interview in a public place, people kept stopping and trying to figure out who Anis was.
A local librarian helped Janis a€?retain her sanitya€? by allowing her to take out more books than the usual allotment and picked out more advanced works for her to read. At the Village Gate, she played alongside some of her heroes (sitting between Tom Paxton and Len Chandler) and, after each song, she got a standing ovation.
Although she still wrote, and had songs covered by others, she issued no recordings for around 10 years. After sixteen years, the magazine has just ended its publication, but for eight years, Janis imparted her wisdom to the songwriter community.
She started making some of her songs available as free downloads and watched her sales shoot up. As the two began to tour more as a duo and less with a band, it was their desire that their albums become more a€?strippeda€? down and attempt to replicate their sound as a duo. Lisa stated, a€?I dona€™t know what he does or how he does it, but just about every fiddle player who does it for a living thata€™s come out of Cape Breton was taught by Stan Chapman.a€?A  Lisa played for traditional Scottish square dances on weekends and in various folk bands.
As the two began to tour more as a duo and less with a band,A  it was their desire that their albums become more a€?strippeda€? down and attempt to replicate their sound as a duo.
In school, her fellow students at the High School for Performing Music and Art were respectful.
I realized the first time I sang on stage, right from the get-go, that it was what I had to do. Brenley has said that she never saw him cry and [paraphrasing here] thinks it woulda€™ve done him some good. That was her means of income, as opposed to working in a fast-food restaurant, a more typical fallback for a teenager.
Some elements in her learning progression included using her brothera€™s Eagles songbooks, and picking up songs from Crosby Stills and Nash albums from a frienda€™s father. The case studies in the attached white paper are PROOF thatA positive results can be achieved by employing of the principles of Grassroots Innovation. We sat there slack-jawed as Janis unleashed a barrage of guitar histrionics that crossed a line -- to borrow a phrase from Star Trek -- where no folkie has ever gone before. Once a week, past her bedtime, shea€™d secretly listen to a folk show out of Newark at 10pm, a towel stuffed under the door to avoid being heard.
In the first tale, a€?Come Dance With Me,a€? Janis herself makes a thinly veiled appearance. She also recalls learning how to play Don McLeana€™s a€?American Pie.a€? Later, while dating a guitar player in college, she got introduced to the songs of Cat Stevens.
Jealous of her success, they penalized her for absences resulting from performing, even though she got good grades on tests.
Janisa€™s own story, a€?Second Person Unmasked,a€? not unsurprisingly deals with a shifting sexuality and the issue of powerlessness. Within the first sentence that came out of my mouth, singing in front of a live audience, it was like I was struck by lightning a€” I know this sounds cheesy a€” Wow! Asked in a later interview if she had any regrets, she replied, a€?Not for an eighth of a second.a€? She always knew there was no place for a person like her in the American school system.



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