4

Janet Feder: Songs With Words

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Janet Feder: Songs With Words Innovative guitarist Janet Feder draws her own sonic territory on this first collection of original songs. The Colorado-based guitarist is known for her extended techniques on the prepared guitar, and her work was first introduced to the wider public on the like-minded collection of innovative guitarists I Never Meta Guitar—Solo Guitars for the XXI Century) (Clean Feed, 2010). Prior to that, she recorded with close conspirators such as Fred Frith on Ironic Universe.

Songs with Words was a project initiated by producer Joe Shepard, who encouraged Feder to use his studio. At first, she envisioned writing songs for others to sing, but since Shepard wanted to record within two weeks, Feder ended up singing the songs herself and playing all the guitar parts. Her usage of small metal objects that alter the sound of the acoustic guitar strings enable her to explore new tunings and an expanded sonic palette. Her singing is innocent and unassuming, focused on the topics of the songs, most of them inspired by the political, anti-war folk songs of the sixties. But unlike other folk songs, Feder's guitar playing and vocal delivery are not rooted in any familiar folk tradition.

All the songs were recorded live, without any digital effects; just Feder, her guitar—surrounded by 15 microphones—and occasional guests. The songs have a clear structure: strong melodic themes, verses and choruses, but they still all sound mysterious, demanding repeated listening before allowing themselves to be deciphered fully. She recited her pleas for a more compassionate world in a reserved, fragile voice, even when she wishes that "soldiers will refuse to fight" on "My Blackest Crow." Her range sounds clearer on the instrumental "A Thousand Million Petty Tyrants." Her cover of Bob Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind" sounds as if she already knows that its call for action is not enough. The somber, melancholic beauty of the personal "Plan to Live" brings to mind the songs of Nick Drake. "Ocean Wall" is a silent sonic poem that imagines a peaceful scenery.

Songs with Words is a unique, haunting gem.


Track Listing: Heater; Your Country Is Like A Wall; My Blackest Crow; A Thousand Million Petty Tyrants; Blowin' In The Wind; O The Sky Falling Moment; Plan To Live; White Men Landing; Trees Are Burning; Ocean Wall.

Personnel: Janet Feder: guitars, voice, rubber ball, toothpick, hands; Paul Fowler: voice; Larry Thompson: percussion; Joe Shepherd: piano; Gary Grundei: piano, toy grand; Joe Shepherd: cellphone, wine glass, voice; Mike Yach: outro guitar.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Sketches on the Radio" CD/LP/Track Review Sketches on the Radio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 14, 2016
Read "Lab 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Lab 2016
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Sputnik Stan Vol. 1: A Fistful Of Junk" CD/LP/Track Review Sputnik Stan Vol. 1: A Fistful Of Junk
by Jack Gold-Molina
Published: March 1, 2016
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Stephan Crump's Rhombal" CD/LP/Track Review Stephan Crump's Rhombal
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "My Scandinavian Blues: A Tribute To Horace Parlan" CD/LP/Track Review My Scandinavian Blues: A Tribute To Horace Parlan
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!