Janis Martin Show Comments

Tue, 29 Jun 2006 - Matt Allen" - mallen@zeidlerpartnership.com

           Last Saturday the band did our gig with Janis Martin and after a couple of pre-show hiccups, it went really well. I've known about Janis for nearly 20 years, having discovered her music on an "RCA Rock & Rollers" lp I bought in '85 or '86. I arrived early for our 2:00pm rehearsal at The Cadillac Lounge. While chatting with a friend in front of the venue, Janis and her husband Wayne came walking up. I looked at Janis and said " I know You!" She answered"Who am I?!" "You're Janis Martin, and I'm your bandleader for the show tonight!" Introductions were made all around and I escorted them into the club, suggesting they wait on the patio, as the air conditioning wasn't on yet.
           Our bass player Scott Gibson, was delayed in arriving, owing to illness and an impending home sale, but after Adam our drummer and Peter Nunn, who I'd hired to play piano arrived, we got to work running through the tunes with Janis. Jason, the bartender at the Cadillac, turned out to be a bass player, so for rehearsal while bar business was slower, he went home, got his bass and filled out the sound until Scott arrived. Jason - Thanks Again!
           Janis had told me that her policy toward rehearsals was "I want to know how it's going to start, and how it's going to end, and what happens in between, doesn't make much difference." Janis was very easy to work with, very casual and accomodating and just plain nice. She did tell us that she "wanted it to rock", and didn't want us to hold back as she feeds off the bands energy. This was great, as we're pretty energetic in our own shows. Her confidence in us was a relief to me and helped us all relax and enjoy working together, and putting on a fun show that evening.
           The show itself was really fun - the crowds jaws dropped when Janis launched into "Drugstore Rock & Roll". She was in fine voice, and packs a lot of wallop for a great grandmother. Through the set audience members called out favourites and she chatted between songs. At one point during the guitar break in "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow Love" Janis said "He's playing it just like Chet Atkins", which was a lovely, though undeserved compliment (Chet could have played it better with his feet). She also compared the feeling of performing rock'n'roll to having a good orgasm, which got a good laugh. The set included most of Janis' better known numbers, as well as a couple from her Pallete Records period ('59/'60), and a more recent original, "Hard Rockin' Mama", which says it all about this fine performer.
           Janis Martin was a total pro to work with, and we'd do it again in a heartbeat! Special thanks should go to Peter Nunn for doing a great job on keyboards. Now that the show is done with, I'm going to miss playing Janis' tunes regularly, but I think we'll keep a couple of the non gender-specific tunes in our set for the future. Thanks again to Sam at the Cadillc Lounge for the opportunity and all who attended the show!

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