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A Long Time Comin'

By Gary Wien

Janey Todd is proof that you should never give up on your dreams. The singer-songwriter, who is a veteran of Jersey Shore clubs and coffeehouses, recently released her long-awaited debut CD entitled "Rusty Water." The disc is a mesmerizing blend of hauntingly beautiful folk rock tunes that showcase Todd's witty and often acerbic lyrics. The end result is a piece of art reminiscent of the best work by Michelle Shocked in the late 1980s.

The CD was recorded at Retromedia Sound Studios under the guidance of John Noll. According to Janey, the project would never have seen the light of day without his help.

"I was just bowled over that anybody would do anything with me," said Janey Todd. "I knew it wasn't going to happen on my own. I was not going to be able to come up with the money to do this kind of thing so I was pretty happy for anything he was going to do. I just got lucky that he was able to see what I like and what would make me happy. He was able to tune into that really well and had similiar views. I think he's got a similar outlook on life and music.

"A number of people who know me very well have said that they were afraid he was going to obscure me and he didn't do that... he enhanced me."

Although she had recorded some demos several years back, only one song of hers was ever made available - a tune called "Barcelona" that was part of an Indigo Coffeehouse compiliation of New Jersey artists. Janey says she always wanted to put her songs on a CD, but never thought it was actually going to happen.

"It's kind of one of those paradoxes like when you fall in love with somebody and in your heart you know you're going to be with them but part of you still thinks it's never going to happen," she explained. "Or like when you're a kid and it's the day before Christmas and you know it's coming the next day but you feel like it's never going to come. It's kind of like that. I always knew it was going to happen, but, at the same time, I didn't see any reason to believe it was going to happen."

Not only did she wind up releasing her first CD, but John Noll assembled an impressive array of musicians to play alongside her. The main band was comprised of Tom Bruno on drums, Dave Rosen on lead guitar, and Adam Vaccarelli on bass. Guest performers included Nicole Atkins (signed to Capitol Records), Kevin Kavanaugh (formerly with Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes), PK Lavengood (from John Eddie's band), Ken Sorenson, and John Francis.

The record has been getting airplay on several radio stations and a video is currently in the works for the song "Serpentine."

A couple of shows are currently being scheduled. Nothing was confirmed as of press time, but shows are expected to be added for April and May. Janey, who has performed as a solo artist for years, will be backed on stage by Adam and Bob Vaccarelli plus John Noll and various special guests.

Hearing Janey Todd with a full band after seeing her solo shows for years was a pleasant surprise. The album is rather unique in that it both sounds like something fans of hers would expect and also sounding completely different from what you'd imagine. The difference comes from the backing vocals, extra instrumentation and sound effects. Together they help flesh out the music without losing its raw, honest, and soulful core. Instead of burying the lyrics, it makes the lyrics stand out even more.

"Most of the songs really are conceived as writing experiences with me just trying to do the best I possibly can," said Janey. "To me, writing a song is almost like a prayer. It's like you're asking God to help you say something meaningful and not sound like you're full of shit; something that will hopefully make you feel good and hopefully will help other people at the same time - to me, that's the most important thing."

Janey Todd has become something of an overnight sensation with a recent cover story in The Rag and article in The Aquarian. When asked how it feels to suddenly be in the spotlight she admits to enjoying it but downplays it on the whole.

"In the daily course of my life I really don't think about it too much because I still have to get up and haul my ass to work!" she said. "But it's really nice. The main thing I'm hoping for is that John makes his money back!"

This record is the culmination of years of effort for her. She didn't start playing in public until she was in her thirties and offers the following advice to other would-be artists - it's never too late.

"I was always ashamed of myself that I wasn't a musician," she explained. "Because I knew in my heart that I really wanted to be one. I would see other people play and as much as I would enjoy them I would go home feeling shitty about myself because I wasn't doing it and I knew I really wanted to. I would say two things: It's never too late, the joy is always there waiting for you; and, from a negative aspect, you're never going to stop being ashamed of yourself so just fuckin' do it! Maybe you won't be a great musician but at least you won't have to live with that shame every day!"

And dreams can come true at any age...

For more by this author, click here

NJSO presents 2019 Winter Festival, 'Music Speaks'
(NEWARK, NJ) -- A trio of renowned guest artists with distinct musical voices—pianists Emanuel Ax and Daniil Trifonov and soprano Dawn Upshaw—headline the NJSO’s Winter Festival, “Music Speaks,” in January 2019. The Orchestra’s signature artistic event takes place across three weekends, January 10–27, in six New Jersey venues.
RVCC Chorale to Perform Annual Holiday Concert on December 8th
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) --The RVCC Chorale will give its annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 8 at 8:00pm in the Welpe Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College’s Branchburg campus. The program will feature Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantata, Das Neugeborne Kindelein, as well as a cappella pieces from by Sergei Rachmaninov, Zoltan Kodaly and Giuseppe Verdi. The program also will include an audience singalong of traditional carols.
Classic Stones Live! The Complete Rolling Stones Tribute Show Comes To SOPAC
(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- The Rolling Stones, the greatest Blues band of all time, couldn’t make it to SOPAC on their 2018 tour. Instead, the acclaimed tribute band Classic Stones Live! makes an appearance on the SOPAC stage December 15 at 8:00pm for those who like to hear their Rolling Stones hits live.
Tony Trischka Presents "Of a Winter's Night" at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Of a Winter’s Night is Tony Trischka's acoustic celebration of the holiday season. Based on his CD release of the same name, this concert features Trischka’s considerable melodic inventiveness on a wide variety of seasonal tunes. He turns his inventiveness loose on bluegrass and Americana music for the holidays. This one of a kind concert will take place at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship on Saturday, December 8 at 7:30pm.
Idle Wave To Hold Record Release Party At Asbury Park Brewery
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Pop-punks Idle Wave will celebrate the release of their self-titled EP on Saturday, December 1st at Asbury Park Brewery.  The record release show also includes performances by Skyeline, Roderick, and Pollyanna.

"An Amazing Musical Genius!" Brian Wilson LIVE! at the State Theatre
In the music room in the back of our house, there’s an electric bass and amp, two acoustic guitars, a microphone and PA speakers, several pieces of music recording equipment, and a bookcase filled with books on music, not to mention a slew of assorted music memorabilia. But, perhaps, one of the most highly prized items in the room is hanging directly above the piano next to the college music diplomas.
Jazz Saxophonist Don Braden LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
It’s a breezy day for a new installment of the Jazz On a Sunday Afternoon concert series at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Sunday Oct. 27, 2018 afternoon. Today’s special 3pm performance is entitled Earth, Wind and Wonder and is presented by jazz saxophonist Don Braden.
Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge LIVE! at The Strand, Lakewood
The stars are out this Saturday Oct. 26, 2018 evening in Lakewood, NJ for a “Golden Oldies” concert featuring Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge!
PODCAST: Grammy Winner Terri Lyne Carrington At TD James Moody Jazz Festival
Drummer, leader, and composer Terri Lyne Carrington made history as the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz for her album “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue.” Now, she brings her interpretation of Duke Ellington’s “Money Jungle” to the TD James Moody Jazz Festival at NJPAC on November 11, 2018, as part of a program called “Jazz Vinyl Revisited.” Producer Susan Wallner talks to Carrington about her connections to the jazz greats Clark Terry and Max Roach; her newest project, the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice; and why she thinks drummers make natural leaders.
Sha Na Na LIVE! at the Newton Theatre
The audience is streaming into the Newton Theatre auditorium in Newton, NJ this Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 for a live concert starring Sha Na Na!

Event calendar
Thursday, Nov 15, 2018


New Politics @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

THE REPUTATIONS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

TOTO @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm


An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

ANNIE, The Musical @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Apples In Winter @ Centenary Stage Company - Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown - 7:30pm

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 7:30pm

Spring Awakening: The Rock Musical @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm


PARSONS DANCE @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm


Crybaby Matinee: March of the Penguins @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am

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