Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Janis Ian”

Janis Ian Sells Out Sellersville

Two-time Grammy award-winning folk music legend Janis Ian recently performed for a sold-out crowd at Sellersville Theater. A few years ago, Janis Ian made the choice to dramatically reduce her concert appearances to around four or five a year as a way to spend more time with friends and family. With this in mind, I’m grateful I had the opportunity to attend her Sellersville show, which was fantastic.

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A Conversation With Janis Ian

Janis Ian

I recently had the opportunity to speak with one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all-time, the two-time Grammy award-winning folk music legend Janis Ian. She will be performing on Saturday, August 16 at the Philadelphia Folk Festival and you can find Janis’ other tour dates on her official website. Below is my interview with Janis. I hope you enjoy it.

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Janis Ian – This Train Still Runs

Janis IanMy musical tastes are eclectic – I like everything from Patti LaBelle to Chromeo. Regardless of musical genre, I’m a sucker for a good melody and a great lyric. “This Train Still Runs” by Janis Ian has both. My favorite part of the song is:

“Sure as a baby loves the teat
Sure as a high heel on concrete
Sure as the songs I’ve left unsung
This train still runs”

And my favorite line is “sure as a high heel on concrete” because it’s incredibly visual without being overly descriptive.

Below are the rest of the lyrics and a live recording of the song. Enjoy!

This Train Still Runs

Janis Ian/Jess Leary

“I felt a rumble in my heart, over the mountains
as the engine ate the spark, spitting out the miles
Times when I tried to jump the track
Weight of the world upon my back
Still after all is said and done

This train still runs
It doesn’t matter where it’s gone
This train still runs
and though the baggage weighs a ton,
we carry on
Nothing is forever young
I’m not done – his train still runs

I had a friend I left behind, back at the station
We used to burn the power lines, racing with the wind
But time has the manners of a thief
Young love turns bittersweet
Still we keep that lantern hung – this train still runs

This train still runs
It doesn’t matter where it’s gone
This train still runs
and though the baggage weighs a ton,
we carry on
No one is forever young
I’m not done this train still runs

Got a ticket in my pocket & I’m ready to ride
Got a motor rolling over to an easy glide
I’m gonna travel on the gravel to the other side
Sure as a baby loves the teat
Sure as a high heel on concrete
Sure as the songs I’ve left unsung
This train still runs

This train still runs
It doesn’t matter where it’s gone
This train still runs
and though the baggage weighs a ton,
we carry on
Nothing is forever young
I’m not done – this train still runs
This train still runs
This train still runs”

I Read 54 Books In 2013

GoodReads - Books Read in 2013It’s hard to believe but I read 54 books in 2013. Since I love books in all forms, this includes audiobooks, print books and e-books. You can check out the full list of what I read here. Below are a few of my favorite books, categorized by genre, that I read this year.

Thrillers

Young Adult

  • The Maze Runner – James Dashner
  • The Death Cure – James Dashner
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling

Autobiographies

Southern Literature 

Short Stories

  • High Heat – Lee Child
  • Guns – Stephen King

When I Met Janis Ian

Me and Janis IanLast week I attended a Janis Ian concert at World Cafe Live in Wilmington, Delaware. The venue, a renovated vaudeville theater, was beautiful. There was a bar on the far end of the vast room, and in between it and the stage were tables of six to eight people. This communal atmosphere made for a great, conversational environment. Within minutes of arriving, I got to know my neighbors and what brought them to the show. Some had seen Janis many times, while others, like myself, were newbies.

World Cafe Live at The QueenPrior to the music starting, the attentive and polite wait staff took drink and food orders. Just as my salad arrived, Diana Jones, the opening act, took the stage. With a guitar in hand, she told us how grateful she was to be touring with Janis and the story behind her first song, which escapes me. What struck me was her unique voice and interesting lyrics. If you’re into folk/country music, she’s worth checking out.

As Dina’s set came to a close, she introduced Janis Ian and provided backup vocals on her opening song. After striking the final chord, Janis welcomed the crowd and launched into “From Me to You,” a track off her best-known album, Between the Lines. This fiery number was deftly sung by Janis, who brought the song’s complex vocal arrangement to life with her still-magnificent voice.

World Cafe Live at The Queen - InsideJanis weaved in humorous and insightful stories in between the songs that kept the crowd’s rapt attention. She talked and sung about her autobiography, for which she recently won her second Grammy, and her displeasure with the United States dragging its feet when it comes to granting equal marriages rights to homosexuals. Janis married her long-time partner, Pat, in 2003 and wrote the song “Married in London” to talk about this sensitive issue. One of the lyrics that set the crowd into a fit of laughter was, ” We wed in Toronto, the judge said ‘Amen,’ and when we got home we were single again.”

As expected, Janis performed her biggest hits, including “At Seventeen” and “Society’s Child.” She also brought Diana Jones back onstage to perform a wonderful, new song, “I’m Still Standing Here.” For your enjoyment, I’ve included a video of this performance. Janis ended the show by sitting on a stool with her guitar and singing, without a microphone, “Jesse.” Her voice was in rare form as it effortlessly bent notes and conveyed the raw emotion contained within the song’s poignant lyrics. As her final guitar chords reverberated throughout the silent theater, the crowd rose to its feet and met her with a well-deserved standing ovation.

Autographed Janis Ian AlbumAfter the show, Janis took the time to meet a long line of fans and sign memorabilia. When I approached her, I told Janis how I recently discovered her music and that “Take Me Walking in the Rain” was my favorite song of hers. We also spoke about me being a writer and the novel I’m working on. After taking a photo with her, Janis said to me, “Send me your first novel when it’s done.” I beamed as I walked out the door, realizing what a grateful and positive person she is. Despite the great fame and success she’s achieved, Janis values her fans and gives them her all. After meeting her, I have more respect for what she does and who she is. Like the songs she’s sung, Janis Ian’s not done. This train still runs.

Janis Ian – Take Me Walking In The Rain

I recently discovered Janis Ian, a famous folk singer from the 1970s. While exploring her vast body of work, I’ve come across many memorable songs. However, my favorite one is “Take Me Walking In The Rain.” Below is the live version of the song as well as the beautiful lyrics. Enjoy!

“Take Me Walking In The Rain”

This town isn’t big enough for my dreams
This place is just about to break at the seams
Baby baby, you and I
need just a little bigger piece of the sky
Big hopes, big dreams
Baby, can you set me free?

Take me walking in the rain
Take me dancing in the waves, baby
Let ’em wipe away the tears
Wash away the years
Take me walking in the rain

Take me right here where I stand
Let me feel your heart on mine
Life’ll never be the same
We’ve got everything to gain
Take me walking in the rain

This life may be good enough for the rest
but this heart is just about to break through my chest
I remember every rule I’ve heard
and I’m strangling on every word
I can’t say they’re wrong,
but baby how can I go on?

Take me walking in the rain
Take me dancing in the waves, baby
Let ’em wipe away the tears
Wash away the years
Take me walking in the rain

Take me right here where I stand
Let me feel your heart on mine
I don’t want somebody new
I just want the rest of you
Take me walking in the rain

Take me right here in the sand
Life ain’t what we plan 
Take me walking in the rain

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