Review: Janiva Magness

Janiva Magness was impressive last night. Her band warmed up the crowd, and they’re a pretty damn good band. Guitarist Garrett Deloian can really let loose. Janiva looked a little tired at first, and seemed a little tense on the first number, but immediately went to her essential I Won’t Cry, and set the tone for the rest of the evening.

She led into Twice As Strong with a soliloquy about the power she’s gained through sisterhood, and how it’s guided her through many challenges in her life, perhaps as much as the music. At the end of the show, she spoke about her experience growing up and moving in and out of several foster homes, until finding a final place at 16 or 17, and her present role as an ambassador for Foster Care Alumni of America. Jimi Hendrix said “Blues is easy to play, but hard to feel.” Few people have been through it as Janiva has, and she sings with deep feeling and emotion. Being there with her onstage brings it to a personal level.

The band:

  • Garrett Deloian, guitar
  • Gary Davenport, bass
  • James Pace, keyboards
  • Matt Tecu, drums
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