The first time I heard Jane Kelly Williams was at a convention of the North American Folk Music and Dance Association in approximately 1998 in Cincinnati, Ohio. I was familiar with Jane's first national U.S. release on Mercury Records, Tapping the Wheel, and I invited her to come to this convention to showcase her music and to get to know us, at that time I was running a folk music label called Silent Planet Records. I did not know many Christian singer-songwriters in the general (non contemporary music) market, so I gravitated to any of them that were there -- folks like Pierce Pettis, Jason Harrod, Jan Krist, and Brooks Williams. I knew her music, as I had listened to Tapping the Wheel, and I was captivated by it's understated beauty, well-crafted songs both lyrically and musically, and her voice. But I had not heard her in person.
Jane doesn't remember that 30 minute showcase as one of her best performances, but I would never have known. The particular room where the showcase was happened to be a small hotel suite with room for about 30-40 people. Artists cycled in and out, some only drawing a handful of people. When Jane's time came, the room filled, particularly with other artists who came just to hear her. When Jane played, there was a hush over the room. She sang quietly, so folks leaned forward, straining to hear every word. It was enchanting. There's just not a hint of the egotistical artist in Jane, and the purity and honesty of the music is a rarity.
Jane didn't ultimately sign with Silent Planet Records, for a host of reasons, but she and her musician husband Jane did become good friends with my family. We've continued to enjoy her music over the years. After taking some time to raise her twp-year old daughter, Willa, Jane is eager to return to playing music in front of folks, and to recording new material, much of which is more overtly Christian than her mainstream albums. (She has, after all, been leading worship in churches for the past several years.)
I'd like you to know Jane too. That's why I have invited her to do a house concert in my home in Raleigh on Epiphany, January 6, 2006, at 7:30 p.m. I encourage you to come. There is no admission cost, but Jane will sell her CDs and we will accept donations to cover her expenses and provide some income for her. Please come.
You will find a full bio of Jane here, and you can visit her website here. Room for the concert is limited. If you are coming, please email me and let me know. If you'd like to sample her music, visit her website, or check out a song here: