Jana Heller - Laughing in Crime

I knew the name Jana Heller well enough, but I'm ashamed to admit, that up until the time I was sent this CD to review, I didn't really know the music. Well all that has changed and I shall now be seeking out Jana and her music at every opportunity. I think you can guess therefore that I enjoyed the CD. So much in fact that Jana has shot up my list of favourite female singers. her powerful voice reminds me of Elkie Brooks, Sally barker and Joni Mitchell, but this is not to imply that she does not have a distinctive style of her own. She writes her own material, mostly contemporary love songs, with plenty of variety between softer, slower numbers and the more upbeat music. I find it difficult to single out any tracks for special mention, each one of her songs is a classic in its own right.

Jana plays guitar, dulcimer and piano on the CD and is joined by a host of other musicians including Paul Rhodes and Mike Hehir on electric guitars, Paul Burgess on drums and percussion and Nigel Stonier on bass guitar and keyboards. With the electric accompaniment on many of the tracks, Jana's music may not perhaps appeal to some of the more traditional clubs, but it should have a fairly wide appeal at larger clubs, festivals and other venues. (If proof be needed of her wide appeal, witness the seal of approval of my teenage daughter!)

Jana is currently planning a tour of Britain and abroad to coincide with the release of this CD and any club or festival organisers anxious to book her should contact Sue or Phil Budden on 01923 444440.

Pam Waters

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