Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome to my homepage!
You will find some pictures here, a biography, links to a few videos,
and, of course, a music store designed to make me rich and famous.
Plus some links! And you can contact me via clever buttons that say (you guessed, I bet)
‘CONTACT ME’ on the Bio-page and on the Music Store page.
There are 45-seconds previews (or rather prelistens) for all the songs of all the albums on the Music Store Page, click on the titles of the albums, that´s where they hide.
Ah, why should you follow the link to CDBaby to download albums or individual songs
and when you want to buy CDs, but you don´t live in Europe, I can almost hear you think?
Money, money, money. Sending individual CDs from Germany to, say, the USA it costs
a pretty penny or cent.
And CDBaby has digitalized my songs for download and stores the CDs. Good for everybody concerned.
But for each new album there is a pre-order option for the USA, and I pack the CDs, put them in a big parcel, send the big parcel to my friend Art Krause who then unpacks the big parcel and forwards the CDs. You can get a signed CD that way!
But for those of you who dwell in old Europe, this is the place where you can shop to your hearts´ and ears´ desire.
‘Nuff said. Hope you find a few things and songs here that you like.
P.S. Thanks to Mr. Tappy, without whose technical expertise this homepage probably would be shambolic.
…. Got my third listen in today. …
If I don´t mention a song, it´s because I haven´t heard it clearly enough to comment.
LOVE TOO LATE – Well spoken, touched some old cords (and chords) with me. Has a nice roundness to it.
NO NAME – Good! Thank you. Well set, with the kind of spooky tune and accompaniment.
I´ve called those attacks consummate acts of cowardice – which they are, but then Miller Williams´ poem “Compassion” reminds me “You do not know what wars are going on / down there, where the spirit meets the bone.” …
THIEF Of DANCES – Couldn´t get it all, but enjoyed the contrast between the grisly sounding words and the jolly sounding accomp’ment.
TWO – Lovely. Never heard this idea so clearly, personally stated. Music very interesting, especially @ the end.
SICK – Nice use of 2 vocal textures.
GLORIOUS FALLEN – 1. Good singing 2. Good song. I´m going to send this CD to Alan Magee – artist/re-becoming musician doing a great job of speaking truth to power, internationally – I´m beginning to think of you two in the same breath.
MAYA WALKING – Nice to write a song about – heartwarming – and I like the light touch w/ the percussion.
UNEXPECTED – I got most of it. Good work. GREAT guitar solo!
FARAWAY TOM – …. You set it very nicely – put it in a good place-to-go-to.
PAST FORWARD – You nailed this one, idea and delivery. Good music, GREAT ending.
THAT BORDER AGAIN – I loved the choice – simplicity – of using this to end the album. Great use of voice.
(OOPS – The Robert Johnson blues was very well done, singing was clear, music was a nice tribute but very much your own.)
All in all, Jan – this strikes me strongest of anything I´ve heard of yours.
The music is varied in structure, genre and approach, the “band” has never sounded as strongly in your groove. ….
There´s fine, clear, strong statements here, well anchored in historic reality, and you´re singing them honestly and very well. I find the whole thing stunning, and very essential to these times.
An excellent piece of work, my friend.
Long may you rave.
A children´s songs album in German. You English-speaking folks will probably not be that interested,
so I will continue in German.
Vor ungefähr sechs Wochen schrieb unsere Tochter Lena sinngemäß:
Die meisten CDs mit Kinderliedern sind süßlich und überproduziert.
Du bist Musiker und hast Zeit…
Und dann sandte sie mir eine Liste mit Kinderliedern, die Leevke mag.
Ich schrieb flugs ein neues Kinderlied (Die Siebenbürgener haben sieben Beine…),
ein paar neue Texte, wenn mir die deutsche Übertragung nicht gefiel (‚Twinkle, Twinkle,
Little Star‘ ist nun ‚Leuchte mir, du kleiner Stern‘), Textergänzungen, einen neuen Text
für das schöne Volkslied ‚Zogen einst fünf wilde Schwäne‘. Nun ‚Grunzten einst fünf wilde Schweine‘.
Dann arrangieren, kurze Zwischenspiele schreiben, Gitarre spielen, singen.
Fast fertig. Feine Fotos, Daniel Tappe kümmert sich um die Druckvorlagen.
Mein Freund Fred Grittner in St. Paul hat gestern den Sound veredelt.
Dann zum Presswerk. Spätestens am 12. Dezember sollte ich die CDs haben.
Kinderlieder ohne Zuckerguss.
Sie können nur direkt bei mir bestellt werden, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ich werde in den nächsten Tagen zwei, drei Lieder zum lauschen hochladen.
Es sind 24 Werke, zum Teil folkorientiert, es gibt aber auch Polkas, Tex-Mex und Boogies.
Unsere Schwägerin Brigitte hat ein frühes Demo bekommen und schreibt:
Hallo Jan, die Kinderlieder sind dir wahrlich gut gelungen! Glückwunsch!
Mein Lieblingslied sind die 5 wilden Schweine. Schön dass du die Mädchen darin erwähnst –
die werden mächtig stolz sein.
Gibt´s die CD noch vor Weihnachten? Hau´ rein, sie wird super!
Herzliche Grüße und Danke für den Spaß beim Hören!
New album to be published on 27 September – ‘Mirror, Mirror’, 19 songs, 65 minutes.
12 original songs (4 of them co-written with Fred Grittner and Brad DeLong), 7 covers.
Folk, rock, jazz, blues, Europeana, Americana.
Quirky, angry, desperate, hopeful and simply beautiful songs, mirroring the times we are living in.
Fred Grittner played electric guitar, gave advice and mastered the album. Charlie Woodward played acoustic guitar.
Daniel Tappe created the promo video. Thanks, gentlemen!
About the 2018 album, ‘Look On My Works, Ye Mighty’, published 22 October:
Songs to sing along to, songs that may make you think. Some sad ones, some funny songs. Poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley (with my music) and Rainer Maria Rilke (translated into English and put to music).
A song about a man with ancient ideas, an old musical tune about how not to raise your children, a Germenglish song about the evil lawn tractor man, you´ll learn something about the dress code in heaven, a beautiful old song by Phil Ochs and an old tale from the civil war. And much more.
With Fred Grittner, electric guitars and mastering, Charlie Woodward, guitars and vocals and Claudia Wichmann, vocals. More than an hour of folk, rock, outlaw country and the blues, 10 songs with my music, lyrics by Percy Bysshe Shelley, Rainer Maria Rilke, Terry Lee Ransom, Brad De Long and me, 9 covers.
My songwriting friend Fred Grittner mastered the album. I asked him for a short promo bit:
Jan’s albums are always full of surprises. Over the years I have encountered obscure folk songs, songs from artists who I was unfamiliar with, songs I know but played with a fresh approach, famous poems set to music by Jan, collaborations with friends (including me), and, of course, Jan’s own songs. His songs have grown more philosophical and political – he has a keen eye and command of the English language. Jan’s musical arrangements have become richer and more fascinating, showcasing his strong voice. This is an artist at the top of his game – give the album a listen.
Some of my heroes, John Stewart, Gordon Bok, Harvey Andrews (and then some) commented favorably on the older CDs.
Now please wend your way to the track previews, buy a few copies of the album.
Don´t hesitate and spend lavishly.
New album out now!
‘Songs For Eternity’ is a double album, one cd with original songs, one with covers,
you´ll hear folk, rock, blues and jazz, poetry, whimsical songs, songs about birth, death and eternity (which is much toooo long), romance, hope, quiet despair, a hamster king,
life and the world.
Fred Grittner played electric lead guitar and mandolin and mastered the album,
Charlie Woodward played guitar, Claudia Wichmann hummed and sang.
Terry Lee Ransom wrote the lyrics for one song, Fred the lyrics for two.
Daniel Tappe created the promo video.
110 minutes, 27 songs, if you like Johnny Cash, Bruce Cockburn and John Stewart, you might like this album.
You may know some of the songwriters that have listened to my music and commented favorably – among others, John Stewart, Gordon Bok, Jez Lowe, Martha Ann Brooks and Dave Moore.
My good friend Rex died in October 2016.
I am saddened. He was a compassionate man.
We did not always agree,
but he was the kind of man who would carefully consider your point of view, always.
And when we agreed to disagree,
there never were any hard feelings on either side. He was a kind man and a fine musicican.
I miss writing songs with him, miss his excellent keyboard playing, his way of writing lyrics.
Rex, I miss you.