by Janet Feder

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A genius guitar player with a lyrical heart, an instrumentalist with a compelling voice and a truly original offering, Janet Feder makes the seemingly disparate naturally coexist as she journeys ever more deeply into an aesthetic ideal all her own. Along with a number of close friends, all unique placeholders and pillars of The Denver Sound, Janet expands her musical lexicon while defining an otherwise elusive paradigm. This language is derived from the achievements of folk, jazz, pop, minimalism, classical, and the avant garde – and is simultaneously unmoored from the trappings of any of them.

She cut her baby teeth on folk and rock guitar then polished them with a passion for classical playing. In the early 1990’s Janet broke bad and began preparing her instruments; it’s on the baritone guitar where she most clearly recognized the sound of her own voice. After four critically acclaimed albums she now arrives fully and exquisitely realized in her most seminal work to date: T H I S C L O S E.

Invested in both timeless melody and relentless innovation, she opens T H I S C L O S E with Crows, on which her leaf-in-the-breeze voice is manipulated by analog tape and tubes to drive home hard-earned truths that match her music with often chilling accuracy. Here her prepared baritone electric is supported by Marc Dalio’s waltzing percussion and engineer Mike Yach’s unearthly distorted guitar soloing. While all six instrumentals and three vocal pieces on the album focus on different topics, overall there is a shadow, and deep within it lurks beauty, enlightenment and – especially in the songs – a profound and sometimes disarming honesty.

Thanks to Gus Skinas’ 32 channel Sonoma system, this elegant DSD Pure recording places the listener deeply in Janet’s three dimensional space, her guitar center stage as its own orchestra, surrounded by uniquely handmade, found sounds. The complex technical beauty of the music is matched by the emotional underpinnings of the compositions and improvisations themselves.

“Even though it sounds like me, it's something beyond...and it also feels like an arrival at the culmination of, well, everything that got me here. Previous albums felt like they happened in my head; T H I S C L O S E feels like it emerged from somewhere between my head and my heart. I've never made more intimate music. It's ok by me however it lands for my listeners. I played what I wanted to hear, because I could hear myself more clearly than I was ever able to in the past. And I played what I wanted to play because....I could. It was all part of accepting the invitation, this collaboration, this gift, with Mike and Joe.” (JF)

As for the meaning of T H I S C L O S E, it’s only partially in view. Upon its unexpected plot twist conclusion, the album leaves one with as many questions as answers, and Janet Feder is perfectly fine with that.


released May 29, 2015

JF / baritone guitars, electric guitar, banjo, voice, plucked piano, prepared hammer dulcimer, sounds
Todd Bilsborough / percussion
Kal Cahoone / backing vocal, accordion
Marc Dalio / percussion
Elaine DiFalco / accordion
Mike Fitzmaurice / double bass, bass harmonica
Paul Fowler / piano (inside & out), voice
Mark Harris / bass clarinet
Amy Shelley / percussion
Joe Shepard / studio door
Mike Yach / electric guitar, bass, cymbaled spring

Recording / Mixing: Mike Yach
Produced by: Joe Shepard with Mike Yach and JF
Stereo Mastering: Dominick Maita / Airshow mastering
Surround Mastering / Authoring: Gus Skinas



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Janet Feder Colorado

A native of Boulder, Colorado Janet Feder is most widely known for pioneering composition for prepared guitar. She has been featured on numerous recordings, radio programs, and film scores. Check her out on NPR:
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