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Artist Spotlight: Janie Barnett & Blue Room

May 5, 2019

Photo: Scott Braun

Virginia native Janie Barnett cut her teeth on bluegrass festivals, DC’s Cellar Door, and working the American Folk Life Festival. When she met iconic Americana barnstormer John Hartford at one of those festivals, her love affair with the genre solidified. After working the New England folk and roots circuit, Janie made her way to New York to conquer the very competitive freelance scene, and made a name for herself as one of the top session singer/musicians in town.

Her freelance credits include live shows and recording sessions with, among others, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Rickie Lee Jones, Marc Cohn, Kate Taylor, Rick Danko, David Johansen, Jessica Simpson, and Celine Dion. Countless film and tv soundtracks, national jingles, and performances on SNL, The Today Show, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, Live, the Paramount Theatre, and the Bottom Line. Along the way she produced CDs of numerous other contemporary acoustic artists.

After devoting time to her family, Janie began building her vision for the Americana record she had always intended to make. Blue Room has brought Janie’s closest friends together – some of the top musicians and singers on the scene – to flesh out the body of songs on You See This River. Her work was described by one reviewer as “floating like jewels across a shimmering sea.” (The Real Paper) This Brooklyn-branded Americana has been called luscious, spicy and cinematic, and “multi-stringed magic,” brought to life by a community of musicians and singers in the prime of their careers. The stories here are of the primal instinct for nostalgia, the beautiful and terrible journey up and down the river, the persistence, romanticism, and pig-headedness of humans. The title track captures this journey on the river – sometimes deliberate, sometimes meandering, indeed sometimes treacherous, with no apparent way to jump the current, all the while watched by those who choose to stand on the sidelines. All we might know for sure is that we’ll float another day.


Janie Barnett – vocals, guitar, songwriter

Jeremy Beck – piano, accordion, vocals

Angela Reed – vocals

Larry Saltzman – guitar, banjo, mandolin