Lauded by UK music reviewer Three Chords and the Truth as sounding like she was “…born to gypsy poets and raised by Emmylou Harris,” Asheville, North Carolina-based songstress Jane Kramer has garnered international recognition for the sultry, heartrending originality of her vocals and for the heavy-hitting lyrical eloquence of her songwriting. With deep roots in the traditional music of her beloved Appalachia, Kramer’s songs are introspective and gritty. They sweep listeners down the gravel roads and southern coastal highways, midnight truck stops and lonely motel rooms of “hard learning” and lead home to the Blue Ridge Mountains with moving acceptance of our flawed human experience.
Following the February 2016 release of her second solo studio album Carnival of Hopes, Kramer has been playing listening rooms and festivals up and down the east coast, both solo wielding her guitar and backed by the world-class instrumentalists that comprise Asheville’s Free Planet Radio, Lyndsay Pruett of the Jon Stickley Trio and Billy Cardine of Acoustic Syndicate. Quoted as “…an artist on the rise” by acclaimed American songwriter Mary Gauthier, Jane Kramer has performed with such well-known artists as Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls, Appalachian troubadour Malcolm Holcombe, two-time Grammy award-winning bassist Eliot Wadopian, Leyla McCalla of The Carolina Chocolate Drops and Joan Osborne.
Vocalist and songwriter Jane Kramer independently released her gutsy and ambrosial second solo album entitled Carnival of Hopes on Friday, February 26, 2016. With deep ties to the area, Carnival of Hopes boasts a sparkling cast of Ashevillian producers and players. Kramer’s longtime friend Adam Johnson of Sound Lab Studios, whose portfolio of clients includes such names as Alison Krauss and Yo Yo Ma, produced and engineered the album.
The ten-song album was recorded at the award-winning Sound Temple Studios in February of 2015, while she still lived on the other side of the country in Portland, Oregon. A few months later, after a four-year run spent writing and reflecting on the West Coast, Jane Kramer pulled up stakes and returned to Western North Carolina with a renewed energy to share her new music with the world. The sense of homecoming that rings through was a conscious effort, Kramer says. “I did that because Asheville is my dirt. It’s my home and my culture, musically and otherwise. I missed it and knew somewhere in my bones I would be coming back to stay soon,” she says.
Kramer is backed by Chris Rosser on piano and harmonium, Eliot Wadopian on upright bass and River Guerguerian on drums and percussion, the virtuoso trio that comprises Free Planet Radio, as well as master Georgia-based bluegrass musicians/ multi-instrumentalists, Pace Conner (steel string, high string and baritone guitars, ukulele, mandolin, and backing vocals) and Michael Evers (Dobro, banjo, mandolin, and backing vocals) who arranged the songs for recording and perform and tour with Kramer regularly. Virtuoso players, Nicky Sanders of Steep Canyon Rangers and Franklin Keel of Sirius B play orchestral fiddle and cello, respectively, on “Good Woman.” The New Orleans jazz-influenced “Why’d I Do That Blues,” features a horn section comprised of JP Furnas on trombone and Ben Hovey on trumpet.
She credits her songwriting hero and mentor, Mary Gauthier, with helping her reach for, and express, everything she hoped to communicate with the album. Carnival of Hopes aches and soars with her connections to Appalachian balladry, a force she first encountered at Warren Wilson College and honed while performing with the Asheville-based all-female trio, the Barrel House Mamas, who helped reintroduce Americana music to the Blue Ridge Mountains a decade ago. However, it is as a solo artist where the power of Kramer’s songwriting and world-class vocals truly shine. The songs on the album were all penned by Kramer with the exception of one cover, “Down South,” written by Tom Petty.”
Agency Jane Kramer at janekramer.net