“Singing and playing music are the most fun things I know how to do,” says Janet Burgan, “and I try to do that as much as I can.” Her original songs are honest and tell slice-of-life stories. She sings songs by Dave Alvin, John Hiatt and Nanci Griffith and others that tell tales that move and inspire her. “They have to be songs that I believe in and tell stories that I want to hear.”
From her roots in northeastern Ohio, Janet brings a folk sensibility to her music. Growing up in Cuyahoga Falls, (home to Chrissy Hynde, Joe Walsh and Devo) Janet started her musical career as a singer, trombone player and pianist. Following music school at The Ohio University and The University of Akron, she moved to Boston to study voice with Myra Durkin. After her successful musical theatre roles in Boston, Massachusetts, Janet moved to New York and quickly became involved in the live music scene. Adding electric bass, acoustic guitars and cajun rubboard to her instrument arsenal, Janet has led her own bands, starting with “Janet & Kate” with songwriter Kate Jacobs. She plays rubboard with the Dirty Water Dogs, a cajun/zydeco/funk band based in New York City.
Since going solo, Janet has played at a variety of venues across the United States, from Tramps in New York City to the Coconut Teaszer in Los Angeles. Some of the people she has shared the stage with include Dwight Yoakam, Dave Alvin, Marcia Ball, Tracy Nelson and Marshall Crenshaw.
Her debut album, ‘Janet Burgan’ (1997, Ripe & Ready Records) showcases such talent as Marshall Crenshaw, Steve Holley (Wings, Ian Hunter), Graham Maby (Joe Jackson, Natalie Merchant), Jon Herington (Steely Dan), Dan Hovey and Randy Brecker (Brecker Brothers). “I really love this album – it was a blast and an honor to play with everyone. I had dreamed of making a record like this,” Janet said.
‘The Coyote Sessions’ (2000, Ripe & Ready Records) is a live event recorded in one day at Coyote Recording Studios in Brooklyn, NY, with Dan Hovey on guitars, Neil Thomas on accordion and keyboards, Graham Maby on bass and Diego Voglino on drums. “Ten songs in ten hours. That’s what happens when you get this bunch of guys together. I’m one fortunate musician!” says Burgan.
Janet is also a musician in the Episcopal Church. She was in residence as a chorister and soloist at Winchester Cathedral in Winchester, England in the summer of 2015. She is a Teaching Artist at BethelWoods Center for the Arts in Bethel, New York (the site of the original Woodstock concert) and is Music Director for the NACL Theatre, a professional experimental theatre company in Highland Lake, New York.