“Better This Way” (11 tracks) is a Canadian independent singer-songwriter folk-roots album with songs that don’t all sound the same.
“This is songcraft at its best: Harper’s lyrics sear into your heart, carried on melodic structures as natural as they come.”
Janis Harper is a singer-songwriter in the lyrical folk-roots tradition. Originally from Vancouver, she has recently made a home in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Janis has been writing songs and playing guitar since she was 9 years old, and when she was 12, she performed her original songs on the iconic Kitsilano Showboat in Vancouver and for community events. At 19, she was the house musical entertainer at the Sri Galaxy pub in Penang, Malaysia, and later performed on small stages in Sydney, Australia. By this time she had incorporated the Appalachian mountain dulcimer into her repertoire, having been taught by Rick Scott of Pied Pumkin how to play it in his special style. In her late 20s, she performed at Mac bar in Hiroshima, Japan, and some of this music is caught live on her first full-length recording (“Letters From Home,” audio tape, 1990). Her Vancouver duo, The Beautiful Losers (with the late great Neal Foisy), played small stages in the 2000’s, featuring at Vancouver coffee houses. She has performed solo on stages in Goa, India, including a regular house gig at the upscale H2O Agonda resort, and most recently performs solo at events in her current home of Nanaimo. In Vancouver, she performs on small stages with her duo, Janis and Jane. Although “Better This Way” (2015) is her first CD, it is really a retrospective album because it brings together an eclectic selection of songs written and performed over Janis Harper’s long career as a singer-songwriter.
Janis Harper: vocals, acoustic guitar, dulcimer
Michael Nowak: electric bass, electric guitar, organ, e-bow, synthesizer
Kenton Wiens: percussion
Mark Sullivan: violin
Vania Levans: flute
Kempton Dexter: vocals on “What Can I Say”
Neil Hubbard: bagpipes on “Remembrance Day”
Check out music videos on my YouTube channel, and subscribe to get notified of more: https://www.youtube.com/c/JanisHarper. And here’s a live one of me performing at South End Day, Nanaimo, June 25, 2022: https://youtu.be/sUdXoyGs25w. Please follow me on Facebook for updates on gigs!