Mother Nang & Crazy Jane: Live on the Levee

Friday night’s Live on the Levee concert at Charleston’s Haddad Riverfront Park was a blast from the past – the mid-1990’s to be exact. Local bands Mother Nang and Crazy Jane reunited, each having split up over a decade ago.

Opening act Mother Nang was a great surprise with their funky, very ’90s “alternative” rock. Their heyday was a bit before my time, so I was unfamiliar with them before the concert. Their set was energetic, rhythmic and a big hit with the all ages crowd. There was even a tiny mosh pit comprised of one very enthusiastic toddler girl.

Crazy Jane took the stage to a joyous reception from the audience. Punked up in ripped black fishnets and combat boots, lead singer Karan Allen jumped and twirled around the stage as if no time had passed. Though I must admit I enjoyed the set more for nostalgia than the present, Allen’s voice is still impressively strong.

Crazy Jane played several songs from their self-titled album, including my personal favorite, “Amazing.” They also delved into their coffeehouse past with some old tunes from their Common Grounds days.

Like Mother Nang, Crazy Jane’s music seemed to appeal to various generations as children as well as older couples danced infront of the stage and several twenty-something flowerchildren frolicked in the periphery.

I hope we’ll be seeing more of both Mother Nang and Crazy Jane in Charleston. The local music scene is in desperate need of such talent.

Mother Nang ReverbNation Page

Crazy Jane Bandcamp Page

Reminder: Crazy Jane at Live on The Levee, 8/24/12!

As I first informed you back in May, local band Crazy Jane will reunite tomorrow, August 24th, at Charleston’s Live on the Levee concert series.

Until this week, the Muruch post was pretty much the only online presence Crazy Jane had since Muruch’s 2000-04 archives (which had several Crazy Jane posts) were accidentally deleted and the band broke up before the social networking age. But now that the concert is upon us, news about the band is starting to emerge elsewhere…

My Charleston Gazette colleague, Bill Lynch, wrote this article on the band, who gathered at Taylor Books for an interview.

And the best news of all is that Crazy Jane now has a Bandcamp page where you can listen to and purchase ALL of their previous releases as well as two new songs!

Live on the Levee with opening act Mother Nang (another reunited ’90s relic) begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, August 24th at Haddad Riverfront Park. Headliners Crazy Jane will take the stage at 8:00 p.m. The outdoor concert is free and open to the public.

Live on The Levee Official Site

Crazy Jane Bandcamp page

Crazy Jane to Reunite at Live on the Levee!

Only my fellow West Virginians who were teenagers in the 1990s will truly understand the heart-fluttering excitement I felt when I read the following band name on the 2012 Live on the Levee lineup:

Crazy Jane.

Yes, the Crazy Jane. Break out your flannel shirts people, it’s time to party like it’s…1994.

Live on the Levee‘s Stage Manager, Adam Harris, verifies that original Crazy Jane singer Karan Allen, guitarist Andy Park and drummer Mark Davis will indeed reunite on stage for the August 24th concert at Charleston’s Haddad Riverfront Park. The concert, like every Live on the Levee show, will be free and open to the public.

I won’t bore you with the details of all my Crazy Jane-related memories, but the two most memorable were going to one of their outdoor concerts with my bestfriend in high school (during which we discussed our mutual love for My So-Called Life) and seeing what was one of the band’s last live performances at Taylor Books in February, 2000 (on a date with the boy I would eventually marry).

You can check out the rest of this summer’s Live on the Levee concert series lineup – which also includes The Sweetback Sisters, Shemekia Copeland and local singer Sasha Collette – at the link below.

Live on the Levee Official Site

A personal P.S.: I have Crazy Jane’s 1993 album Choice Oranges and their 2000 self-titled album, but I’m still looking for their 1996 album, Pilot.

Crazy Jane

Crazy Jane is/was the now disbanded Charleston, WV band fronted by Karen Allen. A mix of alternative folk acoustics and funky jazz, their music ranges from mellow to screaming.

Their self-titled second album does not hold the same shaking fire as their out-of-print debut, Choice Oranges, but it still holds that quirky, spunky charm that is Crazy Jane.

Songs like “24/Seven” and “Ride” have a slow, smooth groove, while others like “Frica” are bouncy and fun, and the tune “Amazing” showcases the soaring range of Karen’s voice.

If you appreciate local, independant talent, you’ll love Crazy Jane.