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

Local Music: 10 Year Old Dulcimer Virtuoso to Play Vandalia

Will Manahan is ten years old and hails from the small town of Elkview, West Virginia. He is also a champion dulcimer player, as the video below clearly shows. You can read more about this impressively talented boy at The Charleston Daily Mail. A past award winner at Charleston’s annual Vandalia Gathering, Will is scheduled to perform and compete at the event this weekend. He’ll play his own concert Sunday at 1:30 p.m. before participating in the lap dulcimer contest that begins at 2 p.m. the same day. Will is currently recording his debut album.

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.

Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.: That’s Life

Local readers will need no introduction to Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr., who is pretty much West Virginia’s version of Susan Boyle. After he won America’s Got Talent, it seemed the entire state of West Virginia caught Landau fever. The Logan County crooner has already played two of this month’s three sold-out concerts at The Clay Center in Charleston, has more sold-out shows coming up in Parkersburg and Morgantown, and just released his debut album, That’s Life.

Rat Pack purists may balk at the album’s collection of Sinatra covers, but Landau fans should be very pleased. Landau won America’s Got Talent with his Sinatra act and a tribute to his idol is fitting for his debut.

I do hope his sophomore album will explore other genres like folk, rock and blues in addition to jazz. His rich voice reminds me a little of Richie Havens and I think his vocals would shine more with either sparser or more bombastic arrangements.

Highlights of That’s Life are the title track, “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head,” “I’ve Got the World on a String,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” and of course, “My Way.” I also like the touch of the Wicked Witch’s theme at the end of “Witchcraft.”

Landau will meet fans at the FYE in the Morgantown Mall today at 3pm.

I wasn’t granted permission to share an mp3, but you can hear samples of each track and watch videos at the links below…

Buy @ Amazon

Landau Official Site