WRMF Artist Spotlight: Raining Jane

Now that August is upon us, I can finally start to look forward to my favorite music festival–The Women’s Redrock Music Festival. You might remember me gushing about the festival in earlier entries. It’s an incredible weekend full of beautiful Utah scenery, red rocks, blue skies and that good ol’ soul energizing thing called music. It’s an experience that just cannot be forgotten. It’s the thing you come back from on Sunday/Monday and then rave about to anyone who will listen. It’s the kind of experience that leaves a mark.

This year is gonna be a good year. Every band/musician on the roster is unbelievably talented, each with their own way of approaching music, of creating art and performing. For a detailed list of who’s playing–visit the Official Women’s Redrock Music Festival page, and be sure to buy your tix while you’re there!

This blog series will highlight individual bands/musicians and we’re going to start off with the Friday Headliner, Raining Jane.

Raining Jane

If you’re looking for a band that can mix amazing music with a dedication to their community and a truly independent spirit, then Raining Jane is absolutely the band for you. RJ has been around since forming in the UCLA music scene in 1999. The band is made up of  Mai Bloomfield (cello, guitar, vocals), Chaska Potter (guitar, vocals), Mona Tavacoli (drums, vocals, percussion) and Becky Gebhart (bass, guitar, sitar). This is a band that doesn’t fit well within the confines of genres. They are independent, yes, acoustic, yes, but they are so much more. A basic youtube search will introduce you to their cover of Pat Benetar’s “Love is a Battlefield”-which is an incredibly haunting cover of the song- and to their track “Browntown” which is an instrumental featuring the sitar.

The band has toured extensively and worked with artists like Sarah Bareilles and Jason Mraz. In fact, they co-wrote the song “A Beautiful Mess” which was featured on his platinum album We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. The band has released three full albums and an EP and when they’re not focusing on touring or recording albums, they make sure they give back to their community.

In 2010, Raining Jane helped establish the Rock’n’ Roll Camp for Girls: Los Angeles. I may be a little biased here, but I think that’s awesome. It’s one thing as an artist, to be good at what you do. It’s another thing entirely to take your love for that craft and share it, make a community out of it, and–in this case–give girls an opportunity to pick up an instrument and go from making noise to making music.

I’m going to leave the text off here and let you, dear reader, see what all the hype is about. Turn off whatever you’re listening to for a moment–just a few songs, at least, and give Raining Jane a listen. This is a band worth listening to. And if you’re loving what you’re hearing, be sure to visit their website for a full listen to their 2011 album The Good Match and to buy their music!

I love the cello in this. And the percussion. This is definitely a song that inspires reflection and meditation.

This is the kinda song that makes me go into “HELL YES! THIS IS WHAT MUSIC SHOULD BE” mode. It’s amazing.

This may well be one of the most haunting covers I’ve ever heard of this particular song. With the cello and the vocals, the song has totally been recast in a very different light.

lesson from Jason Mraz right here: You should be so lucky to have Raining Jane as your band! Just sayin’!

And finally…just because we’ve gotta go out on an upbeat happy note:

Raining Jane will be taking the stage at Women’s Redrock Music Festival August 10, at 9:30 pm. For more details on event/location/other bands, please visit the official Women’s Redrock Music Festival page



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