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Janet Gardner at Diesel, 3 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Janet Gardner is the frontwoman for the rock group Vixen -- in fact, the group’s only remaining original member.

But this year it was also time for her to strike out on her own.

Last month Gardner, working with her husband and fellow musician Justin James, released her self-titled solo debut, penning a batch of new songs the couple recorded at its home in Connecticut. And while she maintains loyalty to Vixen Gardner, 55, has also taken her own show on the road to rock out in a bit of a different way...

• Gardner says by phone that the idea of doing a solo album “sort of happened honestly. We set up a studio in our new house and we were both down there fiddling around, and eventually we started to exchange ideas. We probably had written about five songs and thought, ‘This is working pretty good.’ What are we gonna do with this?’ We talked about it a little and said ‘maybe we should do a band,’ but I have a band and I love my band. Then we said let’s call it my solo album. Why not? I’ve never done one. Even though it is a really strong collaboration, let’s call it that.”

• Vixen is alive and well; The group is playing shows and is planning to start work on a new album in the near future. But Gardner sees her partnership with James and her solo career as a going concern. “Justin and I already have some ideas lined up for the next (album),” she says. “I’ve always been the front person/lead singer, so it’s not that much different. It has my name on it, but it doesn’t feel really different. I suppose if I sat down and thought about it there would be more pressure, but at this point in my life I’m just happy to be doing it and happy to be doing some new music. It’s definitely my freedom...to do whatever you want at the time. Whatever comes with it will be gravy.”

• When she’s not doing music, Gardner is a dental hygienist working out of a practice in Connecticut. “It’s interesting, to say the least,” she notes. “There’s a lot of changing hats, but I’ve gotten used to it. At first it was kind of strange; Every Monday morning it was like, ‘What?! What am I doing?’ Btu I’m slowly getting more and more part time with the dental thing and doing more music, which is what I prefer, of course.”

If You Go

• Janet Gardner

• Saturday, Sept. 2. Doors open at 7 p.m.

• Diesel Lounge & Concert Theatre, 33141 23 Mile Road, Chesterfield.

• Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door.

• Call 586-933-3503 or visit dieselconcerts.com.

Web Site: www.dieselconcerts.com

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