The Bastard’s Daughter

The Bastard’s Daughter

It’s a pretty classy record, this ‘Bastard’s Daughter’, music that’s been put together with care and that deserves attentive listening.” John Davy

…an exquisite album that repays repeated listening and speaks at some level to all of us.” Ian Dearden, Trad&Now

“This Australian singersongwriter has been making music on her own terms for a good many years now. This album from 2008 is being re-promoted in the UK to coincide with her tour this past summer. A rich amalgam of folk, country, Celtic, soul and even touches of jazz, Janette has been likened to Joni Mitchell, but on the evidence of this album, she definitely has a sound and style that is very much her own. There are only nine songs, but the shortest is 4 minutes plus and a couple are over six minutes. They are powerful vignettes with not a word or note wasted. Little Ship Song borrows from traditional folk with a contemporary edge. The melodic Feels Like Home is more country-folk, the vein of classic Gordon Lightfoot, whilst Rag and Bone Man has a jazzy feel that is light and easy. Certainly well worth seeking out, and I would imagine Janette’s back catalogue that stretches back to the mid 1980s would be worth exploring.” Alan Cackett, Maverick Magazine issue 101 Dec 2010

“…she’s clearly quite a remarkable performer; self-produced and largely self-played, this is the work of someone who is really serious about her music, serious in the same way that Emmylou is serious: that is, absolutely determined to make her music as beautiful as possible.” 

“Emmylou is not her template, however. Instead it is 70’s era Joni Mitchell and John Martyn that seem to be source material for Janette’s approach. This is jazz-tinged singer-songwriter territory and very beautifully done, too. She has a way with her acoustic guitar of weaving a web of sound – very much in John Martyn style – and when her opening line to the song High Country paraphrases John Martyn’s opening lines to Over The Hill you appreciate that she’s proud to acknowledge her heroes. This ability to create a soundscape from very sparse playing is a highlight of the final track, Oh Love, which is dedicated to her mother. This is music to close your eyes for; wistful, contemplative and dreamy, it’s a six minute meditation that will carry you out of yourself and leave you feeling very calmed. High Country has more attack about it, driven along by some punchy accordion playing whilst Rag and Bone Dream surprises by dissolving into a very William Orbit/Beth Orton drum and piano rhythm…. I do like it and it certainly fits the song – life reduced to breathing in,out – in,out until the spirit revives and real life can begin again. The nine songs here are mature work, written in the wake of a retreat to the hills to find physical and emotional space; they absolutely couldn’t be written by a twenty year old but should find some resonance with mid-lifers who recognise that need to step back, pause and take stock from time to time. John Davy

This lovely, lovely album is a genuine tour de force by Janette Geri.
Recorded after a move to the Dandenongs in Victoria, the album features nine originals by Janette Geri, who also engineered, played and sang everything on the album, with the exception of lead guitar duties on four songs, where Aaron Burton and Phil Smith provided some tasty licks. This is, by the way, no “two guitars and a voice album” it features full band arrangements for virtually all the songs, including drums, bass, keyboards, guitars, lead instruments, and swathes of stacked backing vocals!
In short, it is a project that required significant expertise in all areas of songwriting, arrangements, instrumental ability and singing. Let’s start with the singing. Janette Geri has an easy and delightful vocal style, the closest reference point would be Mary Chapin Carpenter. A fellow worker, with significant musical knowledge, who heard this album on my office stereo, immediately interrupted my listening pleasure to ask who this singer was with the beautiful voice. Fine praise indeed! In the liner notes, Janette speaks of moving to the mountains looking for peace and healing and the songs bear witness to that search for a better place, both internally (High Country) and externally (Feels Like Home). There are testimonies speaking to inner torment (Dragonfly) and despair (Just Tired, Oh Love), but the prospect of redemption lingers tantalisingly within reach (Sure I Could Fly). This is an album which reaches deep down, wrestling with shadows that from time to time, beset us all. Despite, or perhaps because of that, the outcome is nurturing and enriching, a testament to the power of music to sooth and heal even the most troubled soul. In short, it is an exquisite album that repays repeated listening and speaks at some level to all of us.
” Ian Dearden, Trad&Now