Janiva Magness celebrates new release in Rockford Aug. 9

Staff Report

Award-winning blues and soul vocalist Janiva Magness will celebrate the release of her new Alligator Records CD, Stronger For It, Thursday, Aug. 9, at The Adriatic Café, 327 W. Jefferson St., Rockford.

A charismatic artist known for electrifying live shows, Magness is among the premier blues and R&B singers in the world today; her voice possesses an earthy, raw honesty born from her life experience.

Last year, Magness was nominated for four 2011 blues music awards: B.B King Entertainer of the Year; Album of the Year (The Devil Is An Angel Too); Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year; and Contemporary Blues Album of the Year (The Devil Is An Angel Too). She won the 2009 Blues Music Award for B.B. King Entertainer of the Year (only the second woman to ever win this award, Koko Taylor being the first) and for Contemporary Blues Artist of the Year, also won in 2006 and 2007.

For the first time, through her own original songs, Magness, with Stronger For It, delivers the most moving and intimate album of her career.

Born in Detroit, Magness was inspired by the blues and country she heard listening to her father’s record collection, and by the vibrant music of the city’s classic Motown sound. After losing both parents to suicide during her teen years, and living in one foster home after another, she eventually became a teen-age mother who had to give up her baby daughter for adoption. But one night in Minneapolis, she saw Otis Rush in a blues club, and was inspired to take a new direction in life. Her first break came while working as an intern at a recording studio in St. Paul, Minn. Later, she was mentored by Bob Tate, and with his help, formed her first band in 1985.

Magness recorded a series of successful solo albums prior to joining Alligator in 2008, gaining notoriety through the strength of her music and the power of her live performances. Her Alligator debut, What Love Will Do, was released to massive critical acclaim. Her 2010 follow-up, The Devil Is An Angel Too, brought even more raves.

See Magness at The Adriatic Thursday, Aug. 9. Show begins at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For more information, call (815) 967-9939.

From the Aug. 8-14, 2012, issue

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