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FAME Review: Janiva Magness - The Devil Is An Angel Too
Janiva Magness - The Devil Is An Angel Too

The Devil Is
An Angel Too

Janiva Magness

Alligator Records - ALCD4933

Available from Alligator Records

A review written for the Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bob Gottlieb

Two things are readily apparent right from the start of this disc; Janiva's voice is stronger, earthier and more assured than ever before, secondly the band backing her is tight and powerful, and not afraid to push her limits further. This is a woman who has a voice that is capable of displaying that raw, bare-naked depth of emotion that is in a well-crafted song, as well as celebrating the joy that a song can bring. This is her second release for Alligator, the first was What Love Will Do (here), was a very worthy showcase for her emotion drenched voice with blues material. On The Devil Is An Angel To she has opened the window a bit to incorporate some material that goes to the soul and R & B portion of her repertoire, and with the same very good results. The hard life she lived as a youngster, in and out of foster homes after she lost her parents to suicide, is standing her in good stead. She has taken the life she has and used it to be able to reach deep down into her soul and show the emotional toil and burden, without ever letting it bring her as a person down. She has taken what she has learned and used it for the benefit of others; she is the National Spokesperson for Casey Family Programs and promotes National Foster Care Month (

This woman can sing and when she opens her mouth you know what she is singing is real and from the depth of her soul. She has that rare ability to reach down and take a song, whether written for her or not, and show it with a raw gritty feel that says,"I am real, I feel it!" On this disc she explores both the positive and negative emotions that come with life, and when you feel her sing it, you know this woman has a special gift. Her shows are tight and emotion filled experiences that should be experienced by all. A dynamic performer, an honest vocalist.

Track List:

  • The Devil Is an Angel
  • I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down
  • Slipped, Tripped and Fell In Love
  • I'm Feelin' Good
  • Weeds Like Us
  • Walkin' In the Sun
  • End of Our Road
  • Save Me
  • I Want To Do Everything For You
  • Your Love Made a U-Turn
  • Homewrecker
  • Turn Your Heart in My Direction

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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