Dorothy-Jane is a Australian singer, songwriter and blues-harp player based in Canberra. Since 1995 she has performed in and fronted numerous Blues, Jazz and Roots acts, released 8 albums and 2 EP’s.
The Witness album depicts the true story of a period of intense upheaval in Dorothy-Jane’s life. Born from a defining moment of Dorothy-Jane witnessing her husband molesting a child, through the breakdown of family relationships, finding the strength to take the stand and assist in incarcerating him, through to her reaching a place of relative stability and beginning to establish a new normal.
True to form, Dorothy-Jane’s lyrics and performance on this album are brave and leave no doubt that she has a fighting spirit.
Al Hensley of Rhythms Magazine describes her Blues as “…a platform where she connects with her audience…” “…baring her soul without any pretentiousness.”
The album showcases Dorothy-Jane’s contralto vocal and distinctive harmonica style:
“…such a soulful voice! Fantastic lower register there too. Yeah Sweet PR).” (Alyssa,
The Witness album is available now on popular streaming platforms. The launch of the physical album will take place on Sunday 22nd March, 4pm at Smith’s Alternative in Canberra.
Dorothy-Jane’s hand-picked core band members on The Witness are Canberra musicians: Ali Penney (keys); Ben Hoare (guitars); Matt Nightingale (bass); and Jack Barnard (drums). Featured musicians are John Mackey (saxophone); and Julia Horvath (cello) and Ian Cameron (Fiddler). Dorothy-Jane confides “It is a big deal to ask musicians to be involved in a project as intimate and confronting as this one. I am so grateful to them for climbing into my songs and committing to them with fearless open hearts and compassion.”
David Pendragon of The Studio in Chapman ACT, in his role as Producer and Sound Engineer says “Dorothy-Jane’s album, The Witness, is one of the most powerful, socially important, thought provoking and challenging musical works I have ever been involved with. The songs deliver deep emotional connection with her in a way that few artists are ever able to achieve. I have cried at times while working on these mixes. It was challenging to find the sounds to express the intensity and range of feelings these songs evoke but I think in the end we all achieved that.”
Currently living with Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, Dorothy-Jane has sought to leave a legacy of hope and survival for child victims through her song, “Speak Out”, (track 9 on the album, released 29 November 2019), with the message that “Some secrets are not meant for keeping”. For adults, it’s a message of courage, strength and resilience against all levels of emotional and psychological abuse. Dorothy-Jane says “I gathered a group of singers, from young to old, to belt out the chorus of this song.” Big thanks to Krista Grünreich Kamprad, Johnny Huckle, Reidar Jorgensen, Finn Kamprad, Ali Penney and Rachel Thorne)”.
Buy ‘The Witness’ at Bandcamp or CD Baby (available as digital download or physical CD) – links below
( Pictures courtesy of Geoffrey Dunn)