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This was my fifth time to see Janiva Magness at McCabe’s in less than four years, a clear sign that I’m a fan. I can’t say that she is a “typical McCabe’s act”, she is definitely not, but that only adds to her attraction – the power of Janiva’s voice and strength of her electric band are a refreshing counterpoint to the acoustic guitars I often see in action there.

Janiva’s live shows follow the same formula every time, so no surprises there. First the band comes out to warm up the crowd with two uptempo blues numbers. After the second song, an awe-struck Zach Zunis, Janiva’s long-time guitarist, takes the microphone to announce Janiva’s latest awards and accomplishments. Then Janiva takes the stage and delivers her first set. A twenty-minute intermission allows the musicians to mingle with the crowd, mostly around the merchandise table. Then the same crowd takes their seats for the second set. The band returns to the stage and delivers two more great instrumentals, with Janiva still out of sight. Now it’s time to bring her out – assuming that there are new folks within the audience, which is never the case at McCabe’s, Zach Zunis once again yells out Janiva’s awards. Janiva comes back for her second set, during which she proudly announces her age. Finally, an encore, then we all go home.Read More



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