Janet Bean has a gift for penning melodic and distinctive music. Born in Florida and coming of age in Kentucky, Ms. Bean was influenced by the regional American music she heard there, as well as the punk music of the time. A multi-instrumentalist, Janet sings as well as she plays the drum kit in Eleventh Dream Day. Over a seventeen-year career path, Dream Day have proven to be an iconic, fiery and substantive rock and roll band. The twin voices of Bean and guitarist Rick Rizzo is as powerful and daunting a combination as the remarkable rhythm section comprised of Bean and bassist Douglas McCombs. She is also known for her songwriting, guitar playing and her vocal duets with Catherine Irwin in Freakwater. This musical partnership has been widely praised for their unique and moving songs poignantly delivered over a history of six albums. Freakwater has a fanatical following who crave their distinctive and literate brand country music.
With Dragging Wonder Lake, Ms. Bean has created a record that speaks in an entirely new voice. This voice is more assured and open than the voices she conjured on any previous work. The album is comprised of songs that chronicle personal and allegorical elements from Bean’s life. This musical journal is a complete narrative starting on "Wonder Lake", describing a journey from the self-awakening of "Suddenly" to the devastation of "The Purple Heart" and finally to the freedom of "My Little Brigadoon". The songs are superbly crafted, and an entirely singular blend of elements. Janet Bean’s artful pop is distinctive and personal. It manages to be at once accessible and challenging. The instrumentation is imaginative and eclectic. Although sonically entirely different the overall effect brings to mind the work of Bridgitte Fontaine.
The Concertina Wire is an outstanding group of Chicago musicians who range from well-known free improvisers Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello) and Jim Baker (piano), to veteran accompanists John Abbey (Bass), Jon Speigel (guitar and steel), and Dan Leali (drums). This group’s range as performers is extensive. Their versatility is showcased from the seventies country rock of "All Fools Day" to the noise and thunder of "The God Song". Dragging Wonder Lake Lake was recorded and mixed in seven days by John McEntire at his Soma Studios. The result of this collaboration is a remarkable group of songs and performances, which give color and shade to an amazingly honest and gifted songwriter.