Janis Ian plays Eddie’s Attic Oct. 11
The legendary singer/songwriter Janis Ian will perform two shows in metro Atlanta this week: Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the Red Clay Theatre in Duluth and Thursday, Oct. 11, at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur. It will be her first shows here in three years, but she’s been busy in the interim.
Ian’s autobiography, Society’s Child, has been a huge hit, especially the audio version, which she partnered with Audible.com to keep at a low price ($19.95) for her fans. “It was a big experiment and a big gamble, but it’s paid off,” Ian said in an interview last week. “All the profits are going to my Pearl Foundation.”
The Pearl Foundation, which provides scholarships to continuing education students, is named after her late mother, who went on to earn a master’s degree after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The foundation has since provided more than $600,000 in scholarships.
Ian, who penned the Grammy Award-winning hit “At Seventeen,” “Society’s Child (Baby I’ve Been Thinking),” “I Would Like to Dance” and “In the Winter,” was also an early adopter of the MP3 and downloadable music. She’s been an outspoken critic of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for working against artists and discouraging downloads, which she says have boosted the sales of her physical albums.
“I came out of a folk music background, so we learned to be self-reliant,” Ian said. “I saw which way the wind was blowing when downloads first started. The record companies underestimated how big it was going to be and started arresting teenagers for downloading music in their bedrooms. I got my music up early on iTunes and started making money.”
Ian was also one of the first artists to start marketing her music online in the fledgling days of the Internet back in the early 90s.
With the publication of the memoir and a recent “best of” album released by Sony, The Essential Janis Ian, the musician has been actively touring the world, including sold out shows in the UK and Israel. Ian said fans who attend her Atlanta shows can expect to hear their favorite songs and a smattering of newer material.
“I never get tired of playing ‘At Seventeen” or ‘Society’s Child’ and I know the audience has paid their money to hear those songs,” she commented. “It may sound cliche, but I’m grateful for those songs and the audiences that continues to come out and hear them.”