Janiva Magness taps into pain of progress
"If you're not upset about the current state of affairs, you're not paying attention."
That's the sentiment Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and seven-time Blues Music Award winner Janiva Magness carried with her throughout the production of her latest album, "Love is an Army."
"All my music is personal, but this seems to be dialed up to another level of personal for me. I just think that's important right now," Magness says.
You could characterize Magness' new album as "protest material," but that would be doing it a disservice because the tales of strife and redemption that grace her 14th studio album are much deeper than mere anthems playing on the internal angst felt by many Americans today. From the Me Too movement to politics, Magness draws on the ire of a society reeling from the growing pains of progress.
"There's so much strife, there's so much pain. People are extremely upset, and rightfully so in my view," she says. "It's really about standing up, speaking out and encouraging other people to do the same."
A recipient of the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award in 2009, Magness is set to return to the Lake Theater and Cafe for a show at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 12. Guests can expect to hear the bulk of her new album, as well as some of her deeper and more classic cuts.
"I absolutely love Oregon. I've played the Portland area many times and the Lake Theater is such a sweet little spot," she says.
Based in Los Angeles, the Detroit native says she's been enjoying the road after a year in the studio working on "Love is an Army." Magness believes audiences have really connected with the message of the new album, and for that she's been grateful.
"(This tour has been) an incredible experience. It took a year (to make this album), and I've never taken that long to make a record, so it's wildly incredible to see it come to fruition and have so much support in both airplay and live performances," Magness says.
Taking a little bit longer on this project than she has in the past was a symptom of perfectionism. Magness explains she wanted to take her time in the crafting process on "Love is an Army," particularly with her creativity as a songwriter. Co-writing much of the album with producer Dave Darling, Magness is excited for blues lovers in Lake Oswego to hear what is, in essence, a diary of her thoughts and feelings regarding where we are in the world today.
Tickets for her March 12 show at the Lake Theater (106 N. State St. in Lake Oswego) cost $30 and are available online at http://www.laketheatercafe-com.seatengine.com. Doors open at 6 p.m.; music starts at 7 p.m.
"Love is an Army" is available on iTunes, Spotify and most major streaming services. For more information about the album, visit http://www.janivamagness.com/love-is-an-army-mobilizes.