Americana music

Singer/songwriter Janet Bailey has come back home to the Rogue Valley. She will perform a concert of traditional and original Americana music at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 87 Fourth St., Ashland. Opening for Bailey will be the MoondanSe Trio from Eugene.

Bailey grew up in the Pacific Northwest. Her love for the outdoors and the cowboy way of life are reflected in the songs and stories she shares. She lived in Ashland, raised a family, and from 1987 to 1998 served as a detective, patrol officer at Ashland Police Department. During that time she occasionally picked up her guitar and performed music locally.

"When my kids grew up I wanted to explore my music and see the world," Bailey said. That decision led to a music tour of Europe from March to July of 1998. She performed her "Songs of the American West" show in Greece, England, Germany, Austria and Italy.

"A lot of people in Europe knew more about traditional American music than many Americans. Songs like 'O Shenandoah,' 'She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain.' Even people who don't speak English know all the words."

When she returned to the States, Bailey was a full-time trainer at the Oregon Police Academy for a year. She was selected to represent the U.S. as a member of the United Nations Police in post-war Bosnia for two years beginning in 2000. The Oxygen Channel featured her in a special report on Americans working overseas.

Then came another music touring, this time in the western United States performing at music festivals in California, Wyoming and Montana. A multiple nominee for performer and songwriter of the year with the Western Music Association, Bailey has been a featured performer at the Santa Clarita and Monterey Cowboy Poetry Music Festivals, the Festival of the West, and at the Buffalo Bill Historical Museum. She lived in Joseph, OR for a year and set up a local music theater. Southern Oregon Public TV featured her on "Oregon Art Beat."

From 2003 to 2004 she was an investigator for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. In Sept. 2004, she opened for country superstar Brad Paisley at his sold-out Britt Festivals performance. Then came another stint with the UN Police International peacekeeping forces, this time in Liberia, West Africa. She was sent to Harper, a remote village on the southern border of Ivory Coast. With a grant obtained through the US Embassy, she helped reconstruct a local orphanage, and ended up adopting two Liberian children and starting her second family. Last October, Bailey returned to Talent with her new family and became a part of the newly-reformed Phoenix Police Department. The mother of two grown daughters, grandmother of five, and adopted mother of two says her touring days are over, but she is going to make the time to perform on local stages.

"We're talking about reviving the Rogue River Roundup," Bailey said. She helped co-found the Rogue Valley's first annual performing arts festival for traditional American music.

Based in Eugene, Oregon, MoondanSe is an eclectic vocal and acoustic instrumental group whose music is a mix of folk, bluegrass, mountain, gospel, contemporary, and original songs. The group will also back Bailey up for some of her songs.

Tickets to Bailey's concert are $10 at the door. Bailey's web site, , will be up on Oct. 1.

Share This Story