- Searching For America (live from Wolf Trap)
- Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye (from Janet Reno’s Songs of America)
- Society’s Child
- From Me To You
- At Seventeen
- Through the Years
- When the Party’s Over
- Married in London (live from The Birchmere)
- Bright Lights & Promises
- Tea & Sympathy
- This Old Town
- I Hear You Sing Again
- A Candle For the Flame
- I’m Still Standing
- I Am the One (from The Singer & The Song audiobook)
The basics: A completely solo album, no overdubs or editing. Culled from live shows, special projects, and three days in the studio in Nashville, Janis and Randy Leago caught 15 songs at their all-acoustic best.
Inside scoop: With pressure from fans at shows who kept asking for an album of old favorites "just like you do them live now", and eight years since the release of her last new album (Folk Is the New Black), Janis decided to create something specifically for sale at shows.
Highlights: In 2014, knowing she'd be touring a lot with her friend Tom Paxton, and that he'd be joining her on "This Old Town", she recorded that song for the first time. "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye" was recorded at the request of former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, for use teaching American history in schools. "Married In London" had been available as a free download, but not on an album. The same is true of "I Am the One", from Janis' Audie-nominated audio book The Singer & The Song, the life of Medical Mission Sister Miriam Therese Winter. Strictly Solo also features two brand new songs, the crowd-pleasing "I'm Still Standing" and "A Candle for the Flame". Says Janis about the latter, "How do you write about the people who inspired you, and connect that to the people you inspired? I wanted to acknowledge the moments of darkness we all face, and that for me, being a candle that holds someone else's flame is just as precious as being the flame."
Artwork: Janis' old friend Lloyd Baggs (of L. R. Baggs fame) had wanted to do a photo shoot with her for some time. They arranged to spend an hour in downtown Nashville, and the photos wound up supplanting most of the press photos on her site, as well as becoming the artwork used for Strictly Solo. The design is by Dan Schumann, who also designed Janis' Live From Grand Center DVD.
From a longtime fan:
"The quality of the recording is amazing. I find myself awed by the tone of the guitars (I am guessing you used 2 different ones) and as I listen I find myself visualizing very unique and discreet colors for each song. I don’t know if that makes sense to you, but I often associate sound and color. And.. of course… your voice was A-1. It’s interesting to listen to older versions of a song, then the Strictly Solo version. Your voice has developed a smoothness and more warmth it didn’t used to have!"
Produced by Janis Ian; engineered by Randy Leago and mastered by Eric Conn for Independent Mastering, Nashville TN.
"I'm Still Standing" produced by Fur Peace Ranch and Kevin Morgan Studio
Directed by Andie Walla
Assistant Directed by Michael McSteen
Cameras by Brett Maszczak, Eric Tiu and Andie Walla
Audio by Rusty Smith