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NEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Jana Kramer


NEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Jana Kramer

By Bob Doerschuk

© 2012 CMA Close Up® News Service
/ Country Music Association®, Inc.

Jana Kramer insists she has a Michigan
accent, especially when she says “Oh, geez!” True, she does hail from Rochester
Hills, north of the Motor City. But when she sings Country, she sounds like someone
who’s right at home drawling “y’all.”

Just listen to “Why Ya
Wanna,” from her self-titled debut album, scheduled to release June 5 on Elektra
Nashville. Written by Catt Gravitt, Christopher Destefano and Ashley Gorley, it’s
a tricky number in some ways, with a catchy swaying beat that contrasts with heartbreak
lyrics. Yet Kramer finds the pocket between these two qualities, never losing
hold of or overselling the melody. There’s a conversational element to her vocal,
with dropped “g”s and artfully shaded vowels; listening, it feels like she’s
both commanding the stage and sharing her thoughts with a best friend.

We
hear this same believability in the dance-friendly “What I Love about Your Love”
(Brian Dean Maher, Skip Black and Laura Veltz). This time Kramer delivers a playful
rumination on romance (“It puts the ‘hon’ in my honey”) as the band locks
onto a medium-tempo groove. And here, too, her sunny, intimate spell feels much
more Tennessee Titans than Detroit Lions.

Actually, none of this is surprising.
Kramer was raised on a musical diet of Patsy Cline, which she listened to while
baking cookies with her grandmother. And she knows how to get into a lyric. As
Alex Dupre on The CW’s “One Tree Hill,” and on previous appearances in NBC’s
“Friday Night lights,” HBO’s “Entourage” and The CW’s “90210,”
Kramer has applied her acting skills to tap the essence of her role.

Does
she do the same through her music? As folks back home might answer, “Yeah, you bet’cha.”

IN HER OWN WORDS

MUSICAL HERO
“James Taylor.”

DREAM DUET PARTNER
“Johnny Cash, but since that can’t happen, I’d say Adam Levine.”

SONG YOU’D LOVE TO COVER
“‘Strawberry Wine,’ by Matraca Berg.”

SONG YOU SING IN THE SHOWER
“Anything and everything, from Gaga to opera.”

BOOK ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND
Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young.”

FAVORITE FOOD ON THE ROAD
“My favorite food is sushi.
If I can’t find that, then I’ll try to have salmon.”

FAVORITE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION
“Jet ski, then boat, then car.”

LUCKY CHARM
“My dogs.”

FIRST GIG
“It was a train wreck! I was so nervous and
bombed big time. The bright side: Up was the only way to go from there ;).”

SOMETHING WE’D NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU
“I speak German. Sprechen sie Deutsch?

On the Web: www.JanaKramer.com

On Twitter: @KramerGirl

Jana Kramer.

Photo Credit: Bryan Allen

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