Jane Jensen, Mars or the Moon 

Harrison Center for the Arts, Gallery 2
Saturday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m., $5 suggested donation, all-ages

Jane Jensen says the songs on her newest CD, My Rockabye, fit into three categories. “The Midwestern gothic campfire songs — songs I wrote in Indiana — this was the working title for the CD,” she says. “The L.A. junkyard songs — songs I wrote about my experiences living in Los Angeles [and] the domestic bliss songs. I wrote these songs after I got married and became a proud parent; obviously this concept of domestic bliss took over and influenced the tone of the CD, the art and the final My Rockabye.”

Jensen wrote all of the songs on acoustic guitar, “the simple idea being that you could play and sing them around a campfire.”

She says she “started the recording by putting down my vocals and guitar to a click [track] and building around that. In some cases, we added a little, and in some cases we added a lot. I recorded all but two songs at the Pop Machine [studios in Central Indiana] with Marc and Eric Johnson. They also co-produced. It was a thrill working with [the] many talented musicians that appear on the CD.”

Jensen moved back to Indianapolis recently to pursue both her musical career and a family. “I feel more focused and grounded,” she says. “My life used to be very one-sided. Here I feel like I have everything, except the comfort of living in a blue state. I do miss that.”

Indie500 Records labelmates Mars or the Moon will also be performing in celebration of their CD, The Price of Love. Mars or the Moon’s Joe Hart ran in to Jensen at Pop Machine studios where she was mixing her album, and Mars or the Moon was tracking theirs. “We knew her socially and had always talked about sharing a show sometime. One night I stopped by the studio to find out when our next session was, and she was working on a song of hers called ‘Sweet Child,’” Hart says. “I ended up playing some guitar on it. We got to talking, and we found out that both of our albums would be completed around the same time. So we talked about sharing a CD release party. We both had things going on in our personal lives that, at first, made it seem that we wouldn’t get to do it, but then everything fell into place, so it’s very exciting that we get to share our release with such a fabulous artist.”

Mars or the Moon is made up of Hart, Lani Williams and Lenen Nicola. Hart and Williams share the songwriter duties, often collaborating on each other’s songs. They met when Williams came to Hart for guitar lessons: “She came for her first lesson and played me a couple of her songs. I could tell that she was already an artist, and I told her straight off, ‘I know that you think that you came here for guitar lessons, but really you came here to make an album. I’ll help you do it.’”

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