Terrific Intimate Blues Performance

What a treat it was to see Janiva Magness and Xenia Dunford in such an intimate setting as Extended Play at Alternate Root TV!

Janiva Magness

Janiva Magness

I will fully describe the venue and the Sessions in another post, but suffice it to say that this venue imitates your living room, both for the artist and the audience.

Xenia Dunford

Xenia Dunford

Each program follows a format; the artist performs seven or eight songs and then engages in a half-hour question and answer period.

I was familiar with Janiva’s name (pronounced JAN-uh-vuh) but not her music; I was excited to hear some hard blues sung by a master as I settled into my seat.



Janiva is a treasure. Her voice is sultry, sometimes deep and sometimes not, and packed full of emotion. She described some of her process of songwriting; she writes what she knows (as do many artists) and that is deeply personal. She wears her heart on her sleeve.



The extremely talented members of Janiva’s band are Zach Zunis on guitar, Gary Davenport on bass, Matt Tecu on drums, and Jim Alfredson on Hammond B3 and keyboard. They all provide backing vocals as well, and their harmonies are truly lovely.

Janiva and

Janiva, Gary and Zach






Janiva and Zach

The connection Janiva makes with the audience seems easy for her, but I sense that it wasn’t always so. She has had a lot of pain in her life and has become stronger either because of it or in spite of it – or maybe both. Her fans are the beneficiaries of that connection, and we are more than glad to connect with her.

This is one of the reasons why hearing live music is so important to me. The experience is so deeply personal when you are sitting in an audience, and that does not come through in the same way on a recording.



The Q&A period was fascinating. I will not summarize it here because I want you all to watch the show when it is aired (we were told it would be fairly soon).

Special guest for this evening was Xenia Dunford, a young singer-songwriter currently living in Vermont but originally from the Boston area.



Xenia does have a band, but this night she performed solo, playing keys and some guitar. She admitted she’s new to the guitar so she played keys on most of her songs. I am looking forward to seeing Xenia with her band some time in the hopefully near future.

Her music has been described as an eclectic mix of folk/rock, jazz and indie pop. Her voice is wonderful, sometimes a bit old-timey (she reminds me of a friend whose style is bluegrass, old-timey music).



Two different artists with different styles and at different stages of their careers made for a fascinating evening.

This was my first Extended Play Session, and it will not be my last. I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the show, even though all I did was sit back and enjoy it (okay, and take a few photos). The artists can see the entire audience which is something unique.

About suze72

I've loved the arts all my life... I go to a lot of concerts, take lots of photos and want to share them. Every once in a while I do something other than a concert, too. The Boston area is full of opportunities to indulge my passion - I'd like to help make it yours too!

Posted on May 17, 2014, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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