John Mueller, the fine Buddy Holly impersonator who has oftencome to Clovis, said once that some of Holly’s best music was the “apartment recordings” — just a guy and his guitar. I would have to paraphrase that; some of the best music I have ever heard was just a girl and her guitar — Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Eva Cassidy.
You can add Clovis resident and Kentucky native Jane (Begley) Saied to that list. Her energetic, clear music can be heard at a local coffeehouse where Thursday evening happy hour (with coffee drinks) is featuring live music during the month of April. Jane’s CD s are also available at the same entertainment center. This CD, by the way, features music written by the artist herself. These are not covers of someone else’s bluegrass/folk/blues/acoustic blend. These are the real items of life viewed by the lady who is singing it.
Saied came to Clovis by way of Lubbock, which is where her songwriting gifts began to really demand her time and attention.
“About the time I started writing songs was about the time I went to Lubbock,” she said.
Lubbock has been for years, and was for Jane, a place with a musical community, one that supported songwriters, gave them a place to play, let them experiment with all kinds of music. People like Robin Griffin, Cari Sweeney, Les and Nancy Walker, were “seriously writing, seriously playing, and seriously helped me get going.”
Music for Saied did not just begin in Lubbock. Both parents were musicians, music was a part of the family, and Jane credits her father, Ira Begley, with really planting and nurturing the seed of bluegrass in his youngest daughter. His message was that music was about passion, love and fun.
Bluegrass may be the foundation of her music, but it is not the sum total, nor the limits. A current CD features lively blues (Mad Song, Big Smile), rock-filtered folk (Rock-n Roll) and folk-filtered bluegrass (Kentucky, West Texas Winds).
I think I just invented some musical descriptives, but one of the best things about Jane is she doesn’t try to sound like anybody.
“The best compliment I can remember is someone who told me, ‘You sound like — well, like you,’” she said.
Influences range from Edgar Winter to Joni Mitchell to Bonnie Raitt to John Prynne —but this artist is going original.
Balancing life with music for Jane includes two small children, ages six and nine, and a husband who is also a musician and supports her balancing act. She is currently looking at enough raw idea and written material for another CD, which we hope will soon be in the making.
Open mic nights, home concerts (concert held in someone’s private home, like at a birthday or goodby party), coffeehouse appearances — these are some of her favorite ways to bring her music to the public.
That makes sense — those venues are warm, personal, and genuine, like the artist herself. Give a listen. Your musical heart will thank you.
Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and a college instructor. He can be contacted at: